Gerry Adams: he’ll have to go



At the time when much of the Irish media was baying for the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, I remember making the point that people who hitherto had been indifferent to the welfare of the Catholic Church or even openly hostile to it appeared to have developed a sudden concern for its welfare in general and its leadership in particular. In recent days I’ve been thinking along the same lines about Sinn Féin and Gerry Adams.

It is no exaggeration to say that with the single exception of Jim Gibney in the VO,  you’d search high and low, far and wide before you’d find an article in the Irish press that presented Adams in a favourable light. There were all sorts of reasons given why he should step aside: he was obviously lying about not being in the IRA, he covered up on sexual abuse by his brother Liam, he was guilty of the death of Jean McConville, he was an economic illiterate, he speaks bad Irish….You can probably produce a few more reasons yourself which the Irish media north and south have used why Gerry should step aside.

So let me for a moment have a  think about this. Supposing I’m a Sinn Féin party member (no, Virginia, I’m not) and I’m scratching my head about reasons why Gerry Adams might be better to go. I’ve heard all the reasons why he should step down; now are there any reasons why he shouldn’t?

Well, there’s the Good Friday Agreement, for one. It is safe to say without fear of contradiction even by the mouth-frothing right that without Gerry Adams, the Good Friday Agreement wouldn’t have happened. Without Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin wouldn’t be the political force it is today. Which is?

Well in the north Sinn Féin are overwhelmingly the most popular nationalist party. They’ve achieved something that no other party managed to pull off: enduring power-sharing with the DUP. They’ve effectively dismantled much (although not all) of  the trappings of the traditional Orange state. They’ve moved from republican violence to exclusively republican politics in the north. With massive success. If present demographics continue, it is only a matter of time before a Sinn Féin politician becomes the First Minister of Northern Ireland.

Now the south is undergoing a similar change. I can remember a time when Sinn Féin had the support of less than 2% of the southern electorate.  At their last outing they almost trebled their number of Dail seats. Next time out, it’s expected that the party will probably double the number of seats it secures. It is neck-and-neck with the two other major parties, according to the most recent polls: Fine Gael 21%, Fianna Fail 20%, Sinn Féin 20%. Those are only opinion polls but there are few people who don’t believe Sinn Féin will make considerable progress in the coming elections next month.

During the time of this achievement north and south, the President of Sinn Féin was? That’s right – Gerry Adams. Under his leadership, Sinn Féin have transformed politics north and south. He personally, the latest polls tell us, is the most popular party leader in the south. That’s the same Gerry Adams whom so many column writers and editorials insist  must stand down if Sinn Féin is to make progress, particularly in the south.  Go figger.

99 Responses to Gerry Adams: he’ll have to go

  1. boondock April 22, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    SF have peaked in the North and will only increase again when those with ‘baggage’ have left, likewise in the South a party led by McDonald or Pearse would have a real chance of getting into government

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      Sounds familiar.

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

      Would you give me good odds on that, boondock – the peaking thing?

      • boondock April 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

        Jude the SF vote has been around 25% for over 10 years now with not much sign of a major improvement. At the last Euro election SF got 26% of the first preference vote leaving aside voter apathy and the reduction in turnout across the board Ill stick my neck out and say SF wont improve on this. If they get over 27% Ill give Ten pounds to charity but if they get below 25% then its over to you Jude.

        • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

          Ah for God’s sake, boondock – I asked you what odds you’d give me and you talk about charities. I’m a hopeless political soothsayer but if you’re going to give to charity, give a bit more. If they were 26% first preferences last time, let’s have it you give £50 to charity if they get more, I’ll do likewise if they get less. One thing I feel pretty certain about: they haven’t peaked.

          • boondock April 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

            Fifty quid! Nolan and Radio Ulster must pay good appearance money these days. Its a good bet because they wont be far off that 26% one way or the other. You are on money bags 50 quid for charity.

    • James McGlone April 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

      I remember hearing the same when they were sitting on 12% of the vote.

      Unless you’re mystic meg, I wouldn’t be too confident as yet.

  2. Mick Fealty April 22, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    Wasn’t Martin joining in the braying with the other ‘liberal’ donkeys in the media herd?

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      You mean Martin was calling for Gerry to retire? Don’t remember that.

      • Mick Fealty April 22, 2014 at 10:40 am #

        Sean Brady…

      • Mick Fealty April 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

        I did argue back in 2009 he should go, but he can’t/won’t now. The party’s two state strategy needs his personality and authority to keep things together.

        The Irish political earth will shake in May, no doubt about it. Dublin and the border counties in particular will see a massive rise in a new regional SF dominance.

