I had an email yesterday from a journalist, asking me to contact him. When I did he explained he wanted to do an article on the Mairia Cahill case and that no Sinn Féin people were available. Would I oblige with my answer to some questions? I pointed out that I’d given my view several times on my blog and the previous night on RTÉ’s Prime Time. He hadn’t read my blog, apparently, but in the course of the conversation it emerged that he considered the current accusations against Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin “unprecedented”. I pointed out that they were anything but, since we’ve had a litany of accusations (as Alex Kane pointed out on BBC’s The View this week) against Gerry Adams and Sinn Féin – Adams’s arrest just before the local and European elections, the McCartney sisters, the Liam Adams case – I’m sure there are others I’ve missed. But the point at which I decided that I was wasting the journalist’s time and mine was when he referred to the acquittal of Martin Morris and the men accused of “organising an IRA meeting” as “a technicality”, and that several women had supported Ms Cahill’s claims. Not with evidence but their testimony.
That was the point at which I decided I had no interest in contributing to an article/feature that was clearly going to fire yet another broadside at Adams and the Shinners. So if you’re a regular buyer of the Sunday papers – a bad habit I managed to break several years ago – brace yourself for an anti-republican blitz. The thing that puzzles me is, since these broadsides have been firing since the 1980s, with Joe Cahill’s niece Eilis O’Hanlon not least among them all – how come Sinn Féin’s vote keeps (with some blips) going up and up? My journalist friend assured me that this was different and particularly damaging for Sinn Féin. Me, I think the Irish people aren’t totally stupid.