Tuesday, March 30, 2010

THE IDES OF MARCH?

This blog has been of a mind to write a frivolous piece for some time now about the citizens who comment on these musings of mine. In particular about the ones who get annoyed for no good reason. For example Anonymous, who is beside himself or herself because I refer to this blog as this blog.
Or the Saint Galls amadán who accuses me of bias against the All-Ireland champions when I have nothing but admiration for them, to the point where I am endeavouring to have our City Council and our Minister of Arts, Culture and Leisure Nelson McCausland host receptions for Naomh Gall.
This blog has already hosted a Stormont reception for this wonderful Gaelic sporting institution. That was a few years ago when a good time was had by all and the bar bill was more than this blog and your man could bear. This time the state and the city burghers should pay. Naomh Gall Gaels deserve it.
But to other matters. An old friend of mine, Brendan Hughes, has been in the news this week. The Irish News actually devoted eight pages on one day and three pages another day to a book containing interviews with Brendan.
This book by Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre appears to be a rerun of an earlier tome by Ed Moloney.
Mr Moloney and Mr McIntyre have written books and countless articles attacking me, and in its time the IRA leadership.
I knew Brendan Hughes well. Better than Ed Moloney or Anthony McIntyre. And I cared more for him and about him than they ever will. Some time I hope to get the space to reflect on my life with Brendan and the separate twists and turns of his life, and mine.
He wasn’t well and hadn’t been for a very long time, including during the time he did these interviews.
He also carried with him an enormous sense of guilt over events surrounding the first hunger strike. This made him very vulnerable even before his health deteriorated.
However, that is no excuse for his involvement in this book.
Brendan also opposed the peace process. That was his right. His assertion that the struggle was not worth it is wrong.
The fact is that the decisions taken collectively by republicans have improved the quality of life for people across this island; have ensured the growth of republican politics and created a new and dynamic context in which there is the potential to achieve reunification and independence.
Brendan could and should have been part of this. For a mixture of reasons he wasn’t. That was his choice. Like everything else he was involved in. Big boys didn’t make him do it.
I reject any suggestion by Ed Moloney, or anyone else for that matter, that I have ever sought to distance myself or to disassociate myself from the IRA.
Anyone who recalls the years of conflict and the countless interviews I gave, and still give, in which this issue is raised, will know that I am the person most frequently interviewed about the IRA and who defended the right of the IRA to engage in armed struggle, which thankfully now has ended.
I am proud of my association with the IRA. It was not a perfect organisation and it made many mistakes. Its business was war and in the madness that is war the IRA did many things which deeply hurt people.
I regret that very much and I have worked with others to ameliorate this. Some victims’ families do not accept this. That is their entitlement. I reject absolutely any accusation that I had any hand or part in the killing and disappearing of Jean McConville or in any of the other allegations that are being promoted by Ed Moloney.
The issue of the disappeared is a terrible legacy of the conflict. A grievous wrong has been done to these families. Republicans are trying to right this wrong and have been trying to do so for some years.
The effort to do this was initiated by me after I was approached by some of the families involved. There are many other initiatives, mostly private, to bring healing to victims of the conflict. Republicans are very centrally involved, in personal as well as more formal elements of this.
Some of the allegations made against me are very serious indeed and, bizarrely, by an accuser who is not here to stand over his claims. I feel sorry for him.
Every other republican I have spoken to has a totally different view. As I have said before on other occasions, there are many people who would be prepared to give an account of their actions during the war and who would have the courage to do this while they are still alive. A process to do this is needed.
They include republicans, loyalists, unionist politicians, British politicians and British state forces. And me.
I have made it clear to both governments and in public remarks that the legacy of the past requires an independent, international truth commission to be established by an acceptable and reputable international body. It is a matter of public record that I personally would be prepared to give evidence and to encourage others to give evidence to such a genuine truth recovery process.

21 comments:

Terry Quinn said...

Its tragic and sad that a man who this community had so much respect for should be used in this way. Ed Maloney has a lot to answer for and is it any surprise that extracts are being realeased weeks before an election, coincidence I think not.

Marc G said...

Gerry

You won't remember but we met at Easter 2008 and had a brief chat. I've also read much of your work. I disagree with a lot of what you say, but agree with more.