        Good progress (, and much of it I have to admit down to Adams…

  3. Cal April 22, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    Love him or hate him, Adams is box office. SF simply wouldn’t have the same profile in Ireland or abroad without Adams.

  4. giordanobruno April 22, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    It was not a sudden interest in the welfare of theCatholic ChUrch that led to calls for Brady’s resignation. The church can appoint anyone it wants to spread its mumbojumbo, but when the welfare of children is in question then it is the business of all of society.
    Or do you think we should all pass by on the other side of the road, so to speak?
    Not very scriptural.
    As for Gerry it is the same point I think. SF can keep him on for ever if they want but his dubious record regarding his brother’s activities is a legitimate cause for concern for all of society.
    Having said that it would surely be better for us all when the old soldiers get off the stage.
    Like Moses they can lead us to the promised land but they cannot enter themselves.
    That’s two biblical references from me in one post. Too much Easter egg.

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Ah yes – you’re nothing if not predictable, gio…
      1. The shouts for Brady’s head (note: I’ m not saying he was the best leader the Irish Catholic Church ever had) was led by people who showed no interest/showed hostility to the CC up to that point. Odd, the sudden rush of concern for who was its leader.
      2. Are you saying that Brady staying in place would affect ‘the welfare of children’? Do me a favour, gio. The discussion was, should he have followed through some thirty years earlier.
      3. I admire your modesty, casting yourself as the Good Samaritan.
      4. Why is his ‘dubious record’ a matter of ‘concern for all of society’? And how would his leaderhsip of Sinn Féin have bearing on his record. If he wasn’t leader, would that change his ‘dubious record’?
      5. Why would it be better for us all that ‘old soldiers’ get off the stage?
      6. Why can’t they enter the promised land?
      7. Stop eating chocolate and stop talking… No, scratch that. Just stop eating chocolate, gio.

      • giordanobruno April 22, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

        Why is it not our business if a public figure has behaved in a dubious manner?
        The accusation that both Brady and Adams had knowledge of children being at risk is certainly a matter for wider society. Are you saying it is not?
        And as for old soldiers there are just too many bloody hands and too many memories. They belong to the past.

  5. michael c April 22, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Jude ,with regard to the VO ( the Irish News),they seem to have adopted a policy of “my enemies enemy is my friend” with regard to SF.I have been conversing with friends from different parts of the 6 counties over the weekend who are scratching their heads at Irish News reports of “disso” parades “bringing towns to a standstill” and “one of the biggest parades” (etc).In fact anyone who saw these outings described them to me as pathetic events and an embarrassment to all concerned. The Irish News must be unique in the newspaper world in being completely out of step with the political views of readers.

  6. Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Good morning Jude
    I enjoyed your blog and found it very interesting? When a party threatens to blow up everything and everybody, and use the threat ” the armalite or the ballot box’ then you can be pretty damn sure you will get everything you want.
    When the good God fearing women of the party helped that poor woman on her way to death, leaving ten children on the mouth of Christmas, they must have hearts like stone! I might add here a good protestant woman, who produced ten good children. ( I do hope not for the cause) who had the attributes of the Good Samaritan, she helped that young soldier who was injured, ask any priest she was doing what Jesus preached.
    Then another quote from the bible, ‘suffer little children to come unto me’. God will show no mercy to anyone who hurts children, so I would say the Adams family are doomed! God will deal with them. The woman continue to support these people, when they have other choices.
    Gerard Adams is no better than his predecessor, at least in his favour you knew were you stood.
    Adams is the Devil, and Tony Blair and Bill Clinton all had long spoons to supp with him!
    We are like the Jews, we are not going anywhere, we have no where else to go Sinn Fein and their likes will not scare us, they did’nt for forty years of bombing and shooting. So they had better accept there is two tribes of Ireland.
    Why has he not been lifted yet, has he got a special deal going on, or better still is he a double agent.

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      Good afternoon, Norma. Welcome aboard.

      Where to start? Myabe the ‘blowing up’ bit. For the last twenty years at least, SF have committed themselves to politics, not violence. The violence which preceded that, we could discuss until the morning – like, who did the first killings, the sort of state we had here , etc. But let’s draw a line 20 years ago and look at SF from there, OK? Seems reasonable.
      I agree completely that the death of Jean McConville was a ghastly affair – as were all the deaths in the Troubles, including those catalogued in Anne Cadwallader’s book ‘Lethal Allies’. Nobody came out of the Troubles with clean hands, and we shouldn’t pretend otherwise.
      Gerry Adams is not the devil, I promise you. He may have been demonised but he’s not the devil. And of course Blair and Clinton both have bloody records that would make Irish republicans look like high-tea vicars.
      ‘We are not going anywhere, we have nowhere else to go’ – I assume you mean unionists? If so, and I really don’t know how unionists miss this, they are having hands of reconciliation offered to them at every turn. The unionist people have a vital role to play in any new Ireland – one with real meaning and real clout, unlike the echoing House of Commons when any NI matters are discussed.
      If all the people who were involved in the Troubles were lifted, the prisons wouldn’t be big enough to hold them. The GFA essentially gave an amnesty to those involved. Hard for victims to swallow, I totally agree, but it’s the deal we voted for. Time to implement it, Norma, and push on to a better, more open and reconciled future, and one where the unionist population can play a hugely important part. I mean every word of what I’ve said, Norma. You have the choice of thinking me a liar or that I’m speaking the truth.

