Monday, December 21, 2009


December 21st 09


Over the weekend I had a notion that this blog would be a good place to cogitate over family and life and its burdens and all that goes with that. I thought I might deal with some of the events in the life of my clan and in my own life. Events which are now in the media. But on reflection it’s too near Christmas for all that. Maybe some other time. But not now.

For now I want to thank all those people who have been so good to me and my family. Búiochas to the professionals who have been so kind to us. And to friends and comrades who have phoned and texted and sent solidarity greetings. And emails. And others who don’t have my contact details but who sent words of support through third parties. Or cards.

Thanks also to others who approached me on the street like the woman who came to me after Mass to say her family were in the same situation. By the time I got home that day four people told me the same thing. And that was before I did the interview with RTE.

People are good.

And thanks also to my wonderful family for their grace and forbearance.

I offer John O Donoghue’s Beannacht up to you all. To family, friends, detractors, naysayers and supporters alike. It is in a wonderful book Anam Chara, which I meditate on from time to time but it came by email to me on Saturday from a very good sister from Clare. It is very appropriate for the mood I’m in. Seo daoibh:

Beannacht – Blessing

On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.

And when your eyes
Freeze behind
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak to mind your life.

Nollaigh Shona Daoibh Uiligh.


Steve said...

Best wishes, Gerry.

Maria said...

I'm thinking of you and about what you are going through and I hope brighter days are just around the corner.

Micheal said...

Coming from an Irish labouring class of people myself Gerry, dispossessed, oppressed, and brutalised for hundreds of years generation after generation, no news of abuse is news to me.

Too well I understand the perverse consequences of generational subjegation and the violence and despair that flow from plunder, rape and pillage unresolved.

Let the spirit of freedom cry out from the forgiven at the right hand. Our ancestors, seeing now through the glass clearly and baptising us in the anger of his righteousness which knows not the confusion wrought of the transfered guilt of another.

let the reconstructed bourgeoisie wallow in their denial, consoled with their falseness and fable of existence.

We always love our own, especially when we hate them.

Linda Coleman said...

Gerry, I haven't been around your blog lately because of U.S. political stuff, but you've been on my mind this week. As we navigate the health care bill, I'm always reminded of the patience you showed during the Good Friday Agreement negotiations, and have tried to convey that to others who want things to move faster.

I was thinking about you yesterday, and did a google search to find your blog link again; that's when I read about what you and your family are going through right now. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, and me & my family wish you peace and comfort in this challenging time.

Nollaig Shona Daoibh.

Juan said...

Mór barróga mo chara Gerry

Timothy Dougherty said...

I can not feel that your stand and willingness to tell the tell of your family and history is part of a greater Irish story. I also feel that your openness has helped many people of Irish backgrounds, looking to the their feeling and family life and history. Abuse is not a only Irish issues for sure and not just a Irish social problem, but some of the Irish social condition , I feel for sure in the history of Irish social life could be in some way contribution to the problems. The subject is vast and can not be fully put in a few comments, but a people under stress can do things that would not be in their minds otherwise. In no way is the social problems in the history of Ireland a excuses for any type of abuse, but history tells use this is a factor. I myself have spent many years and studies and have earned degrees in both Child Development and Education and for over 35 years looked into my Irish family and history . growing up poor and Irish American, I feel that peoples lives are change forever by abuse . We change the world by the way be learn and teach and you have taught a great lesson , a lesson of truth and honor. I sure that you have help many people with this openness, I wish you a great thanks for them and myself.
Years ago I had the opportunity to listen to the Movie version of "It's a Wonderful Life" with the director Frank Capra ,he was lecturing at the University ,he played the radio version to the movie , as part of the lecture , he said" that you can not learn anything about anything , unless you learn to listen" people do lisen to you Gerry and you have made the world a better place ,because your in it, Thank you Gerry

gkeenan said...

Dear Gerry,

at this difficult time you are in all our thoughts and prayers. much love to you and yours. Gerry Keenan,Liz and Sean.

Anonymous said...

Gerry, happy xmas to you and your family, your leadership in all you do is inspiring.

Derry Republican

percy said...

Xmas is so hyped up and commercial, I find the whole thing unbearable.

I love that blessing
thank you

It hearkens me to the truth that is actually going on inside ourselves,
inside all of us,
if we would but listen to its voice.


Anonymous said...

Gerry keep her straight, we are all thinking about you and your family, some things are more important than politics, noone knows what will come to their own door, im sure i dont know anyone thaat could have handled it better themselves, hindsight is aa great thing, have a peacefull christmas and keep showing leadership because thats what your best at!!!!!!!!!!lenadoon

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and your family at this time of year.

Best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year.

kieran said...

chin up mo chara, you've been through tuff times before, and you'll make it out the other side of this!

Dominique said...

Gerry, a chara,
Deirfeadh muid paidir duit fein agus do chlann ag an am deacair seo. nollag shona duit!
adh mor
le gra
clann Groves, gCill Uaidhe

JJ said...

just thinking of you and ur family hope you get a bit of a well over due break at xmas. stay strong your a great leader thank you for being there for all of us over the lat 40 years .....JJ

Terry Quinn said...

Just a mwssage of support for you and the clan Gerry, your dignity and honesty is inspiring in this tough time for you and the wider family. Nollaig Shona Duit

Ginty A'Town said...

A chara mor thinking of you and your clann, very brave what you done over the weekend.Stay strong.Nollaig shona daoibh

Pat Mc Larnon said...