What I can say is that my impression is one of an honest, trustworthy person. I fully support your call for a full inquiry into those terrible years and I hope you would stand by your pledge to give evidence to such an inquiry. I fully recall your statements in the mid-90s calling for an equivalent to the South African TRC, something which I would wholeheartedly support. As I supported your idea for the Maze to become a museum, but that obviously didn't happen.

Keep pushing for a real inquiry into what happened during that awful time. While I may be critical I will happily support a campaign for the truth to come out and help the people of the island of Ireland to lay the ghosts to rest.

P.S. - hope Collette's doing well. And Aine. This last year can't have been easy.

Anonymous said...

tut tut
the interviews were conducted in 2001.
why do you have to smear everyone?
It will catch up one day.
Tell the truth Gerry

Micheal said...

That is a fair and reasonable position that you hold, Gerry, and you can't say any better than that.

The IRA has cleared it's side of the street to an acceptable level, as far as I'm concerned. That cannot be said of the British side, and you described there the components of that side.

People who lost loved ones, have a right to know the truth about what happened to them.

If people think that only the IRA was responsible, then they're always gonna be trapped because they'll never know the truth. That's sad really. But it's not my problem. That's their problem.

And I can't do nothing for the haters.

And then there's the people that want to think that. Latch on to a grievance here and there. Make it all negative to reflect their world. Can only pray for them really, and try my best not to take on that virus.

Did you see a documentary on BBC called "Women" 3/3 Activists? Brilliant emotionally and hugely significant and reasonant for progressive political parties like Sinn fein. Although there are no political parties, quite like Sinn Fein.

The work the party is invoved with is progressive and inpirational, on a daily basis. For example, Minister Gildernew meeting with the new head of the IFA John Bryan. Or MLA Daithi McKay
Meeting with the community and the PSNI on policing in Rasharkin.

Also, a masterpiece on Anger/Rage is the film "28 days later", with Robert Carlyle.

Happy Easter Buddy. It's the big one for us.

Timothy Dougherty said...

" In the beginning was the Word..." -- John 1:1
Some word are better than others. We said Gerry. I would seem that this would startjust as the long-awaited Saville Report is now nearing publication. I would only think this another way of moving from the real stories and real problems and victims of Bloody Sunday.This typical attitude to try to move emotional support from one place to another.It's a sensitive and difficult problem ,the truth is.
I do think "This Blog" has a ring of truth to it , as well.The truth of man remains tied to social life, the indirect route takes the human sciences through political ideals.It is one thing to value freedom and another to undersand the real cost. You over many others understand this cost of freedom. Thanks Gerry

Ed Fdeighan said...

Gerry it is such a shame that you must defend yourself time and time again from idiots that have never met you. I think now is the time to reward yourself with a heavy law suit.I have met many IRA men over the peace years at places such as the Felons club and in Ballymurphy and find it very hard to beleive that they were taking orders in 1970 from a skinny long haired young political activist. You would think over forty years the Brits could also produce a live witness to back up these phony accusations. Take care and have a happy Easter, just wish I was at beechmont avenue to hear your speech. E.F.

Interested said...

I don’t who this piece is aimed at or who you think reads it but the reality of this whole situation and the upcoming revelations about the IRA is bacily who people believe Brendan Hughes a leading member of the Provo’s or someone who was never a member. May I take this opportunity to put a few facts to you which I the ordinary Joe Soap on the street is armed with
1. You were never in the IRA
2. was the IRA not a completely secret organisation
3. How would this organisation then accept someone not a member to represent them at crucial takes with British in 1972?
4. Maybe I have not being listening but you were also close to the Hunger Strikes also
5. Why would the Hunger Strikers want someone not a member of the IRA to represent them?
Strange organisation they really were

Anonymous said...

You sound bothered by these recent snipings and accusations Gerry, lets hope thats not the case. One one think after so many years of similar mean spirited bemoaning against you that you would have gotten used to it or just phased it out. Heavy lies the crown and all that...

Kate said...

Thank you Gerry for this article.
As for being "This blog" well Anonymous might apply for a job as school nurse (remember them?) a perfect job for a nit-picker.

While this recent book and contents of same may appear damaging, I doubt if those of us who appreciate your dedication in bringing peace/justice & unity to ALL will give credence. This must be the focus today.
Horrible things happened in times of war, and will never be forgotten.
Hold your head high Gerry, and continue in your quest along with Sinn Fein and the people who support you, as a person and a politician..even a "Blog".
I'm both pleased and proud to consider myself one of those people.
Years ago, some thought "It's in the papers, so it must be true"
Others said "If you believe all you read...you will eat all you see" that about sums it up.
Thanks again Gerry. Best to you, your family, and Sinn Fein.

