I said yesterday that I’d thought about blogging on the swell of interest in the welfare of Sinn Féin (that is, that it should have a better leader) and one very cynical comment said that was a good idea, to not blog on that subject, that way it’d all blow over. (That’s irony, incidentally.) Well, Gio, this one is especially for you. In the hope that one of these days you’ll remove your face-mask.
Fintan O’Toole, that expert on so many subjects, this morning in the Irish Times calls on Gerry Adams to resign. His denials of being in the IRA, of not having issued orders for the death of Jean McConville and of never having so much as thrown a stone during the Troubles is holding back Sinn Féin, now that (in Fintan’s view) Sinn Féin are an established and maybe important part of southern politics.
Mmm. I remember once meeting a man who, in every conversation, would keep asking “How do you know that?” It was very irritating, especially if you didn’t have firm grounds for what you were claiming. So here’s a few questions that I’m sure readers will be able to come up with answers to.
- How do you know Gerry Adams was in the IRA? Yes I know he was flown to England in the 1970s to parlay with the British, but how do you know he was in the IRA? No, forget the dogs in the street. How do you know?
- How do you know Gerry Adams was responsible for the death of Jean McConville? Yes I know Brendan Hughes says he was, and others, but is that proof that he was?
- Further to 2 above: why haven't the PSNI arrested Gerry Adams and put him on trial if he was responsible for the death of Jean McConville?
- How do you know that Gerry Adams threw a stone during the Troubles? I remember reading years ago how one contemporary of Gerry Adams said that from the start, Gerry was always asking “What will we get out of this?” That applied to stoning British soldiers as well as negotiating with the British. The man may have been lying. On the other hand Gerry Adams may have been a strategist, not a foot-soldier. And before you say it, I don’t know that he was. I say he may have been.
- The death of Jean McConville was a bleak and terrible event, not only for the woman herself but for her family, as her loss resonated down the years. And people are right be appalled by it. That’s why radio and TV programmes have been made about it. But is the concern for Jean McConville and her family straightforward compassion for a family that suffered and continues to suffer? Or is it being used as a weapon with which to beat Gerry Adams and through him Sinn Féin?
- Anne Cadwallader’s recent book lists over 120 deaths in what was called the Murder Triangle in the 1970s. She describes these deaths and their impact in a detailed and factual way, and how the authorities sometimes did nothing to prevent them happening and sometimes were actively involved in the killings. What do you think are the chances that Daragh McIntyre or some other enterprising journalist will make a programme showing in detail the suffering involved for some - even one - of these families?
So many accusations, so many questions, so little proof. So much concern over the leadership of a party that is so frequently excoriated.
There now, Gio. Will that do?