  7. Gerard April 22, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Couldn’t agree more with Michael C. Talk of erigi being one of the largest parades yesterday is blatant lies. They quoted an organiser from Saturday’s dizzy parade in Ardoyne as saying 1000 were there, complete crap as was 200 at very max and that is being very generous. The Irish news have been at this for a while, anyone who is anti SF gets extra coverage. Me thinks with dizzys they are playing very dangerous game besides the fact of actually reporting untruths.

  8. paul April 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm #


    Rest assured there are long spoons waiting for Big ian when he goes along with Peter, Ken Maginnis, Trimble and a host of other ‘democrats’. The devil will be busy cooking for all your crowd.It seems to me that a one eyed view of the conflict is all most unionists can muster.

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

      I cut this short Paul, I am as clean as a whistle I am married to a Catholic. BUt and there always is one, I have my own religion and I was born a Unionist I make no apology for that to no one. I grew up in the sixties with seven of us in a house with no bathroom, no running hot water and outside toilet. The point I am making is we were just as badly of as the poor Catholics, it was not one sided.
      Secondly the ANC in SA are now in power and treating the whites worse than APARTIED .
      Who is to say the same thing would not happen here.

      • RJC April 22, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

        ‘I was born a Unionist’ strikes me as an odd turn of phrase. I thought that Unionism was a political ideology, as opposed to being some sort of birthright. I have not lived here long though, so many of the intricacies of this part of the world are lost on me.

        As for the fear that Unionists will somehow be treated badly once they find themselves in the minority I would echo Jude’s sentiment that we must “push on to a better, more open and reconciled future, and one where the unionist population can play a hugely important part.”

        The past is the past. We need to look to the future.

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 7:14 am #

          Try asking that question to the whites in South Africa. I was born a Protestant, into a unionist back ground. I do not suffer from an inferior complex that is why I stand up forth right and inform you this is who and what I am.
          I am also married to a great catholic man who I adore, and we have been together 27 years. We lived in South Africa. I am Irish born and reared BUT I am British just like the Welsh or Scots or English. I am a royalist of my own free will. I believe Ireland should be united and the great flag flying over the country. I also think the Irish would be better off with the pound in their pocket than the euro.

      • paul April 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

        Norma, the working class of both sides suffered greatly. There was harm done to and by all sides in this conflict. My point is that yes Unionists have suffered, but so have nationalist s and republicans. Whenever I read about the DUP of TUV etc, it seems there is always a one eyed view on the past. They lay the entire blame on republicans. They ignore the fact that thy live in a state where discrmination in jobs and housing were part and parcel of the foundation of that state. I have condemned Kingsmills, The abercorn,Enniskillen. I also condemn Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, state collusion with Brian Nelson, Robin jackson, the Glennane gang and others. I have also stated here several times, I woul;d like to see an Ireland where all traditions have a place and have respect. I firmly believe republicans have extended a hand of peace on many occasions, yet the DUP et al won’t accept it. That is the problem for me. Their hands are no cleaner than those of anyone else.

        • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

          I cannot disagree with one word you have tweeted. I do hope there is a happy and peaceful end to it all.
          It was a dirty filthy war ghat still continues to shock me. I lived through it, unscathed, but I still get confused by it all. I was brought up knowing right from wrong good from bad. Now in this world you get rewarded for being BAD.
          I love all sides of the divide. In a hundred years from now who knows how it will all pan out?

      • Moyra April 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

        Oh dear Norma. As a fellow white South African (non-catholic, does it even matter?) I feel obliged to speak up at this point. I am white and I am able to take myself off to the SA embassy in Dublin to vote on Wednesday. Last time I looked I did not see any ‘blacks only’ toilets, buses, restaurants, beaches, taxis, trains, schools, supermarkets, parks, public benches etc. Good grief, the list goes on and on. What there is in SA, is an undercurrent of anti-white sentiment coupled with the idea that the white people have it all resulting in some hectic violent crime. And yes, of course the BEE rule does not work in the favour of a white person seeking employment. I cannot agree that whites are treated worse though.
        I support and look forward to a united Ireland. Relax, I cannot see a repetition of SA internal affiars happening in the North. Blessings.

