Jude Collins

Monday, 15 June 2009

Altering the landmark

So Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein are to have a meeting with the families of hunger strikers, regarding the ongoing claims that Sinn Fein people prolonged the hunger strike when a deal was available from Thatcher and Co. The waters by this stage have been sufficiently muddied, it's difficult to know whose claim makes sense. But you can see in whose interest it would be for Sinn Fein to be discredited in terms of the hunger strike. If there is one event from the Troubles that troubles (sorry) SF's opponents, it's the hunger strike. The fact is that it didn't involve violence against others and it was an act - a series of acts - of comprehension-defying heroism. Up there with the Easter Rising sacrifice. So if the whole thing could be seen as a giant con of gullible men, sent to their deaths by Sinn Fein people, it would (i) destroy a.. I'm tempted to say an iconic but that's a stupid word... a major landmark in republican history, and (ii) seriously damage SF's credibility and standing among republicans. So while it'll be interesting to see what is said to the relatives and how it is received, I find myself pretty damned suspicious of those who claim there's been a lethal double-cross perpetrated. Cui bono? as they used to ask in the seventeenth century. Who's set to benefit by this?

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