Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of history in supporting Irish republicans, Gerry Adams has said.
The British Labour leader respected Sinn Féin's democratic mandate, the Sinn Féin President added.
Mr Corbyn has said he wanted the bombings and shootings to stop but refused to single out the IRA for condemnation during recent interviews.
Mr Adams said: "Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of history.
"What he did was very modest, what he did was very fundamental.
"He recognised the rights of the people who voted for Sinn Féin and I think he was vindicated by subsequent events.
"Because where he led - others followed."
Mr Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have faced scrutiny over their association with Irish republicans.
Before the IRA ceasefire, they met Sinn Féin a number of times in Westminster during the 1990s.
Mr Adams said the debate was a complete distraction and criticised Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster for intervening in it during a speech in London on Monday.
He added: "If Arlene Foster is lending herself to that complete distraction then she is trying to divert attention away from her party's support for an English Brexit, when she should be acknowledging the vote of the people here in the North and standing up for their rights."