Ta ar la anois

Kate (fadas ommitted)

Peter said...

The fact that the accusation has been made from beyond the grave and can neither be queried, proven nor disproven, and any 'facts' are 38 years in a hazy distant past, make you wonder at the motive for their use. Perhaps Mr. Maloney should find other ways to sensationalise his books, but you have to admire his abilty to self publicise his 'work!. Speaking as a survivor of a loyalist murder attempt, I resent the 'Moloneys' of this world who'll still be milking the past for all they can make from it for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

Brendan Hughes had considerable standing within the republican movement.
He was a man of considerable integity, and you know that better than anyone.
His views carry considerable weight.

Anonymous said...

just admit it you were a member of the pira why are you ashamed to admit it?

Anonymous said...

Gearóid a chara,
Pat here again, I don’t care that you write “this Blog” I just want to know why you write it.

Anonymous said...

gerry, i find it hard, to believe anyone now a day, but why do people keep saying things about you that arnt true,when people say things , you and the party allways have an excuse ready to put people down, brendan wasn mentely sick when he done the interviews, i feel its a case of denie all no matter what the case is , are you in deniel?

Anonymous said...

Frivilous? That post may have started off as frivilous but it quickly changed tunes.

You may have written about this in the past and I'm not aware of it but could you talk about relationships you have had that changed over time. Brendan Hughes would be an example but I'd also be interested in knowing about relationships that started off bad but improved over time due to changes on the ground due to the GFA?

Is there any Unionist politician you could publicly identify as a friend? Or is there a Unionist politician who would call you a friend?

Slan,

Watching from Boston.

The Yank

Anonymous said...

Mr. Adams:
Were you aware that in the fine print of the bill to assist the people of Haiti the US government has agreed to spend $22.5 Million (USD) on the Rev./Dr. Ian Paisley Peace and Human Relations Museum?

As part of the award, the U.S. Congress has agreed to grant Dr. Paisley the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor for his cross community work and his unbiased treatment of people from all backgrounds and of all faiths.

And were you also aware that today is the 1st day of April and it's
APRIL FOOL DAY!!!!

Diarmiud said...

Maith thú Gearoid. Like many other prisoners, Brendan Hughes was a victim of the conflict also. How sick and sinister can these people be to use tapes made by someone after he dies to slander and smear the very struggle which Brendan stood for ?
When Anthony McIntyre and Ed Moloney coaxed Brendan into giving interviews, did they tell them about their plans for a book ? Did they offer to share the money with him that they are making from this scheme ? I doubt it. I'm sure a lot of people will wonder what was Brendan thinking at the time. But I think the more serious questions are for Messrs mcIntyre and Moloney, both of whom are long-time, hardline critics of Sinn Féin in general and Gerry Adams in particular. I'm surprised this hasnt been noted by any of the media hacks interested in this. I think that you've done a powerful job articulating your position Gerry and defending the work of Sinn Féin against this most recent assault. Like past attempts, it's designed to stymie the surging struggle for freedom. It will fail.

stiofan_olaoire said...

I have the greatest respect for you gerry,you've giving a lifetime of dedication to irish freedom and unity,i also have the same respect for darky hughes,god rest him,this man was an inspiration to bobby sands and others,and a dedicated volunteer on the outside of long kesh,and i know you know that better than anybody.

Anonymous said...

Gerry,
Coming into Easter and with all the negative anti press you have been getting recently, I will be thinking of you; you are in my prayers. I still standfast that the British government is a ruthless machine that work on the basis of elitism. I stand tall that you are a voice against the greed and I for one respect you, you are not alone. Is Míse Neil Burns. Happy Easter and God Bless

Fionnuala Perry said...

Hello, would just like to comment on the input by Dairmuid. I think your comments in relation to Anthony Mc Intyre and Ed Maloney border on the ridiculous. Mackers proved to be a more enduring friend to Brendan Hughes than the so called fairweather ones who fled, once Brendan started to denounce the path the republican movement had taken.Brendan Hughes was denied the right to speak while he was alive. Now like all the others who spoke out against the big farce, he has been declared by the Sinn Fein medical staff as half mad. Shame, shame, shame.

Anonymous said...

ahhh i see you even censor comments ? what ever happened to the right of dissent ??
Hypocrites !!

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