Monday, 20 November 2017

GERRY ADAMS AND THE IRA




GERRY ADAMS ANNOUNCED THIS WEEKEND THAT HE WOULD CEASE TO BE PRESIDENT OF SINN FEIN EARLY NEXT YEAR.

He has always refused to admit that he was a member of the IRA and that he held a senior position in it.

He has obviously done this because it would open the floodgates of massive against him.

Although, I imagine that under the Good Friday Agreement he would not have to do time in prison.

As I have been in Northern Ireland since 1978 I have met Gerry Adams on a number of occasions and I like him as a person.

I do not believe that he was not in the IRA - and was not very senior in it.

I, personally know of no action he has ever undertaken. And no one has ever told me of any action he ever took.

And I do think that many Dublin politicians are not less than genuine when they try and get him to admit the full extent of his past. They want to use that information for their own personal political gain.

I read The Irish Independent and The Irish Times online every day.

The Irish Independent and The Sunday Independent are fixated on Adams and Sinn Fein in a totally negative way. As far as they are concerned neither Adams or Sinn Fein ever did anything good.




I also find that people in the Republic of Ireland who never lived through The Troubles have any idea of what it was really like and yet they talk about it and are experts on it.

They do not appreciate the things that Catholics and Nationals suffered in Northern Ireland during the 50 years of Unionist misrule at Stormont - in housing, in employment and at the hands of the RUC, the British Army, the B Specials and the UDR.

I saw the situation first hand in the 1970's and 1980's - and it was even worse between 1969 and 1978.

I also ministered to the 10 Hunger Strikers when they were dying in the Long Kesh hospital wing.




People like John Hume and the Civil Rights people were wonderful people - but even they felt the opposition and the crack of the baton.

In an ideal world, political change SHOULD come about peacefully.

But in the real world what unjust regime ever gave up their power without being forced to. This is a sad fact of life!

I could never hurt or kill anyone with a gun. It is morally wrong and sinful to do so. No cause or country is worth the spilling of human blood -even though we Christians believe that the cause of Salvation came about through the spilling of the blood of Jesus of Nazareth.

And in war, it is often the case that innocent people are killed and terribly injured.

I sometimes think that had the Provisionals not emerged we might still have a Stormont ruled by the Unionists?

I wish it had all happened with the loss of all those lives and the injuring of all those people on every side.

I believe that the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland could have prevented the war!

I believe that if the Northern Ireland bishops and priests had led the Catholic people in a mass protest against Unionist misrule The Troubles might not have happened.

But everywhere in the world the Catholic Church, politically, sides with the establishment and not with the oppressed. 

In Northern Ireland the Catholic Church kept in with the British so that they would continue to have their Catholic schools, hospitals and institutions funded. 

The Bishops were right to condemn violence. But they should have equally condemned Unionist misrule and the atrocities committed by the police and Army. This did not happen - it certainly did not happen often and strongly enough.

Bishop Philbin went up the Catholic Falls Road on the back of a British Army lorry, with a British general and told the people to dismantle their barricades and go home and obey the authorities.

The people behind the barricades threw tins of beans at the bishop and the general.

Cahal Daly was very vociferous in condemning the Republicans but not so vociferous in condemning the British and Northern Ireland authorities.

At the time I said that he was: "Strong with the weak - and weak with the strong".

Sadly, establishments nod at each other.

History and God will judge Gerry Adams. 

But I think that history and God will also judge those who did not stand up to state violence and injustice.

Ireland needed an Archbishop Oscar Romero.

We did not have one!



















32 comments:

  1. I agree with almost everything you say in today's blog, Pat. I think O"Fiach from South Armagh frequently condemned Stormont misrule and the cruelty of the British army when they overstepped boundaries etc. I thoroughly agree with you about the attitude of the Sunday Independent. I stopped buying it in disgust as it was so far off the mark about what was really going on. The Irish Times ditto.

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    1. I’ve stopped getting the Irish Times also.