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

          Why don’t you book yourself in for two weeks at the beautiful Coronation Park Hotel in Gauteng, might I suggest you go five star full board. Do tell me how you fared when you get back.

          • Moyra April 23, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

            I suggest you spend some time in Diepsloot Norma. Let me know how that works out.

      • Anton April 23, 2014 at 8:51 pm #


        I think you could do with looking into South African politics and history some more. Your assertion that the ”ANC in S.A are now in power and treating the whites worse than APARTHIED ” is ludicrous, baseless and a grossly insensitive insult to the Black population in South Africa.

  9. michael c April 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Gerard,after the last council elections the Irish News reported on a dissident event in the lough shore area of Tyrone.Apart from exaggerating the attendance they reported that anti agrrement candidates had polled strongly in the area.This was completely false as SF’S 2 candidates in the immediate area had polled over 3 quotas and the dissos didn’t even stand.They did stand a candidate in the Coalisland / Galbally area who couldn’t even manage half a quota.I rang the paper to complain and was connected to a female member of the editorial staff.When I asked her if the blatent falsehoods would be corrected ,she told me in a superior manner that they wouldn’t and that I could take a running jump to myself.

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Michael C – are you familiar with the expression ‘pissing into the wind’? Your experience is not the first of its kind when the VO is called, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

      • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 7:16 am #

        What is VO

        • Argenta April 23, 2014 at 9:16 am #

          Norma;Since Jude is busy defending the the honour of the Republican movement from the media conspirators,I will explain.The V O is his ironic name for the Irish News where he used to be a columnist.For reasons unknown,they dispensed with his services and you might gather from his blogs that it is no longer his favourite paper.

          • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 10:57 am #

            Nothing unknown about it, Argenta. I foolishly boarded the good ship ‘Daily Ireland’ (MUCH better pay, for a start), which alas sank with all hands 18 months later. Since which time they gather every Friday afternoon at the VO and stick pins in a replica miniature of me…

          • giordanobruno April 23, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

            “I foolishly boarded the good ship ‘Daily Ireland’ (MUCH better pay, for a start), which alas sank with all hands 18 months later.”
            Cause and Effect?

  10. michael c April 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Jude , as I stated previously what other paper is so unrepresentative of the political outlook of its readers.Every story is angled to show SF in the worst possible light and its columns are thrown open to every crank with an anti SF agenda. The pronouncements of Dissos who are a laughing stock in their own areas are given front page treatment as if they were the utterings of some political collosuss.Totally false impressions are given of areas of the North ,one example being the Bellaghy area of south Derry which is so overwhelmingly pro SF that the SDLP are thrashed at every election and the dissos wouldn’t even contemplate standing a candidate.

    • Jude Collins April 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

      That’s why it’s a real pity a newspaper with less of anti-republican bias hasn’t blossomed here (not to mention that the going down of ‘Daily Ireland’ with all hands left me a columnist without a column. I’m surprising Sinn Féin don’t address themselves to that – it’s amazing how much people will believe if it appears in the papers. In the south, the electorate have been imbibing garbage from the Sindo for years…

      • Argenta April 22, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

        If there is a market for a paper with a republican slant,why did Daily Ireland fail ?Can we infer that ultimately ,not all republicans were buying the paper on a regular basis?While there are clearly a variety of views on the Irish News and some of its content,its sales figures suggest that it is broadly popular within the ” nationalist ” community.

    • Paddy everton April 22, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

      After reading Noam Chomsky’s “Media Control” I never read the press in the same light again.

    • giordanobruno April 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      michael c
      It is worth pointing out that SF received the vote of about 12% of all those eligible to vote in the 2011 election.
      You are making quite an assumption about the readership of the Irish News

  11. Paddy everton April 22, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Some I in Ireland seem to recoil from those who have taken part in the liberation struggle, but only while they are still around. Once a certain period of time passes then they have streets, train stations and even hospitals named after them. What other country treats it’s patriots in such a shameful manner?
    Mandela was classed as a terrorist and later lauded a peacemaker by many who once wanted him dead. Adams was prominent at his funeral. Perhaps because the South Arican people saw through the hypocrisy and could recognise the fact that he is a force for progress in Ireland.
    When Adams takes his leave of this mortal coil history may view his contribution in a clearer light than the narrow minded and self serving media who fear the changes that Sinn Fein will bring in government in the South.

    • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 6:36 am #

      Nelson Mandela was a womaniser wife beater, bomber communist. If you google him today you can see him with Joe Slovo singing ‘kill the white man’ he was a bad bastard and I hope he is stoking the fires of hell. You know the old saying Birds of a feather flock together.
      Africa will go the same way as Zimbabwe 95 percent unemployment 2000 percent inflation. Gerry should go there and fix it with all his expertise.

