Stephen Collins and taking a stand


“Be careful what you wish for” Arlene Foster warned Sinn Féin when they were pressing for a referendum on partition. She might have been better directing her words to the anti-republican elements in the Dail and media south of the border. For years that partnership urged on northern republicans the need to abandon violence and walk the democratic path. When Sinn Féin did just that, the anti-republican alliance were aghast. They were happy to have Sinn Féin in politics but this had always been on the assumption that they would be political illiterates. Now it’s becoming increasingly clear that Sinn Féin are rather good at politics – in fact very good, judging by their progress north and south. So that leaves the anti-republican constituency in the  south doing a backward flip: now they’re grasping desperately at Shinner coat-tails and trying to pull them back to violence recollected in tranquillity. If you want a good example, try Stephen Collins in today’s Irish Times (how many times must I tell you, Virginia? He’s no relation).

Stephen’s piece is headed “Sinn Féin bullied other parties with Gaza publicity stunt”. See what he did there? Killed two republican birds with one stone. Or tried. Sinn Féin were bullies (shades of violence) in the manner in which they acted, and their action was simply a publicity stunt. And what was that ‘stunt’? Gerry Adams called on TDs in the Dail to stand as a demonstration of their solidarity with the people of Gaza and the Middle East. Apparently the Ceann Comhairle was very upset about not being told in advance (“I do not want to be put in that position ever again!” ) Meanwhile “some TDs silently fumed, Stephen says,  at the irony of a party which supported a campaign of terror and murder against the civilian population of its own country”, etc , etc.

Poor Stephen. He keeps trying to grab those Shinner coat-tails and drag them back to 1974 or even 1984, but each time he tries it has less success. If there’s irony, it’s that republicans were exhorted to abandon violence and when they do, they’re blamed for having once resorted to violence. No word on context or violence inflicted on them and others – just their “terror and murder”. Sin é.

Now it’s true that no political party acts or speaks without some thought as to how this will play with the electorate. Sinn Féin are no exception. But maybe, just maybe, their solidarity with Palestinians is genuine? It certainly has a long history – there hasn’t been a Shinner Árd Fheis * in decades which hasn’t included Palestinian representatives.

So maybe Mary Lou was being truthful when she got stuck into Joan Burton for showing more concern over Irish citizens in the Middle East than in the carnage being meted out to Palestinian children and boys playing football on a beach. Just maybe Gerry felt a dramatic in-the-Chamber gesture might do something to let the world know where Irish politicians stand in relation to Israeli butchery. And just maybe the people caught in the living hell of the Gaza strip would want never to be put in that position again,  even more than our fuming and protocol-sensitve Ceann Comhairle

As for Stephen: a word in your shell-like, dear name-sake. Adams and McDonald and their colleagues will be cheered to the echo by people who don’t give a damn about politics but feel that what’s going on in Gaza is contemptuous cruelty. Anything that draws attention to the Irish people’s outrage at this cruelty is welcome.  So if you must talk about bullying, Stephen, maybe do a piece on how the state of Israel has been treating the Palestinians for decades now. Wakey-wakey, old chum.

* An earlier version, as a kind reader has pointed out, had Árd  Chomhairle  instead of Árd Fheis. I was, of course, very very drunk at the time…

44 Responses to Stephen Collins and taking a stand

  1. peadarmor July 19, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Too right Jude. I can’t help but go back to what Jim Molyneaux said about the IRA ceasefire being ‘the most destabilising thing to happen to Northern Unionism’.
    But it also has had the exact same effect on Southern Partitionists who like you said didn’t think the Republican political strategy would amount to much.
    That the Sinn Féin advances in Irish politics is scaring the bejaysus out of Unionists and Partitionists can be heard and seen and read on the media most days North and South. Such is the concern that establishment ‘bigwigs’ such as Professor Murphy are summoned to the fray to try and bolster the anti-Sinn Féin agenda.
    This can be seen clearly as Unionists and Partitionists flounder that agreements such as OTRs and the events such as Republican commemorations in the North or support for Palestinians or the less well off in the 26 counties are attacked as Republican ‘chicanery’ or ‘publicity stunts’.
    Even your Virginia knows that all these things were at the heart of Sinn Féins raisons d’être.

