DUBLIN, Ireland -- Gerry Adams, head of the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, Sunday hailed the IRA's attempted assassination of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher three weeks ago as a 'blow for democracy' in Northern Ireland.
A Belfast delegate said the outlawed Irish Republican Army sent a message to the conference promising more bombings in Britain similar to Oct. 12 attack on Brighton's Grand Hotel that narrowly missed Thatcher and her Cabinet.
The top government officials had been housed in the hotel for the annual conference of their Conservative Party.
'All casualties and fatalities in Ireland or Britain as a result of the war are sad symptons of our British problem and the Brighton bombing was an inevitable result of the British presence in this country,' Adams told some 600 Sinn Fein delegates on the final day of their two-day annual conference.
'Far from being the blow against democracy, it was a blow for democracy,' he said.
The conference voted unanimously to reaffirm its support for the IRA and the 'armed struggle in Northern Ireland,' once more giving approval to the strategy of 'the Armalite and the ballot.'
The Belfast delegate, who asked to remain anonymous, said the new IRA threat was made at a closed door session following Adam's speech. Sinn Fein leaders refused to talk about the alleged threat, similar to one made by the IRA shortly after the Brighton bombing.
'We were told that more bombs will be planted by the IRA in Britain,' the delegate told reporters waiting outside the conference. 'The message was delivered to the conference by a representative of the IRA.'
As a result of the Brighton bombing, in which four people died, Adams said he fears a 'British assassination reprisal' against the leadership of the IRA, fighting to oust British troops from Northern Ireland and unite the province with the republic to the south.
'I have no doubt that the British government will attempt reprisal action in vengeance for the Brighton operation,' he said. 'As always, we in Sinn Fein, in the public leadership of the Republican struggle, are the most likely victims of British assassination plans.'
That fear was the reason for massive security at the annual Sinn Fein conference held at Mansion House, residence of Dublin's lord mayor.
Sinn Fein leaders, apparently dissatisfied with a police bomb sweep, carried out their own search for bombs and six party members patrolled the building, communicating by walkie talkie.
Adams' keynote speech coincided with a new effort by the British government to persuade Americans that money to NORAID meant more IRA terrorist bombs and more deaths in Britain and Ireland.
Conservative Party Chairman John Selwyn Gummer flew Sunday to the United States to spend five days in New York and Washington talking to Democrats and news organizations about NORAID's aims now that the Reagan administration has agreed to take measures to cut off IRA support in America.
'I will tell Americans that the IRA is a Marxist body and one that has nothing to do with any romantic visions of Ireland,' said Gummer as he left London. 'It's a bloody, terrorist body which lives off money from abroad to finance murderers.
Adams in his speech denounced neutral Ireland's submissivesness to United States, especially during Reagan's June trip to Ballporeen. He called Reagan an 'aging geriatric whiz kid' intent on starting a nuclear war.