      • Siobhan April 23, 2014 at 9:39 am #

        Norma, you’re very bitter. Where’s the positive outlook? The hope? Isn’t this where Unionists are going wrong time and time again? Nothing positive to say and zero leadership…only interested in having a go at the other side. There’s no future in it and people are seeing through it. We all want a better future..but unionists just seem to want to obsess about the past … and a one-sided view of the past at that. Unionists owe it to their future generations to want more, to want better…and to stop hating so much.

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

          How do you come to the conclusion I am bitter really. It’s called self preservation. Have you seen the statistics for the Protestants down the south. You don’t know me to come to that conclusion. Maybe you should ask my Mother in law who incidentally is a devout catholic, she will tell you and I am quite confident when I say this, her number one daughter in law.
          How dare you make that assumption.
          Better than that I could take you to friends in Twinbrook and Ardoyne,

      • Gearóid April 23, 2014 at 11:09 am #

        The tone of your references to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa are more than a little disconcerting. Could you elaborate on what you see as having gone wrong in South Africa and Zimbabwe?

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

          Are you joking, please tell me you are! I would not know were to start.
          You had better start googling. I might suggest you start with the POOR WHITES SOUTH AFRICA.
          Then you can put in JULIUS MALEMA, EFF ECONOMIC FREEDOM FIGHTER, then White genocide in the farm land.
          Not only do the blacks kill them, they disembowel them, rape them, and rip them apart with broken neck bottles.

          • Moyra April 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

            What I disagree with Norma, is that you inferred that what goes on in South Africa post apartheid might occur within a united Ireland. Yes, the violent crime is unbelievable and white farmers have suffered terribly. Do not however, fool yourself into thinking that white people are the only ones who suffer violent crime. It is fact that 50% of women in SA will get raped. The stats refer to ‘women’ not ‘white women’ although it seems that there is so much more noise when it is a white women that is raped, not so ?

      • Moyra April 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

        Norma, in the words of JF Kennedy ‘Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.’ You appear to be a most bitter and angry woman. It is documented fact that Nelson Mandela tried peaceful negotiations for years. He was a great man who led black and white South African’s peacefully through what could have been very troubled times. Yes, there are problems in many African countries, but there are equally as many success stories. Colonialism has a lot to answer for.

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

          I am squirming my face here, for the past 20 years the ANC HAVE HAD POWER and nothing has changed for the Blacks. I think any rape is a tragedy. I never implemented APARTIED or carried it out. When I visited my friends in SA their maids would call me madam, I insisted on my name not madam. They did not know Ireland only Lady Diana. I lived in KZN.
          How do you figure I am angry and bitter. Please define this, as you state you are from SA you contribute to the APARTIED system.
          And please don’t quote JFK to me, not a good example at all.

      • Paddy everton April 23, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

        Norma, South Africa has many problems. That I agree. The fact that the entire continent of Africa suffers from colonialist exploitation is the root cause of much that you seem happier to blame on Africans than Neo-Liberal governments such as Briitain and the US. How many of Britains PM ‘s or US Presidents would have been guilty of war crimes had they been tried?
        Nelson Mandela for all his faults left the world a better place than he found it. How many national leaders can say the same?

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 10:29 pm #


          • Pointis April 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

            Hi Norma,

            That type of response is disrespectful to the previous contributor as is FFS!

  12. michael c April 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    I have to say that the SF publicity department is much too docile for my liking.They could respond in a much more forceful manner to the many misrepresentations that are pedalled.

    • paul April 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm #


  13. Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    Hi Jude,
    Good reply, oh if only everything had a happy ending like in the fairy tale books. Do I feel Irish yes, do I love this country yes. Am I afraid of a U.I. Yes.
    When Ireland was partitioned in 22 I started to search for answers as to why these people hated each other so much. What could have caused so much hate, was my people to blame?
    I soon found out it was not so one sided, the part that shocked me the most was the Catholic Church. I was to learn that to marry a catholic back then, you had to give up your religion, any children had to be brought up in the faith, surely that was a firm of ethnic cleansing.
    Last but not least my GGP’s were run out of the south, their land and farm stolen. They ended up in Belfast. My family never spoke of it, we were all brought up to be law abiding, honest good people.
    There is a lot of walks to come down on both sides, a lot of getting to know one another.
    I am lucky I was never touched by or involved in the troubles. I am from the brigade who is a loyal subject of the Queen. I do hope we have a few more years yet with her. I am also IRISH

    • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      I am truly pleased that you are involved in this debate Norma. It’s a pity there weren’t more like you. Re the ‘Ne temere’ decree and the Catholic Church – today it looks dictatorial but by the thinking then it was reasonable: the CC figured that it shouldn’t give its blessing to having children of a Catholic parent raised as non-Catholics. I can understand the thinking. But really, raking over the things that were done – does that move us on? It’s well past time people reached out and offered genuine friendship and warmth to those who see the world differently. I was watching Newsline 6.30 just now and they figured the Giro d’Italia would cause major road closures. Eh? Every summer we have road closures so the Orange Order, a force for division if ever there was one, can strut its stuff. Actions, not words – that would be nice. Scrap ALL marching. End of.