    • Norma Wilson July 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      1/ the Irish had not much conscious, doing business with the USA, even though they dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan!!!!!
      2/ forgive me now if I get a bit confused, I am not of your faith. But don’t you’s pray through Mary, Mother of Jesus, all Jews.
      No mention of Popes, in the Bible, just Jews? Why oh why does Mary keep appearing to you’s, and not her own blood.
      3/ I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, god of ISRAEL.
      4/ You also talk of the irony of SF ie abandoning violence, yet you lot of hypocrites, used the exact irony on the OO.
      5/like Arlene Foster, be careful what you wish for.?

      • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

        Ach Norma – you don’t sound like your normal sunny-side-up self today at all at all. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘doing business’ with the US, but it certainly is true that the US, which invades countries because they MIGHT have nuclear weapons are themselves the only ones who’ve ever used the disgusting things. As to Mary, yes, it’s true, Catholics do pray to God through Mary, the mother of God, even as you might have a word with somebody’s ma first, if you were thinking of looking for a favour from them. God of Israel – that’s Old Testament, Norma. The New Testament is a bit of a game-changer. Not sure about the OO reference. It’s definitely an anti-Catholic organisation, for reasons best known to itself. As to wishing for something, as Marilyn Monroe (much more fun than Arlene) used to sing ” When you get what you want/You don’t want it”….I’ll expect the cheerful, positive Norma next time round….

        • Páid July 19, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

          Nothing wrong with being a Jew Norma, its the Israelis that the problem is with
          p.s. 4000 Jews marched through New York this week protesting in favour of the Palistinians.

        • Norma Wilson July 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

          Hi Jude,

          I am looking across at my husband, who as you know is a catholic, I worship the ground he walks on, there is nothing I would not do for him. But ….. he has not got a political bone in his body. All he cares about ( apart from me) is golf and photography.
          You have no idea what the poor man puts up with, but he has mastered the art of picture and no sound!
          I am at present telling him my version of what is going on in Israel, but I have not got the time to share this with you. So to narrow it down, this is a very short version.
          Israelis are like us westernised, they don’t want to convert us.
          Islam, wants to be rid of Christianity,
          Why oh why can you not see that.
          I am deadly serious, if you are just opposing this because Protestants hang out their flags, I beg you not to.
          I do not know why Protestants are doing this.
          Ever from I have been a little girl my Father told me about these vile evil people.
          On hearing today about the young Isrealis visiting down South, and having their flag removed, from some young sporting event. I would love go down south, and shove the flag pole right up the SF ARSE.
          I am fairly easy going about most things, but I would fall out with you over ISRAEL.

    • Peadar MacGhabhain July 20, 2014 at 12:36 am #

      All of your comments Jude are correct.

      Genocide is happening in Palestine , the world’s 4th largest army against stone throwers and ineffective rockets
      But its not new , since 1948 the act of ethnic cleansing has been going on , the money supplied by Uncle Sam to Zionist barbarians $3 billion per annum

      The past 13 years 1 Palestinian child is killed ever 3 days, The Dail , Irish , LOL, not a bleep of condemnation , until Adams pulled their strings

      Does it not appear all so familiar, a country divided against the overwhelming majority of its citizens , by a body controlled by the USA , the UN., and the so called civilized democratic west

      Are people so blind , are they not aware that the USA have by covert or overt means intruded in 121 countries since 1945, leaving behind disaster zones , infrastructure ruined and the blood of millions on their hands

      Does the saintly controlled south not know that America, with the help of UK,EU,NATO,UN, have become the greatest terror state this world has ever known.

      Do they not know these Israeli thugs are NOT SEMITES.?

      Can they not see the foreign agenda, set by AIPAC, followed by America and Israel, the agenda for complete control of the MIDDLE EAST, The dreadful Sykes Picot agreement of 1917, torn up and a worse one implemented

      God help the Arab nations, they have suffered centuries of oppression.