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  2. You must have been living in a very big bubble in Belfast, Pat, if you never sought to meet Brendan Darkie Hughes and/or Dolours Price who both served the IRA to an extreme degree and who both said your friend Gerry personally ordered the abduction, execution and disappearance of Jean McConville. They named him in their Boston College Archive tapes.

    Dolours Price also named him as one of the people who ordered her and the other 9 of The Belfast 10 to bomb the Old Bailey, New Scotland Yard and other targets which resulted in their long imprisonment, and various deaths and hundreds of injuries.

    Gerry was also named as involved in The Bloody Friday bombings in Belfast in which carnage there were nine murders and hundreds of injuries.

    Your judgment on Gerry Adams - and his constant lies about his membership and leadership of the IRA - is shallow and disrespectful to so many IRA victims, not least Mary Travers, murdered coming out of Mass.

    You need to rethink, methinks.

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    1. Brendan Darkie Hughes was a parishioner of mine and the leader if the First Hunger Strike. I sat with him on numerous occasions in Long Kesh a d at that time he never criticised Gerry Adams.

      I know he later had a falling out.

      I am no IRA defender - nor am I a nationalist or Republican.

      I just think we must view things in the broader context of the long term and recent history of the whole island?

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    2. Of course Gerry Adams is a man of blood but then what leader isn't? Why should British ministers signing off on loyalist death squads which worked hand in hand with army and police intelligence have any sense of entitlement or justness over any killing done by the Republican movement? Just because we are told that one side is good and one side is bad doesn't reflect the reality which is a lot murkier on either side. If one quotes murders in the troubles, then the chain of command runs both way, both up to Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness but also each and every British prime minister in charge of army and police forces in Northern Ireland then.

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    3. In his capacity as an IRA leader Gerry Adams was responsible for many murders; and for lasting physical injuries, psychological damage and dislocation of the lives of the living victims of his violence. His persistent denials of IRA membership, contrary to all known facts and the testimony of his accomplices, define him as a man unable to accept the reality of who he is and what he has become. He invites us to subscribe to his own fictions. If we believe that the message of Christianity is forgiveness and salvation, then Gerry will eventually step into the darkness to face his victims alone. It is his choice and right to do so by taking the decision he has taken to place himself outside the scope of forgiveness. Because, as we are taught, for forgiveness to happen the starting point is acknowledgement of sin. Gerry acknowledges no sin and therefore there is nothing to forgive.

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  3. Pat, there was Fr Alec Reid (RIP) from Clonard who worked so hard for justice and for the success of the Peace Process. In the end, he was trusted by all sides. He was exceptionally brave and always kept his word. There were many lives saved but I won't name names here or go into detail.. Fr Alec would have sat reasoning with people behind closed doors until four in the morning if that's what it took....

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    1. Are you saying that Fr Reid brought an end to Unionist misrule at Stormont?

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    2. Fr Alec Reid was very effective in bringing about the ceasefires and building up trust to the extent that the decommissioning of arms and ammunition became a real possibility and this led to the end of many of the killings and eventually towards the Good Friday Agreement. He wasn't the only one but he was a very trusted part of s hardworking behind the scenes team who knew things had to change for civilised life to even begin to return.

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  4. You mean Fr. Alex Reid who referred to Unionists as 'Nazis'?

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    1. In response to 08:06. If that was so, Fr. Reid was erring on the side of generosity.

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  5. 'No cause or country is worth the spilling of human blood'. It never stopped the Church sending thousands to the scaffold for heresy or witchcraft or thousands others to their death on crusade. But that was different...that was a lot longer ago and we have grown up since then....

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    1. I hate people saying we have grown up. Such an arrogant lazy attitude. History always had a cycle of leniency and mercy and then before you know it the violence and fanaticism is back. The argument, "It was okay for Moses to be so violent and the popes. What about John Calvin who concluded God did not abolish the Old Testament laws that demanded that certain sinners such as heretics and adulterers be murdered? Those were people of their time and we know better." That is just watering down the evil and thus paving teh way for it to happen again.

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    2. Hard to beat the oul inquisition, pity it is gone, or rather renamed.