  14. michael c April 22, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    Norma,I am intrigued to learn that you started your research in 1922 .Have you completed your thesis or is it ongoing.Saying that you had to be at least ten years old when you embarked on this massive project ,I commend you on your stamina and I hope I am as alert and articulate when I reach 100 years and beyond.

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

      Sorry Michael,
      That’s were I went back to. I was never taught Irish history at school, I only went to that year to find out how this part of Ireland came about, and as I explained my Great Grandparents had to flee, up to Belfast.
      I have no problem telling you my age I was born in 1954 I left school in 1969 I lived in a completely Protestant area and never knew a catholic until I left school and started work.
      I am still friends with her today and she came from Ardoyne.
      I do not feel in any way responsible for the troubles, back then all I was interested in was the Beatles, style and of course boys.

  15. Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    Jude hello again,
    On a completely different note, when the Hyde Park bomber first appeared on TV I remember thinking so that’s what a bomber looks like, or even Patrick Magee who blew up the Brighton Hotel they both looked so normal.
    On the news tonight two war memorials have been vandalised. What sort of home do they come from, who would enter a graveyard, and be so disrespectful to the dead. My grandfather went to war and fell at Dunkirk, taken POW to Berlin and died 3 weeks before the yanks liberated them.
    If the Catholic children are so ignorant to these facts, is it not time some of this funding was put to use to educate them.
    You know the rest Jude more Catholics were in the two world wars, and brought more VC’s.
    What do these people look like, what sort of homes do they come from, they are ungodly.

    • ben madigan April 23, 2014 at 9:56 am #

      If you want to see how catholic ex-servicemen were treated in northern ireland after WWi and II Norma you should have a look at

      • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

        I really appreciated your reply. I know some a lot of prods are ignorant to these facts. I shall be studying these facts later on. But I hope you will be as honest as me, and agree their own people IRA REBELS call them what you will, did not recognise them either. I owe a debt and gratitude to them all, they give theirs up for the likes of me.

    • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      Norma – I’m agin the vandalising of graves too. But the what-kind-of-homes-do-they-come-from line takes us nowhere. The one thing you can be pretty sure is that they come from poor homes. As do a lot of the flag protestors. They feel our society doesn’t give a monkey’s about them (with some justification) so they return the compliment.

      • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

        No excuse Jude
        I never vandalized property in my life. Graves, show some respect, really.
        My Grand Mother is buried in Glenalina at the side of the Whirerock Road. The last time I visited her grave was 1987. Between the the condoms, and beer tins I found it too distressing. Poor my arse.

  16. Chris April 22, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    How does Norma feel about the UNDEMOCRATIC partition of Ireland by a violent British threat, no plebiscite no referendum, no vote just a blatant act of political terrorism!!!

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      I just could never get my head around why the Irish from all 32 counties went over to Britain. If they brought them all home Ireland would sink! I have never read anywhere about Jews looking to get into Germany just looking to get out?
      Liverpool is the real capital of Ireland. No go feel the bumps on your head, gently your are deluded, brainwashed, compromise. You probably believe all that shit you have spoon fed over the years. IT TIS WHAT IT TIS GET OVER IT GET A LIFE FFS

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      You talk about political terrorism where have you been the last four decades

      • Gearoid. April 23, 2014 at 9:01 am #

        Ooops, I think you’ve touched a raw nerve there with Mrs Wilson!

  17. Chris April 22, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    War memorials, how many of those who ‘fought’ in the ‘war’ killed (murdered) civilians, oh that’s right they are ‘our hero’s’ catch on Norma!!!

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      Did I not say more Catholics fought in the two great wars and brought home more Victoria Cross’s.
      Did you not read me right. The trouble is when there is no law and order, this is what happens. Lack of respect dysfunctional vandals, what do you think God would say???

  18. paul April 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    Norma, I think you have a strong dislike for Catholics. God loves us all, at least mine does.