  2. Patrick Fahy July 19, 2014 at 11:26 am #

    Jude, Collins ( Stephen that is) obviously feels a decent period has elapsed since the public’s massive endorsement of Sinn Fein for him to resume his pre- 2014 diatribe against the party. Expect others in the less intellectual media outlets to now follow suit at every conceivable opportunity., and with even less finesse. No doubt,their impeccable partitionists credentials will bubble just under the surface or maybe like Collins clearly above ground. See how according to Collins republicans conducted/ supported acampaign of terror and murder against the civilian population ‘of their own country ‘ ( sic ) Now, what ‘ country’ might that be? Is the north of Ireland now a separate country as well as a separate state from the rest of Ireland?

  3. Perkin Warbeck July 19, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    It would have been crass of you, Jude, to bring up the fame/infame of another one with whom both you and Stephen share a common surname, to wit, one Mick, aka the Laughing Boy.. Crass, because it would have conjured up images of blokes, harmless conscripts in the Cairo Gang (damned d’Arabs again) getting plugged where they lay , bedded down with gals who may or may not have been their lawfully wedded, with Sunday morning coming down, in its eternal Kristoffersonian way..

    Top of the class, sir, for refusing to introduce this note of crassness.

    At first glance, I thought that ‘Wakey-Wakey’ in the last line of your blog read: ‘Wilkie-Wilkie’ and that perhaps you were referring to the Victorian novelist with whom you both also share a common surname, Wilkie Collins.

    For, how appropriate that would have been, given that ‘The Woman in White’ was the novel which first made Wilkie’s name. Stephen C’s piece referred to two women: one named Joan, draped in white, the other named Mary Lou, draped in black.

    I had only got as far as that bit before falling into the arms of Morpheus (see above), naughty youngest daughter of Mrs. Morpheus: zzzzzz. So, the Wakey-Wakey bit had the extra added bonus of waking one up and getting beyond the usual flattering snap of Mary L which accompanies the article, to the last pars when the topic turned to the lingua franca of the Leprechaun.

    Now, as one who always finds Stephen C’s comments in the Q’s English about ‘compulsory Irish’ compulsive reading, one took note and began to ponder deep, profoundly deep Warbeckian thoughts. Btw, were those two words ‘compulsory’ and ‘Irish’ born together like the original twins from Siam, Chang and Eng or were they later welded together by the West Brit Welding Works in Irishtown? (Linguistic note: hence the phrase in the Leprechaun lingo: ‘Tir gan Chang, Tir gan Anam’ – ‘A country without a language is a country without soul’. Applies both to Eireland and – mirabile dictu – to Eng-Land).

    The greatest reaction EVER to a sentence uttered in the l.f. of the Leprechaun was the truly orgasmic ‘WOW !’ of former but then President of Eireland, Mary McAleese.

    Mind you it was nothing, decibel-wise, to the ‘WOW !’ which was later recorded on the Richter Scale when the majestic Mrs. Windsor received her complimentary copy of the Beathaisneis (Biography) of Uachtaran na hEireann (President of Ireland) which landed on the Axminister carpet of Buckingham Palace. For – WOW ! – it was penned in the Queen’s English itself.

    Mind you, it was somewhat late in arriving as it had been inadvertently addressed to HM, c’o Buckfast Abbey. That was possibly due to the biographer being one, Archbishop P. McGarry (prelate of the D’Olier than thou Diocese of D’Olier Street and of course, colleague of the equally devout Stephen C). No patsy he (may his tribe increase !) when it comes to sussing out the financial implix of whether to publish in the teanga of Chang or the language of Eng. Same might even be said to apply – Dia idir sinn ! Heaven forfend !- of the subject of the HAGiography, oops, biography. Perish the crass thought.

    How refreshing to see those with their halos in the clouds being able to keep their feet on the ground, going forward, moolah-wise.

    Now, IFL became as synonymous with Prez Mary as it did with Pres Obama: ‘Is Feidir Linn’ /’We Irish are can-do kinda folk’.

