Sunday, January 4, 2009


January 4th 08


As 2008 comes to an end scribblers and scribes, hacks and ordinary decent journalists are filling space with copious copy about the twelve months that have expired. This blog is about to follow suit. Blogging is new to me. It is an entirely foreign place. So safety first! A quick backward glance before plunging forward into space and into whatever it is that we will all face in this new year of 2009.

Bertie gets my prize for great farewells. He did it in style. No matter about the Tribunals, Bertie exited stage left via Westminster, Washington, the Boyne and eventually in an amazing piece of theatre, Government Buildings in Dublin. Rumour has it he was advised a little while before by a very senior party rep that the FF ice was wearing very thin and that maybe, just maybe, he might be pushed if he didn’t jump.

Not so much a heave as a hint of a heave. But methinks Bertie knew the game was up anyway. He didn’t need anyone to tell him. And though he resented being so advised he put it to one side for the duration of his departure and left with considerable panache and a great deal of aplomb. Long runs the fox.

Another wily and older fox bowed out also last year. Ian Paisley gave all of us a really good spin on the merry go round in last twelve months of his leadership. In my view he was genuine about his embrace of the process. I don’t mean that he was up for all the equality measures and other necessary protocols. But he was up for creating a better atmosphere and embracing powersharing and partnership between the people of this island. Eileen Paisley put it very well when she spoke at the Battle of the Boyne ceremony in County Meath. In the end it was all too much for his colleagues. So Ian went. He also did it in great style. And his loyalty to his party peers was in marked contrast to their disloyalty to him.

The Celtic Tiger went out with a whimper. Its nine lives were kaput. Not long after Brian Cowen’s arrival. Remember the scenes at Leinster House that day and throughout his constituency for days after? It was like Offaly won the All Ireland. Then the government took the summer off and the Celtic Tiger expired. And the government didn’t notice. Not for a while anyway. Why would they? Sure it wasn’t their money anyway. They were too busy not bothering to read the Lisbon Treaty.

Bertie had something which so far Brian Cowen has been denied. Bertie had luck. He was steeped in it. 2008 brought no luck whatsoever to our present Taoiseach. Will 2009 be any different? We’ll see.

As the seánfhocál says ‘It’s a very unlucky man who is unlucky all the time’.

So there you are. My first blog almost finished. But not quite.

As I sit here on the first day of this New Year, my thoughts are with the people of Gaza. The attacks on them and the people of the Palestinian territories are totally and absolutely wrong. The timing of the current Israeli offensive is as calculated as every other aspect of these operations.

It is no accident that these attacks occurred in the last weeks of the Bush presidency. The Israeli assertion that its operations are in response to Hamas’ rocket attacks is threadbare. The rocket attacks should cease. Israeli citizens, like Palestinian citizens have the right to live in peace. The rocket attacks also play into the hands of the militarists on the Israeli side.

The timing of their current offensive is directly linked, in my opinion, to Barack Obama’s move into the White House on January 20. It comes after a lengthy embargo on Gaza and the closing of border crossing. Those responsible seem to be about making sure that the ongoing crisis in the Middle East is the new US Presidents first foreign policy test.

The rest of us need to make sure, as best we can, that the international community, and that includes the White House, uses it considerable influence to bring about a lasting peace settlement. Anything less will see the continued cycle of conflict, death and destruction in that region.


Cúl a' Tí said...

Bliain úr faoi mhaise duit, a Uasail Mhic Adaimh.

Mr Reality said...

Great to see you have taken up the blogging Gerry. Like your first poster I would also like to wish you a Happy New Year and a big thank you for your leadership over the years.

AnPiobaire said...

Happy New Year from New York!

Anonymous said...

As you have pointed out now that Ahern and Paisley have taken stage left, isn't it time for you and McGuinness to ride off into the sunset?

rebelog said...

May God be with you and bless you,

May you see your children's children,

May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.

May you know nothing but happiness

From this day forward.
Sláinte Gerry.Happy New year from Cleveland.......E

Inspired Writing Research said...