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  6. Pat, are you trying to write yourself into history above the valiant efforts and courage of Fr. Alex Reid, Cardinal O Fiach, Fr. Des Wilson and other Church Ministers who sought peace? What about the knowledge and information possessed by Gerry Adams re: missing peoole? What about his silence re: sexual abuse by known republicans and about which he did nothing? What about his pathetic excuses re: his niece's abuse? What about the treatment of women who came forward about their experience of sexual abuse? Silence and more silence and excuses. What about the harrassment and bullying of Sinn Fein councillors of recent times and who had to resign from the party because they "weren't believed"? Now where did we hear that attitude before? We had Mary Lou and her Messiah Leader jumping up and down calling for resignations of Church personnel while so much filth and outrageous abuse was tolerated by the same leadership in their own party. Put all of it in context all you like Pat, abuse, bullying, cover up, harrassment mean the same in any era. Get it! Stop being an APOLOGIST. Hypocrisy and an uneasy comfort with TRUTH lies at the heart of Sinn Fein.

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    1. To the whataboutery at 1225. What about the British occupation of the island of Ireland? Or did that occupation and all its injustice end when Liam Neeson chased the Brits out in 1920?

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    2. 12:25 I actually agree with you that all the issues and questions you raise are valid.

      For whatever reason Gerry Adams will not answer.

      In view of that people are entitled to draw their own conclusions.

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  7. A lot of the matters you mention re/Gerry Adams etc in the posts above were dealt with, many of them in no uncertain terms behind closed doors and in privacy as is their way. However, they must realise that, as Pat says, people who don't know about details draw their own conclusions.

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  8. Pat, am I right in thinking you spent some time as an elected official yourself? Were you Nationalist/Unionist or other?

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    1. Interdenominational cross cross community. 1989 - 1993.

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  9. Re: Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein. It's not ever sufficient just to walk on in life and not fully say SORRY and ask FORGIVENESS in the knowledge that you have been reckless with the TRUTH and still withold vital information about the disappeared. Of course Sinn Fein doesn't have the integrity to own their responsibility for the hurt, mayhem, death and destruction they caused, even on some of their own constituents. I would never give my vote to such a dictatorial, "do as the master says" style of politics. They killed many innocent people of all denominations. It's no surprise that Sinn Fein now approves of abortion - on demand. They long ago lost respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life.

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    1. Some Sinn Fein members strongly disapprove of abortion eg Francie Molloy.

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  10. The Caldy Monastery child-abuse story grows

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-42054009

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  11. Pat, I agree with your assessment that the Provos accelerated the end of Stormont, but the Civil Rights movement could have done so too without the bloodshed. Stormont fell in 1972. Why did the IRA carry on after that?

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    1. Because there was a vastly long distance still to go before we had even begun to get a sense of fairness in employment ("Only Protestants need apply"), housing (single 19yr Protestant girl allocated Housing Executive three bedroom house while several overcrowded Catholic families were cramped into damp slums without indoor bathrooms) certain professions such as law and medicine and a host of other such inequalities. Even hospitals such as the Royal situated in West Belfast had very few Catholic nurses . Any Catholics employed were in lowly positions as toilet cleaners and wardsmaids as they were called then. Worst of all was the higher grades in the Civil Service particularly in Dundonald House in East Belfast Very few Catholics got anything like fairness in promotion. . In some ways, being members of the European Union began to slowly help the situation when the European Courts began to legislate fair employment in a lot of ways eg recruitment processes. It was called the "Common Market" in the 1960s. On top of that there was the huge trauma that the Catholic population went through every July and August, the months of the "marching season" when bigotry was at its bitterest.
      Many older people still have nightmares about what we went through or saw our neighbours go through. The Catholic people were well and truly second class citizens in their own country in virtually every aspect of life. It was a tense smoking powder keg waiting to explode with disillusioned young people ready to rise up at last and finally say enough is enough. Unionism ignored the growing discontent until the pot boiled over and it was too late. That is why, in the beginning, the majority of fair-minded Catholics supported the uprising. It was only when they began to gradually realise that the armed struggle was not going to achieve their needs that they condemned the violence and supported the Good Friday Agreement and peaceful but fair politics as far as possible. It was a thirty year struggle for equality and it is still not quite over. It wasn't over in 1972. It was just beginning.