Well the hounds are in full flow and the manner of their hunt is of surprise to no one. It is only the latest in a line of such political and partisan attacks.
As it is great fortitude is needed by yourself and family in the days ahead. You have the support of more than you will ever know.

PH said...

Respect and Best Wishes at this time a Chara

adrian said...

thinking of you and your clan at this trying time and hope you all a happy and peacful christmas

adrian said...

thinking of all your clan at this trying time and hope you all have a happy and peacful christmas.adey petronella and family

Anonymous said...

Gerry, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers at what is obviously a very hard time. May you all find the strength to face these difficult days and find your own peace to move into what will hopefully be a bright future! xoxo

eilishjackson said...

gerry and entire adams family our thoughts are with you all at this difficult time nollaig shona daoibh eamon eilis agus na paistixx

Mr Reality said...

Your strength and courage in facing the present situation is nothing more than I would expect from someone of your stature. Stay strong Gerry, and best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and the clan at this hard time Gerry.

Hope all works out for you.

Good luck.

Your friend and comrade.

Michael said...


I also had to navigate my family through 'unchartered waters' and with all my experience mustered I still couldn't find the easy path.

So although your situation is on a different level, I hope you and your family find harmony and unity through this episode, knowing the good will prevail.


Linda Coleman said...

The blessing is beautiful, I love it. I also wrote a blessing for my friends, not nearly so eloquent, but along the same lines; I wish the same for Gerry and everybody who posts on this blog:

May the Joy of Christmas be upon you.
May the anticipation of the New Year inspire you.
May the coming decade reward you
With an abundance of life's simple pleasures.

Helen said...

Sending loving thoughts to you and your family. Your openess will play a small part helping other survivors and their families heal.

Anonymous said...

Best wishes to you and your family at this time. You have given us true leadership throughout your life at times when it must have been personally extremely difficult for you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

ben said...

Gerry , we wish you strength and our thoughts and hopes are with you and those dear to you at this time.

Anonymous said...

best wishes from the basque country gerry, all the best to you and your love ones.

Micheal said...

Gerry, have a lovely and peaceful Christmas with all the joy that it can bring.

I'm having a lovely holiday already and I'm delighted that I didn't get held up because of all that bad weather.

I've just bought a book of yours called, "The New Ireland" a vision for the future. I think I've read nearly all of your books so far.

Take it easy on the black stuff over the holiday and don't be competing with your man. (ha ha)

Feardorcha MacBranar said...

Gerry a chara tá mé ag tabhairt tacaiocht duitse agus Áine agus do chlann uilíg ag an am seo crua.Tá suil againn go mbeidh nollaig mhaith agaibh agus blian uaír faoi mhaise daoibh ó Fred,Maria,Clíodhna agus Aoife.

Ardoyne Republican said...

So sorry to hear of your personal and family struggle in tackling abuse.

I hope you all but particularly Aine can get justice and the proper help she needs to come to terms with others actions.

In the meantime, try and enjoy Xmas and I hope the New Year brings you and your Clann the strength to carry on.

Nollaig Shona Daiobh,

Paul Mór said...

Gerry a chara,

Thinking about you and the entire clan, hope all works out well and you've a happy Christmas and peaceful new year.

Best wishes comrade,

Paul Mór

Sinead Travers said...

A chara mor thinking of you and your clann, you handled the whole issue very honourably, your dignity and honesty is inspiring in this tough time for you and the wider family, Nollaig shona daoibh

Theresa Rafter Moriarty said...

Gerry, a chara, think of you and your family, especially this Christmas Season, wishing you all everything that you wish for, and health and happiness and better days in 2010. Theresa Rafter Moriarty. West Kerry

Anonymous said...

Gerry, a Chara. Anois is arís, bionn an saol deacair agus is dócha nach feidir linn é sin a sheachaint. Ach casann gach bóthar!! Beannachtaí na Nollag oraibh go léir. Risteárd Ó Fuaráin, Cathaoirleach Shinn Féin i gCiarraí Thuaidh agus Luimneach Thiar.

Daithi said...

Gerry are thoughts are all with you and your family at this diffcult time.
Nollaig Shona Daoibh

sam said...

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers at this Time.
Wishing you and all your family peace,love and strength for Christmas and into the future.
God give you Wisdom,
God give you Grace,
God give you Courage,
God give you Peace.

Alan Conway said...

A chara,

thinking of you and your family and hope you all have a happy and peaceful christmas.

Peadar said...

Beannachtaí na Nollag ó Pheadar, Fergus agus Foireann SF Bhaile Brigín. Christmas Greetings from Peadar, Fergus and the Balbriggan SF Team.

Mark Moloney OSF said...

Best wushes Gerry

Thoughts are with you and your family

Nollaig Shona Daoibh

Marc G said...


You won't remember, but we met in Dublin at Easter 2008 and chatted briefly. I've always been struck by your honesty and integrity, despite my differences with some of your views.I've also had experience of abuse (although physical and emotional) within my own family. It took some serious courage to make the statement that you made. My thoughts are with you at this difficult time. You'll never get real closure, but there are ways to deal with these things. And the way you have handled this is an inspiration.

Hope you've had a good Christmas. Looking forward to your next post.

Katrina Groves said...

"History says, Don't hope/On this side of the grave/But then, once in a lifetime/The longest-for tidal wave of justice can rise up/And hope and history rhyme./So hope for a great sea change/On the far side of revenge..

Proud of both your transparency and courage during this painful time.

All the best.