    But, of course, that was well known in Uachtarantish Circles long before this. Take Sean T. O’Kelly, f’instance, the now nearly forgotten President in the forlorn Fifties. When the time came for his biog to be writ it was the l.f. of the Leprechaun he chose. But, then, that might well have something to do with his dimensions which were of Darby O’Gill proportions. Which prompts one to wonder if the current incumbent will go with Chang or Eng when His time comes?

    One cannot finish this homily – it is just not in the nature of the Warbeckeian bashte – to finish without a spot of the old hypotheticals. Sean T, during the course of his Presidency, was known to tap his chauffeur ever so politely on the shoulder and request him, in the l.f. of the L., to stop/stad and to pull the old Rolls Royce over to the hard shoulder. Setting: rural. Occasion: returning from some official do involving drinkie poos. Emergency: involving the catching short of the Short One. Outcome: the watering of wayside flowers.

    Tatooed all over this incident (reckoned to have occurred on no less than 432 occasions during the course of his 7 year presidency, according to the latest research – GRMA aris/again, young Professor Diarmaid Ferriter for once more ferreting beyond the call of duty and after hours, too) was the spoken: ‘Is Feidir LIOM’. (‘I’m a can-do kinda bowsie’).

    Now – and those of one’s discerning readers will avert their sensitive eyes at this crass juncture- did, one hypothesises, the Lady Prez known as Mary the Mezzo-Soprano (to distinguish her form the Lady Prez known as ‘Mary the Bass-Baritone’) ever emulate the proto-feminist and vaudeville vamp, Mary Lloyd who was known to ‘squat on the pot’ even while trilling, al fresco’, ….’she sits among the cabbages and peas’.

    Perhaps, perhaps not.

    The Warbeckian hunch would be ‘Ni Feidir Liom’ (translation: A Lloyd was DEF-IN-ITELY out of the question.

    An feidir liom dul a chodladh aris, Esteemed Blogmeister?

    • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      Is feidir leat, Perkin…

  4. Iolar July 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

    Like a rabbit, caught in the headlights, only it was age and chemistry (or maybe lack of it), that left one former minister stewing in his own juice recently. It had nothing to do with bailing out bankers, introducing punitive taxation, opening the safety valve of migration and penalizing older people and those with disabilities? While the Ceann Comhairle procrastinates over protocol, the invasion of Gaza continues with total contempt on display for morality, legality or international humanitarian law. There is no other word to describe the actions of the IDF other than, TERRORISM. The IDF has access to sophisticated electronic surveillance, accurate aerial bombing and heavily armed infantry. An examination of the evidence of the number of casualties tells its own story. Men and women killed, children playing on a beach, slaughtered. It is a War Crime to bomb civilians. It is a War Crime to telephone residential areas in order to advise residents that they are about to be bombed. Military might failed in Vietnam. Military dictatorships in Egypt and Jordan will fail as they did in Argentina. The IDF may build more miles of insecurity walls and shoot shepherds as they tend their flocks, settlers will continue to need military escorts to facilitate shopping trips, however, it will be necessary to accept, sooner or later, that the people in Gaza have democratic human rights.

    • wolfe tone July 20, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      The deliberate slaughter of all ages in palestine is a deliberate policy honed and encouraged by settler communities for decades. Collective punishment on an entire community is to be encouraged in their efforts to force the natives to comply to the settlers ways. Kill children,women,the sick etc and blame it all on the victims community.
      We had it here in ireland when the british organised loyalist militia to deliberately kill children,women,the elderly and sick and then blame it all on irish republicanism. Shock and awe if you like. ‘oops we wouldnt have shot that old lady through her window if the IRA would just stop’ etc etc.
      ‘Oops we wouldnt have blew up them kids on a beach if Hamas would just stop’ etc etc. Comply or die is the mantra of the settler.

