Jude Collins

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Gerry Adams on the Marian Finucane Show

   I caught only part of that interview today of Gerry Adams on the Marian Finucane Show. What I heard followed the usual pattern, much of it about Adams’s past in or not in the IRA. And there was some stuff about him having a holiday home in Donegal, which I gathered by inference is something you’re not supposed to have, and about him having been treated in a private medical clinic in the US, which apparently is something you’re not supposed to do either, and where did you get the big money for that anyway?

But while those were interesting questions and the way Adams dealt with them was interesting, I thought the key moment of the interview was when Adams said a word I don’t think I’ve heard on Finucane’s show before. I can’t remember what the question was but I remember the Sinn Féin president’s answer.

He was talking about the day the British Army came to his family home and arrested, I think he said, his father and his brother. “They wrecked the place completely.  They shit on the couch, they urinated on the curtains, they smashed religious pictures and statues. They wrecked the place completely”.
I’ve put that in quotation marks although I’m not sure if those were his exact words. But that was the essence of what he said. 

I thought it was remarkable because it brought alive, maybe for the first time to a southern audience, what life was like for many nationalists and republicans during the years of the Troubles. Everyone or nearly everyone has a home. And most people have small things - pictures, ornaments, furniture - that they’re fond of and sometimes proud of. What Adams’s sketch of what happened to his parents' home did was ask an unspoken question: How would you react if some people came into your home and did that?  To which he might have added “And how would you feel if 30,000 British soldiers took over South Dublin?” 

I do hope that helps bring home to southern listeners the sense of helpless rage that so many people must have felt, after being paid a visit by British squaddies. Of course, in comparison to the lives that were taken on all sides during the Troubles, the trashing of a house is nothing. But it’s still an interesting question to ponder: How would you react if that happened to your house?

(I know I shouldn’t but my inner teacher demands I do: the past tense of “shit”, Gerry,  is “shat”, not “shit”. Just sayin’, like.) 
Here's the interview link - thanks to Paul Evans : http://www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-finucane/


  1. Jude
    "How would you react if some people came into your home and did that?"
    My initial, perhaps too flippant, response to that question was:
    'Well I might go out and start attacking my neighbours'
    But I know that terrible things were done, as you describe and of course worse, by the British and Unionist controlled forces at that time.
    But if you think that justified the awful retribution visited on us all by the IRA, (and I hope you do not) then I have to say you are mistaken.
    But of course you never actually say what you think about that.

  2. Pertinent points as always Jude. My family is from West Belfast and these stories are common to any Nat family from North or West Belfast. What annoys me is when others in the MSM or elsewhere try and paint this as mopery of some kind, like these families should have taken it or even perversely that they deserved it in some way.

    TBH, there is a massive disconnect between the MSM and people too. Those who know what many Nats experienced for years would find that which is written in papers or wheeled out as gospel on shows as a world apart from what was actually experienced, and to its shame the MSM is a self-serving bubble that has moved from reporting the news to trying to shape the narrative, hence why print media is in a death spiral, something I may not be too sad in seeing. I am not saying that I want censorship or anything like that btw, but print media is a crap and obsolete product and will go the way of HMV et al as people tell it that it has little use for there product or service.

  3. Footballcliches - are your family's stories as accurate as your story about Newton Emerson?

    1. Anon, really? And you are whom? I wont hold my breath...

      Of course tweeting AND saying something aloud in public to someone I have little respect for, now imagine that.

      But of course, we could stay on point and actually acknowledge what happened in places such as West Belfast and how the IRA's insurrection didn't just materialise out of thin air; again, I won't hold my breath.

  4. I suppose what was done to Jean Mc Conville doesn't really count in comparison to what happened to the Adams family at the hands of those bad Brits!

  5. marian who ??????????

    well said Gerry

  6. Dan Breen answers it best in this interview (link below)
    and if an Irishman ever invaded an Englishman's home he would probably expect the same response...