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Either I am not articulate enough to put myself across to you, or you are only reading what you want? I AM MARRIED TO A CATHOLIC. I don’t think Ireland should ever have been divided but it was, and this is what I was born into and I have never felt the need for change! I do not think I ever got any special favours just because I was born a prod. Nor did my Father or my Grandfather’s

      • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

        I’m married to a Mayo woman. I can think of at least one Mayoman I can’t stand…

        • Argenta April 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm #

          Said Jude standing beside Enda! But that’s irony,isn’t it?!

          • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

            Yup. Tomorrow we do sarcasm…

  19. michael c April 22, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    Funny enough Norma,I don’t feel responsible for the troubles either and I didn’t have to go back to 1922 to find that out. My father switched on the news one night in 1969 and I instantly put down my copy of the Beano ,being somewhat distracted by the sight of Bombay street in flames and the sound of a Browning raking Divis flats,

    • Norma wilson April 22, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      Michael I answer that with an honest reply. I have no idea why that happened, I don’t wish to make little of it, I could not have imagined what that would have been like.
      I could also tell you that many of my friends when we left the slums if Sandy Row moved to Creeslough. Lenadoon carrigart were shot at, children beat up, milk bottles tampered with, dogs poisoned, washing lines cut down. We don’t seem to have the same PR as you’s or as long memories.
      We could both bring up old scores. My late Father worked for the MOD as a civilian and was a legitimate target, who gives anybody the right to threaten people going to their place of work!
      You must be ok on a lighter side if you read the Beano, I also read the Dandy topper beezer. I can only reiterate once again. I had great parents they just would not let any of their children get involved. NO WAY

  20. michael c April 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    You’re lucky you had room to read the Beezer.Being one of a family of 16 ,only the Beano would fit in our front room.

    • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 6:44 am #

      Well I bet you there is not too many nowadays having 16 children. God it is something I could not imagine. The big question is how could you afford them.
      Yeah I would agree with you. You were lucky to get any comic. Imagine if everyone had 16 children the world could not sustain it, maybe that’s the reason for such a poor quality of life. Choices and decisions, we would rather have a better standard of life and not have so many mouths to feed, or to say, sorry you can’t get that we cannot afford it.

      • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

        I was the last of eight. I’m a strong supporter of families of eight.

  21. neill April 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

    Jude should have just said that St Gerald of Adams was a truly decent upright man and anybody who disagreed was simply a west brit or a prod would have saved time and energy

    As for all this other guff about a new ireland yeah never try to kid a kidder

  22. Thomas Russell April 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    Norma, interesting points. I don’t agree with them, but it is very good to hear your first-hand unionist perspective, from your generation. So please do continue to post it & don’t be discouraged by any unpopularity or disagreement.

    Some people here are unhappy that you start your history from 1922, because the gun was brought into 20th Century Irish politics by Unionism in 1913, when the formation of the UVF threatened violence if the lawful Home Rule legislation was implemented.

    The leadership of political unionism, and the State, won’t accept their part in creating & furthering the Troubles, preferring to say ‘It was the IRA’s fault. A variation on your own ‘Gerry’s the devil’.

    Of course, it doesn’t help that unionists weren’t taught their own Irish history in school. Does anyone on this thread know if protestant schools do Irish history now??

    Well, as Paddy Mayhew was wont to say, we are where we are, so it’s good that you’re looking into it.

    I take your point that, as a working-class Protestant, you didn’t feel advantaged over Catholics. Fair enough. However the statistics show that, since NI was set up, Catholics, on average, have been &, even now, are still are less well off.

    Indeed the fact that there were lots of poor Protestants is one of the reasons that the leaders of political unionism used Orangeism to prevent class solidarity & keep Protestants afraid of nationalists (no wonder you seem quite afraid of a United Ireland).

    In any case, keep on keeping on. Keep enquiring, reading, and contributing – nobody here has a monopoly on wisdom (apart from, maybe, Giordano).

  23. michael c April 22, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    Gio,are you asserting then that more Irish News readers support the Dissos who get about 0.i % of the eligible vote or the SDLP who get about 5% of the elegible vote?

    • giordanobruno April 23, 2014 at 7:42 am #

      No I’m not. A large portion of the electorate do not vote, though they may well buy a newspaper. Combined with the SDLP voters green voters who may be Nationalist, and yes some Unionists read the Irish News too, it just means I am questioning your assumption.
      But to be fair, I don’t know and you may be right. Maybe they have stats on the voting preference of their readers. A quick search only shows one for the UK but there may be something else.

  24. Virginia April 23, 2014 at 2:21 am #

    Yes Virginia it is true some blog posts are too long to read. ( this one was almost as long as another we scanned on MU’s choice to get a foreign coach, Virginia is exausted)

    • Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

      Are you saying that I write too much, Virginia? Tread softly, for..etc.