  5. giordanobruno July 19, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    That is hardly the way to do business in the Dáil.
    I don’t doubt that SF are genuine in their support for the Palastinian people, but why was this not notified in advance? Clearly in order to embarrass other parties.
    Maybe bullying is too strong a word, but a stunt it certainly was.

    • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      What would you say is the difference, gio, in a stunt and a dramatic gesture?

      • giordanobruno July 19, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

        Is that one of your old essay questions you set for pupils?
        Possibly it is just semantics, but I think a dramatic gesture would not involve using the suffering of others to gain political credence.
        Rather like you often say on the Jean McConville case, for example.
        Surely it would have been easy and more appropriate to ask the Ceann Comhairle for permission to do this. The fact that Adams did not do so would suggest an attempt to gain capital from it.
        So, as you say, SF are indeed rather good at politics!

        • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

          Ah gio – why do I like you? I know I shouldn’t but…If I set it, it would have been for my students, not pupils. Much too hard for pupils. `I’m not sure why a dramatic gesture wouldn’t involve suffering of others. As to gaining political credence – of course – as I said, all politicians have an eye on the electorate, just as all salesmen have an eye on the profit and loss figures.Few actions are performed for one reason only – there’s usually a mixture. In the Jean McConville case, I am convinced that those who keep raising her case again and again and again have little regard for the unfortunate victim and a lot of regard for what political traction they can gain. In this case, I think it’s the other way round. I’m sure SF hopes their actions will add to the political harvest but I think that’s a lesser motivation than their concern – which any sane person must share – for people who have been herded together and slaughtered when Israel decides that’s what they want to do. Plus the concern for the Palestinians has a long history with SF. Nobody’s 100% pure, gio – not even you, I’d hazard a guess. But it strikes me on this one, SF look to have been good at politics for a truly worthy reason. All the rest about protocol etc is so much tight-buttocked hot air.

          • giordanobruno July 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

            Perhaps you are sometimes too willing to attribute worthy motives to SF, when equivalent actions by other parties are ascribed to cynical motives.
            I happen to think,as Paddy says below, that SF generally have good instincts on international isses and I would be often be on the same page as far as that goes
            I dislike the kneejerk reaction though, frequently shown by SF supporters which assumes any act or friend of the UK/US must be evil and enemies of same must therefore be bad.
            International conflicts are rarely black and white and I at least am not so confident to claim I know who is right and who is wrong.
            As for protocols they may be hot air,but if everyone ignored them as Gerry Adams did, not much business would be done.
            If, when the assembly sits again, Gregory Campbell asks members to stand in sympathy for victims of the IRA,or victims of Hamas, where does that get us?
            Gesture politics.

          • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm #

            You may well be right, gio. Or wrong. I tend to be fairly cynical about big powers generally. I know many Americans think their country is bringing democracy and light to the world. The truth is a lot grimmer than that – have a look at its record in S America, for starters. I don’t think Britain has much muscle in the world any more, but they like when possible to make it appear so. How any parent of a British soldier who died in Afghanistan – or Iraq – or NI – can think it was all worth the sacrifice, is more than I can fathom. Your comparison of Gregory calling for people to stand in sympathy of IRA victims is so far off the mark as a parallel, it ain’t in the same book, never mind page. And have you checked the casualty list in and around Gaza recently? I think you\ll find it’s not Hamas that’s doling out 95% of the death and destruction.

          • giordanobruno July 20, 2014 at 8:56 am #

            The point is such an act by Gregory would certainly be considered out of order by the other parties, don’t you think?
            If I haven’t already made it clear, my sympathies are with the Palastinian people, though not with what Hamas are doing.
            The point is the way Adams made his point would not be considered acceptable by SF were others to do something similar.

  6. neill July 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Stephen says, at the irony of a party which supported a campaign of terror and murder against the civilian population of its own country”, etc , etc.

    What part of that comment do you disagree with Jude?

    As for Gaza I am absolutely sure that Mr Adams cares for them as much as he did for his niece.

    • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

      I’m a-wanting, as they say, Neill, but I’ll try briefly.
      ‘of its own country’ -what country is he referring to?
      He knows and I know and you know that, admittedly with some deplorable lapses, the IRA did not mount a campaign against the civilian population.
      I’m sad to say, as I glance up at your post, that you’ve made up your mind and aren’t open to listening – rather in for a bit of verbal ping-pong. I find myself growing weary of that sort of thing. Goes nowhere.
      Anyway, that’s as much as I’ve time for now. Btw, weren’t you honing a guest blog for me? Mmmm?

  7. tom rakewell July 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    Just wondering … If loyalists fired a thousand rockets towards Dublin, what would the Irish government do?

    • Páid July 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

      I’d certainly hope that the murder of innocents would not be part of their response

    • Micheal July 19, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      Nothing, they’re best friends with the Brits. The Irish army are for nothing other than a peace keeping force and diplomacy would save the day even if it killed thousands of Irish citizens. As you saw from Mr Collins piece (Stephen Collins that is) the South are more akin to taking the side of the British than that of its own people.

  8. paddykool July 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    When you consider how politicians here can get themselves worked up over the mundanities of flags and marching and say precious little about real murder like that on the Gaza strip , you know that they they don’t give a damn about morality. They’ve never given a damn .Unionist politicians never supported the quest for a fair solution in South Africa, for example. They were always on the side of the oppressor. I always remember them being so insular that they never supported Civil Rights for blacks in America either . I wouldn’t expect anything else from them . There is a mirror image of conservatism in the South too ,of course.
    Sinn Fein , to give them their due , have always been on the right side of these human debates . I think you’ll find that their support goes back many decades and is anything but a stunt. They have always on the side of the downtrodden, despite the propaganda .

    • neill July 19, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

      Paddy i suspect you have been on the wine a little early this evening.

      To claim that Unionists have always supported the oppressor and Republicans have suppported the oppressed is a little sickening in fairness.

      For many people and not just unionists find the irony of Sinn Feins position breath taking still Republicans have always regarded themselves as good guys sadly facts prove otherwise they were equally grubby and secterian as their loyalist counterparts and quite thankfully many will still throw this at them.

      • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

        I don’t think you’ll find the facts support that last paragraph, neill. Republicans certainly have committed deeds that are shocking and even vile – but not in the measured, constant, policy-driven way that many of their opponents have.

  9. neill July 19, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    As for Gaza if the Palestine people were so popular how come the other major powers in the Middle east dont help them Egypt Saudi Arabia etc the bottomline is that they despise the Palestian people as well

    If Hamas wants peace stop firing missiles and we know why they dont want to do that.

    • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      So it’s they’re only fault they’re getting slaughtered then, Neill – is that it? Do the Math as they say – how many Palestinians dead, how many Israelis. And are you in favour of people being forced off their land, herded into a small and ghastly enclave, and then bombed? Think about it.

      • Jude Collins July 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

        Gawd – that should of course be ‘their’, not ‘they’re’. There must be a greengrocer in our family tree…

        • paddykool July 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

          I got that one Jude …the grocer’s indeed …..see I ‘m on the wine at the normal time!
          Neill… I know there are no groups whiter than white …the IRA or those that supported them did some jawful things too ..that will never be in dispute…..What I said was that the republican movement always supported an anti apartheid stance…always supported the black civil rights stance …and many others such as the Palestinians ..they made no bones about it.Unionism always took the opposite approach and it can be seen on the streets …unquestionably to this day. It includes at its worst…racism and errant’s not a good look …but it’s there every 12 th of July….take a look .I don’t see too many heroes…

          • paddykool July 19, 2014 at 8:02 pm #


  10. RJC July 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    So Stephen Collins and The Irish Times use the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as an opportunity to have a go at Sinn Féin? Wow. That’s pretty reprehensible, even for them.

    • giordanobruno July 20, 2014 at 11:57 am #

      Just as easy to say SF are using the crisis in Gaza to have a go at the other parties.
      Reprehensible even for them.

      • RJC July 20, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

        You’re right, after a fashion. Perception is everything. Is it possible that GA wanted members of the Dáil to show solidarity with the people of Gaza? Or was it simply a cheap political stunt? Only Gerry himself knows the answer, and I doubt he’ll tell us.