For once in my life, I'm not the last person to do something (ie blogging!) and I actually did something before 'de udder guy!' (I have a blog, no less) - thanks for the blog post, and welcome to the whole new worldwide vortex that is blogging! You've a lot to learn, like all of us - mostly about what NOT to do when blogging lol! If my ancestors hadn't been chased out, this would've been in Irish - ah, the pity of it!

Never mind, as a writer I look forward to seeing how 'the great work' blog develops!

PS The Streets was one of the best short story collections I ever studied!

Happy New Year!

Donncha McGabhann said...

Firstly, Happy New Year Mr President.

Secondly, there is a typo error in the other Mr Presidents name. ;)

Hopefully Barack can bring change and peace for the Palestine people.

Patrick Lismore (jr) said...

Mr Adams,

As a young guy from Lenadoon Avenue, Its good to see that you are embracing modern technology. Blogging outlet is an excellent way to keep in touch with the electorate.

Soon my friend and I will be launching our oen web sites. They will enhance transparency in local government and hold politicians to account in all democratic nations for the decisions they make.

We hope that you will check out our web sites before we go live. (IE) (UK) (EU) (TV)

your own URL Gerry is

kind regards

Anonymous said...

An mbeidh Sinn Féin ag feidhmiú chun Gaelscoileanna nua a éascú sa bhliain nua? Ní bliain mhaith a bhí i 2008 do Ghaelscoileanna. Níl go leor scoileanna a oscailt i mo bharúil ónar cuireadh deireadh le Gaeloiliúint agus tús le Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta. An bhfuil an spreagadh agus an dílseacht don chúis caillte? Beidh sé fíordheacair Gaelscoileanna nua a bhunú faoi mholtaí nua na Roinne, Meánscoileanna ach go háirithe! Cuir deireadh le cúlú, cúngú agus díshealbhú na ngaeilgeoirí.

Seán Ó Briain said...

The Irish Government not only needs to distance itself from Israel, but also from it's largest miltiary aid - The US of A.

What's happening in Gaza right now is absolutely disgusting. Israel has been condemend by UN human rights watchdogs for years, but yet still continue to create an environment that spurs on anger and hate.

The UN has been too passive towards Israel.

Le meas,
Seán Ó Briain
Port Láirge

Donal said...

Should that not read eh Gerry?

Welcome to the blogging world, looking forward to more of your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Bertie had Michael McDowell. Michael came out of the Progress Dem hum
What is your New Year Resolution for Belfast?

It was good to hear someone stand-up for the Palestinians a little more than just a cursory glance.


Anonymous said...

Gerry Adams has a blog - Maybe this means Ian Paisley just got his first mobile phone?

Jimmy said...

"Bertie gets my prize for great farewells. He did it in style...

"Another wily and older fox bowed out also last year."

They say good things come in threes.

USA said...

Welcome to the world of blogging Gerry.
As I wathced the news here in Philadelphia this evening, the reporting from Palestine all seemed so pathetic. Anderson Cooper (CNN) and others dressed in bullet proof jackets miles from the action in Gaza city, talking ad nuaseum about Isreali objectives, Hamas rockets etc, without using citizen journalist out there who are providing footage from inside Gaza city.
In the west we are horrified by events such as Mumbai yet we rationalize the slaughter of Palestinian civilians.
I agree the Israeli's have an eye on Jan 20th and the Obama inauguration. Look to see the Israeli's wind things up by then. Especially as a Isreali election follows closely on Feb 10th.
Thisis what the Isreali settlers are up to on a daily basis without fear of prosecution.

Brian said...

What a jolly style you have Mr President. Lets hope your sunny style is adopted by all the politicos in the coming months - hey who knows with politeness and good grace maybe you will all start to work together on the problems we have in education housing and health.

The Groomsport Shinner said...

Welcome on board Mr President,

From your first post it is quite clear that you are like a Ballymurphy Fidel Castro, fearing not who you may disappoint with your honest and forthright rhetoric.

More power to your typing finger!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"FF ice was wearing very thin".. reminds me of the line:

"If you go skating on the thin ice of modern life, don't be surprised if a crack in the ice appears under your feet".. Pink Floyd "The Wall"

Welcome to blogging dear Gerry.
I was just leaving, but now I'll have to stay.

