CRITICISMS of the government's handling of the postal dispute by Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams are "a bit ironic" given how quiet his party was when postal workers north of the border were being targeted by paramilitaries, communications minister Dermot Ahern has said.

Speaking on LM/FM radio, Ahern said that a few years ago "there were a number of people in the postal service, mainly on the northern side of the border who were targeted, and if I remember rightly one was murdered". The minister added that "we didn't hear much from this particular quarter [at that time]".

On a visit to Drogheda last week, Adams had called on the government to intervene in the postal dispute. He questioned why "in a decade in which the Celtic Tiger has benefited the majority of people", public services and postal workers had been neglected.