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    2. Because there was a vastly long distance still to go before we had even begun to get a sense of fairness in employment ("Only Protestants need apply"), housing (single 19yr Protestant girl allocated Housing Executive three bedroom house while several overcrowded Catholic families were cramped into damp slums without indoor bathrooms) certain professions such as law and medicine and a host of other such inequalities. Even hospitals such as the Royal situated in West Belfast had very few Catholic nurses . Any Catholics employed were in lowly positions as toilet cleaners and wardsmaids as they were called then. Worst of all was the higher grades in the Civil Service particularly in Dundonald House in East Belfast Very few Catholics got anything like fairness in promotion. . In some ways, being members of the European Union began to slowly help the situation when the European Courts began to legislate fair employment in a lot of ways eg recruitment processes. It was called the "Common Market" in the 1960s. On top of that there was the huge trauma that the Catholic population went through every July and August, the months of the "marching season" when bigotry was at its bitterest.
      Many older people still have nightmares about what we went through or saw our neighbours go through. The Catholic people were well and truly second class citizens in their own country in virtually every aspect of life. It was a tense smoking powder keg waiting to explode with disillusioned young people ready to rise up at last and finally say enough is enough. Unionism ignored the growing discontent until the pot boiled over and it was too late. That is why, in the beginning, the majority of fair-minded Catholics supported the uprising. It was only when they began to gradually realise that the armed struggle was not going to achieve their needs that they condemned the violence and supported the Good Friday Agreement and peaceful but fair politics as far as possible. It was a thirty year struggle for equality and it is still not quite over. It wasn't over in 1972. It was just beginning.

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    3. Thank you so much,poster 1.34 for trying to summarise the reasons why the dreadful problems arose in the first place. You did well to try and explain a complicated longterm situation in a few lines. You are spot on..

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  12. Living in wee Castlerea Northern Ireland could have been northern Africa to me growing up. All I remember is that black flags following bloody Sunday. The proddies were all bad allegedly. There weren't many in our part of the world. There was the wife of a retired vicar who passed away. She looked the same as anybody else. Next Summer I will be challenged to take the oath of allegiance as part of the Church of England formal processes. I have only positive things to say based on my limited experience of local parishes and clergy. If I had grown up in Northern Ireland perhaps my view would be different. All I can say is I hope we can learn from history and put that knowledge to good use for the good of all.

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    1. Because we as Catholics were the majority population in the Republic of Ireland, we didn't really fully understand and appreciate what Northern Catholic people had to put up with. As the poster rightly said they were very much treated like dirt and definitely treated like second class citizens. They didn't get much sympathy from us in the Republic either as we had the attitude that "One side is as bad as the other" and things like "Why can't Northern ones just agree and stop the fighting?". To some extent, you still would get those attitudes when people down here are chatting together. We simply never appreciated what people were expected to tolerate and what they went through every year of their lives.

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  13. Born in N Ireland in 1944 I've some first hand experience of the negative effects of Unionist domination after partition. Having read about the partition of India and massive population movement caused by division along religious/ethnic lines I wonder to what extent partition here in Ireland created similar problems especially for Protestants caught up on the "wrong " side of the new Irish border. Did they experience discrimination too?
    Can anyone recommend a good objective book on the issue?
    MMM

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    1. To MMM. You might enjoy "Rejected, Adopted or Adapted, Dublin Protestants in 2016" if you read it online.
      There was also a new book published earlier this year but we cannot recommend it to our university students as it is not even accurate never mind impartial! Naturally it has come in for some criticism from both English and Irish historians and academics some of whom described it as "self-pitying and dystopian" It is called "Buried Lives" by Robert Bury. You could look at it out of interest but be aware of its considerable limitations. You did, after all, want something objective and this book is not that.

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  14. Thanks A@01:08. I've a lot of reading catching up to do on Ireland. Watched the "No Stone Unturned " film last night. Previously read Cadwallader's "Lethal Allies ". Same conclusions.
    MMM

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