Rory Carr said...

While we must, and I sincerely do, welcome any new blogger to our scrutiny, most particularly the leader of what has been a dynamic, revolutionary organisation such as Sinn Féin, I am not so confident that it is possible for a leading member of a party in government to sustain the reaction that one's comments must (if the Blog is to be successful)attract from both 'friends' and 'enemies' alike.

The moderation facility will of course allow control against overbearing vituperative assault but over-zealous use of this facility that may tend to become a necessary protection measure may also appear (and indeed can turn out to be)political censorship and that is death for any politician that drifts even slightly left of centre. Right-wing political bloggers seem to manage fine with this and seem quite happy to delete all but the most sycophantic cheerleaders.

A progressive must not try this but I fear that such objective balance is practically impossible from any politician that engages in the power game (however "pure" one's motives).

The experiment however is promising and I do sincerely wish you well. Ironically the proof of its success (and your integrity as a blogger)would be if , a year from hence, you were soundly cursing comments from such as me in private while holding the ability to quietly confront any issues that we might have with you openly on the blog.

Anyway, that's enough from me and very best wishes to you.

bogtrotter said...

Is it your intention to allow any debate/interaction on your blog?

e.g will you be responding to comments?


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the blogging world, Mr. Adams.

With the collapse of the Free State economy, I think it is relevant to revisit the corporate tax issue.

As the recession takes hold, it is becoming more obvious that public services, neglected throughout the boom years, will not meet the needs of the people. Conditions at Inferior (structurally) schools, hospitals and other services, that should have been improved and upgraded during the boom years, will further deteriorate in the post-tiger era.

Might this be an opportune time for Sinn Fein to revisit its position, or indeed form one, on Corporate Tax? Questions such as: Are low Corprate Taxes a short term fix- or economic growth mechanism? Do low Corporate Tax rates fail the state, in the long term? While there was many's a budget surplus in the boom years, why did the aforementioned infrastruture continue to disintegrate?

I have heard that Sinn Fein are attempting to begin a nation-wide economic discussion, led by Arthur Morgan, I believe. The growing recession creates a space for this type of discussion; a debate that could not be held during the money flowing boom years.

Anonymous said...

Nice opening blog, I disagree with what you say about Israel though, a lot of people find it very hard to conceive that the Jewish people have some legitimate security concerns - they aren't inherently evil people who desire to see muslims killed (despite what this decades new 'right' politics, aka Nazis or BNP, would have you believe)

Anyway, glad to see this was all in English, I think pretty much everyone in Ireland and Northern Ireland (or the six occupied counties as some of the other commentors probably call it) can speak English but only a very small number can speak Irish, so you are wise not to exclude most of your audience.

Anonymous said...

Great to see our local MP sharing his views on local and international events, as well as working along side your local media outlet.

Great opening blog and best of luck with it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you've said about Israel/Gaza. Is there any way, in your opinion, that we can do more to put pressure on Israel to stop the slaughter? Existing boycotts seem to have little effect and are a blunt tool. Any thoughts?

LizHaren said...

If you thought the loyalists were out of their minds just wait until you see the psycho's that come out of the woodwork to comment on your blog. You are such a decent and gentle human being, why wade into the muck.

Liz from New York.

Anonymous said...


Nice blog.

Can I suggest that the option to register email addresses be added to allow visitor learn about new posts and also as a resource of people interested in the party and its aims.


joe said...

Dont even no what blog means.some kind of fancy text stuff good to see gaza is on all our minds at least the kurds have the mountains as there friends the people of gaza are like fish in a barrel to be shot at will as brendan behan once said the terroist is the man with the small bomb

Kate said...

Well done Gerry.
looking forward to more


Anonymous said...

gerry your so full of yourself its unreal. Imust say you give sean mc kenna a great send off probably the best IRA leader we had in our movement and thats the send off he gets how nice of you

cornubian said...

Interesting blog. Welcome to the Celtic blogoshpere.

The Cornish Democrat