Update: Image portraying Adams and Martin as gay couple 'drafted but not commissioned' by Labour Party

UPDATE (3pm): Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has accused the Labour Party for devaluing marriage equality after a picture of a Labour election poster "drafted but not actually commissioned" emerged today.

“I can only assume that the strategists who gave us Labour’s infamous Tesco Ad in 2011 have presented this latest juvenile offering,” said Deputy Adams.

“It shows how bereft of genuine policy and constructive ideas the Labour Party now is.

"It is clear that Joan Burton's party is getting increasingly desperate as a General Election approaches and the verdict of the electorate on their disastrous performance in Government beckons.”

UPDATE (12.20am): An image portraying Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin as a gay couple in what appears to be a Labour Party advert was "drafted but not actually commissioned", a Labour Party spokesman has said.

"As one element of our campaign, we considered some draft adverts to make a serious point in a light-hearted way," the spokesman said.

“This version makes the point that at the next election, voters will have a choice between the stable, balanced government offered by Labour and Fine Gael - or a marriage of convenience between Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin that would destroy Ireland's hard-won progress over the last five years.

“Fianna Fáil caused the bust in the first place and Sinn Féin would return us to bust with their policies. The ad was drafted but not actually commissioned."

UPDATE (12.20am): An image portraying Gerry Adams and Micheál Martin as a gay couple is not an official campaign poster, a spokesman has said.

The draft poster “was not approved by any unit of the Labour Party”, according to Labour Cllr Dermot Lacey.

Earlier: The photoshopped picture of the party leaders will carries the tag line – “This is one marriage we should vote NO to this year”.

The poster also includes images of Opposition TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy, Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

Former senior political adviser, Gerard Howlin, said it could draw criticism for negative campaigning.

“It’s dangerous politics in the sense that people feel very entitled to be quite cutting about their politicians – they don’t necessarily thank political parties for attacking, and being cutting, and being negative,” he said.

“And some politicians who are very acerbic, who can land punch after punch after punch, can often be extremely poor at bringing people with them.”

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