  25. Gerard April 23, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Michael C: To add to this the Irish News have given those commenting on parades from a negative viewpoint a leg up. Only recently they gave a big fat headline warning of a long hot summer regarding parades when this came from a non-elected anti-SF candidate in the forthcoming council elections.
    Talk of thousands of loyalists and ‘republicans taking to the streets is a regular. Last 12th July they had a headline on front page saying up to 5000 ‘republicans’ due to take to the city centre for a so-called anti-internment march when everybody and their ma knew there was no chance they would get anywhere near this amount, which they didn’t.
    One has only to look at the letters page and see the high-profile (top of page) anti SF writers get. Today’s is an example where anti-SF letter is top page while a letter from a SF MLA is bottom. Even the other day they gave a letter from USA super-republican Martin Galvin its usual top of the page position while one from a Minister in the North’s Executive, Carál Ní Chuilín, was at the bottom.
    Stoops first quoted in every story even when they are non-existent on the ground when it comes to the related issue. Me hopes the public give the Irish News the result they are not hoping for come May 22nd!

  26. michael c April 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Gerard ,I had to laugh at Galvin ‘s take on the Ivor Bell case.He put it all down to Bell being the mastermind behind the election campaign of some boy called Mulholland .Apparently the Brits were so worried by Mulhollands imminent success that Ivor had to be “interned” to deprive the candidate of his greatest asset.Galvins theory went somewhat pear shaped however when Ivor was released in a couple of days and a week later Mulholland withdrew from the contest ,sensing victory was far from assured!

    • Gerard April 23, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      Didn’t read Galvin’s latest keyboard effort at influencing peoples political thinking but take your word for it. Martin’s ego and politics is like a battered mars bar, the mixture just doesn’t do it for me.

  27. michael c April 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    Norma ,only having room to read the beano was only a small part of the nightmare of my childhood.Saturday night was a nightmare in our house.My father usually escaped to the pub ,leaving my mother to get us ready for sunday morning mass.Imagine in this day and age a woman in her 40s having to struggle with 5 cwt of coal to get the bath emptied so that her children could be put through their ablutions.

    • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      I don’t need to imagine, my own Mother filled the twin tub, put it on to boil then pumped it into the tin bath. Oh I can hear you now saying luxury, Two single shillings went into the gas meter for heat, from the oven, then my Mother had to empty it, from buckets right down to pots.
      We were green and organic long long ago.
      She reared us through the troubles, and we all prospered. Everyone drove went abroad lived abroad ( South Africa) were I did not have a maid. Owned business’s employed people. All own our own property,
      Oh and for good measure my parents slept on the settee, and the two small rooms were occupied by five children 3 girls and 2 boys.

  28. michael c April 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Despite all our tribulations ,my parents were not consigned to the settee and that might explain why there was 16 of us.

  29. Jude Collins April 23, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

    Is this a competition for who had the toughest time as a child? Thirty years too late – Monty Python did it back in the day…

    • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      No Jude
      Just letting you know that Catholics don’t have the monopoly on hard times. My catholic husband who came from a family of 8, had a bathroom and a car. We are both first born’s with only 13 months between us, so as far as I am concerned, that myth is wrong.
      Just another point to others letters, I don’t follow the orange order, I don’t read either the news letter, no that’s wrong sometimes I look at the Irish news in my mother in laws house. I love the daily mail, and the Sunday times.
      I make my own mind up about everything I am not easily influenced, I don’t vote DUP
      I HATE republicanism, vandalism, and nationalism Respect to all and as for my young life in Sandy Row Donegall Road would not change one day if it?

      • Gearoid. April 23, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

        Norma, please, give us all a break here, you hate nationalism? No one in this discussion so far has been more nationalistic than you! Except that for you, it’s the acceptable type of nationalism, BRITISH nationalism! Honestly, you unionist/loyalist/royalist people, (whatever) are so irritating with your constant one sided, blinkered view of THE TROUBLES! Wake up, get real……..and by the way in your little foray into Irish history, do yourself a favour……..go a little further back. Maybe even as far as the disastrous Plantation!

        • Norma wilson April 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

          Sorry Sorry the minute I sent it on its way I knew I was wrong. Planters Gearoid will leave that for another day. I go right back to France, who planted you here, and we’re did your race come from, we will keep this for another day? My apologies once again.

  30. michael c April 23, 2014 at 6:50 pm #

    Are you only catching it on now Jude!

  31. ben madigan April 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

    to add to the debate – i was brought up in a large Edwardian pile with a courtyard, an external laundry and extensive gardens,
    One neighbour had an entire wing that was never used,
    Others had maids in black uniforms and frilly white aprons to open the front door to callers.
    I had tennis, music, dancing and riding lessons.
    So trump that!!

  32. michael c April 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Ben,what sort of lessons would that be?