        My point was more to do with the ridiculous hyperbole of Stephen Collins. ‘Bullied’ being the operative word in the headline. Can a party which holds a mere 14 seats in the Dáil really be in a position to ‘bully’ the other parties? Namely Fine Gael (70 seats) and Labour (34). Dear me. Whatever can we do about these Sinn Féin bullies?

        • giordanobruno July 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

          I agree ‘bullying’is a bit strong.
          But look,if you want to get consensus on an issue this was hardly the way to do it.
          Spring it on everyone like that makes it look,lets say,manipulative.
          Could he not have let the party whips know he was going to do it in a later session,for example?
          And I believe the issue was discussed on wednesday. Maybe that would have been the time to do it.

          • Jude Collins July 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

            Gio – have you seen what’s happening in Gaza? And we’re talking about Dail protocal? Words fail me.

          • giordanobruno July 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

            That’s just a copout. What difference do you think Gerry Adams intervention made?
            Certainly protocols should not stand in the way of an urgent intervention where some decisive action is being debated.
            Do you think it urgent that he get his dramatic gesture in at that time?
            Was there not a debate on wednesday 16th on this very issue, in which Pádraig Mac Lochlainn spoke? Could he not have given notice of this move by Adams?
            But there is a lot of bad stuff going on in the world so to hell with the protocols. Why bother with an order of business even? Let the man who can shout the loudest hold the floor.

          • Jude Collins July 20, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

            Sorry if I’ve touched a nerve, gio. Men, women and children are being deliberately killed by the dozen and you want to talk about protocol. Sorry. No contest.

          • giordanobruno July 21, 2014 at 11:49 am #

            A good portion of your piece is about Gerry’s stunt, I mean dramatic gesture, and the reaction to it.
            If you don’t think we should discuss it why put it in there?
            Of course the situation in Gaza is critical, but surely we can still talk about other stuff too?
            Are you saying that if an issue is important enough to any politician then they can just ignore the normal rules?
            Does this apply to all parties or can only SF act in this manner?

          • Jude Collins July 21, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

            I do hope you’re not as obtuse as you appear to be pretending to be, gio. I did not linger, as I recall, on Gerry’s call for solidarity – I emphasised the need for anyone with an ounce of compassion to show solidarity for people who’re being butchered. If you think Dail protocol trumps that, there’s nothing I can do to cure you. Which is a pity.

          • giordanobruno July 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

            A few middle aged men shuffling to their feet for a minute will make no difference to the people of Gaza. Discussing Adams’ behaviour in no way means it is more important than the issue of peoples lives.It is just a separate issue that’s all.
            I note you avoided my question.
            Can all politicians behave in this high handed fashion or is it reserved only for SF?

          • Jude Collins July 21, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

            Right – here’s my answer: politicians can act (and do act – remember Belfast City Council ‘way back?) as they choose. People are free to see their actions as good, bad or indifferent. I think any act short of violence that called attention to the suffering in Gaza was good. You clearly don’t. Fine. That’s your prerogative. Although I find it a teensy bit sad..

  11. Pointis July 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Sinn Fein, don’t mind holding up a big mirror to those who have been riding the big Dail gravey train and by God those people don’t like the general public seeing what they are truly like.

    Gerry Adam’s should not have had to ask members of the Dail to stand in sympathy to the those affected by the Israeli attacks on the people of Gaza, if they had any integrity those in power would have called for such a move a long time ago.

    So those referred to as the untouchables by those in power down South embarrassed the established parties into doing the right thing so that they had to eat a bit of humble pie in the process. Let’s just see who the general public have sympathy with! The big egos or the suffering Gazans?

  12. Argenta July 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    On balance I’m inclined to support Gios comments above.One wonders if the parties involved in the Middle East have paid a blind bit of notice to the gesture initiated by Mr Adams.Tom Kelly’s article on the issue in the Irish News yesterday is certainly worth reading.