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.
Something we have in Common i too stopped buying Sunday Newspapers a long long time ago, they should be called gossip papers nothing short of Tabloid gutter trash, republicans will brace this maelstrom as they did the rest, heads held high!
have looked in vain for an unsubscribe button for the blog. Can I be unsubscribed, please? thank you.
Réaltán – I’ve just fount it. You will be a free man/woman within a minute. Sorry to lose you – maybe keep ducking in to read…
A Not Guilty verdict is now a technicality according to great and good of Irish journalism !
Tis no wonder Anglo Irish and their pals in FF could bankrupt the State with journalists of this calibre being relied upon to inform the public.
Reading newspapers every day, but never on a Sunday, when the churches are full of people and the bells are ringing in the steeple, seems a little extreme, Esteemed Blogmeister, but understandable nonetheless, after one gives it a nano-second’s reflection.
There was an era – it seems like an eerie era in Eire now – when variety, or at least a variation thereof, was the spice of Sunday papers, but not, of course, any more. Where conformity is all and group think is the only game in town. They make McDonalds and Burgerking seem like opposite ends of the food chain.
Once upon a time, and a very long time ago it seems now in the Free Southern Stateen, there was a newspaper group called the Press Group, consisting of the Irish Press and its sister publications, the Sunday Pee and the Evening Pee. (The relevance of such abbreviations will become clearer anon).
The idea behind the founding of the Press Group, by Dev, not long after Claxton had brought printing to England and just before Cluxton had become the goalie for Dublin (yes, all that long ago) was the perfectly unreasonable one to give an Irish slant on Irish and World affairs.
At a time when inconsequential kaffir matters like the GAA and the lingua franca of the leprechaun weren’t rating a mench (unless to rhyme with stench) by The Unionist Times and the Sunday Independent Cult and its scissors sister publications.
For a long time the Press Group, muscular and fit for purpose, was at the races, from the Curragh of current affairs to the Leopardstown of leisure activities all the long way to the Punchestown of pursuits peculiar to the ladies and others of that silky ilk.
But then, somewhere along the line, things began to go awry with the Irish Press and its sister publications. As it happened, by one of those bizarre flukes of history, this coincided with things turning pear-shaped for a pair of notable Soviet athletes who had bagged a wheelbarrow load of Olympic medals between them, both track and field.
One refers to the Press sisters, Tamara and Irina. But then, alas, came the ….Pee test. (see above). The clinical results proved to be conclusive and would not be gainsaid: for the sisters a steroid or ten had never been out of the question. Henceforth, the daughters of a bebosomed and bamboozled Babushka Press, became known as the, erm Press Brothers.
In the case of the Irish Press and its sister publications, it was not so much a case of gender bending but rather one of agenda bending.
A rat-smelling Perkie first became aware of this meejia metamorphosis when the New Irish Writing page began to refuse submissions in the lingua franca of the leprechaun by the distinguished literary editor of that justifiably celebrated page, a man of Jewish persuasion, now, alas, no longer with us. One wondered at the time would a submission in Hebrew have received the same circumcised thumbs down if it had been sent to the equivalent page in, say, the Jerusalem Post.
The suggestion was made by the congenitally cantankerous that the decision by the Irish Press in this matter was prompted by financial, fingerless-glove considerations. But Perkie, needless to say, was not among them.
After failing the Pee for Political Incorrectness Test the Irish Press groups somehow managed to stagger on for a while longer before finally collapsing like a manky deckchair which had even once been turned down by the Titanic.
Its one and only raison d’etre at the bitter end was the presence amongst the rising tide of ridicule and readies (borrowed) of the Jesse Owens of Irish political commentary, the incomparable Des Fennell. His column shone like a Kish lighthouse during the dark, stormy Long Kesh of the Irish soul.
And still does, incidentally. Though the group think of the Free Southern Stateen has long since seen to it that all his shining has been done under an obscure bush.
Still, all is not entirely joyless amidst the encircling gloom of Liffeyside. The older and the wrinklier Perkie gets the more he finds the confirmation of one’s prejudices one of the few remaining pleasures left to him, apart from the not so obvious.
Thus, one finds oneself continuing to stumble down the stairs to meet the day and thumbing through the latest issue of the Sunday Independent Cult to see through which Sinn Fein closet they have been fumbling for the cleanest dirty shirt they can find.
Cultists, who dress down in the blue dunagrees, de rigeur for members of the Dworkin Class, having driven through the night on their Dee Bees (as their DOB dune buggies are called) from Myers Ranch (available on google map) in Debt Valley never fail to come up with the goods on the baddies after a week’s creepy crawling.
Speaking of Debt Valley there was a poignant tribute paid today to the late Ben Bradlee from the former charismatic controller of the cult, Sir Anthony J. O’Reilly. The tribute emanated from the latter’s home in France, though the report was not specific under which arch of Les Ponts d’Avignon said home is located.
Multitasking Perkie likes to peruse this publication along with the other Sunday Slimes even while he listens to Dame Dosh Finunane, she of the wheelbarrowed forearms, empathise with those who are on the bread line and are having trouble paying their water bills. He finds this sound from the wireless manages to drown out even the lonely sound of the ringing bells from the steeples.
Confucius say: Empathy vessels make the most noise.
Oddly enough, since Independent took over most daily newspapers in South Africa and all but a couple are now tabloid rags sold to the corrupt governing party, the non-Independent weekend papers have become the only worth trusting.
When I read articles from Irish Independent newspapers online, however, I’m impressed with what appears fair coverage.
Somebody correct me if I’m wrong regarding impressions of Independent in Ireland today?
Anthony – you’re one of a rare breed. Look after yourself – your species is in danger of being extinct. It’s a good while since I saw ‘Irish Independent’ and ‘fair coverage’ in the same sentence…
The very same could be said for AnPhoblacth wouldnt you agree?
I tend to agree with you Jude. Maybe it is a traditional view but I was always of the belief that it was a journalists job to report events not to try and change the course of history.
A good journalist I suspect should probe the facts and ask difficult questions to get to the answers.
Opinions are important but facts always have primacy over opinions.
I suppose it exposes the worst aspects of unfettered capitalism where big stories sell news and drive profits and if a few mere mortals have to burn to improve readerships and viewing figures, then so what! It is all for the greater good and expanding profits of the super rich (to whom we should doff our hats, after all where would we be without them, isn’t that right Norma).
Sure shouldn’t the market be allowed to regulate itself after all the media can always issue an apology if it believes someone has the financial resources to challenge them in court over inaccurate reporting. Something small and innocous perhaps, near the section of the paper where the reader is already bored or near the tail end of the news.
I think these guys think they smell blood and they want to be around when the hyenas bring down the wilderbeast. They have the tacit support of the Government and opposition down South and the Sinn Fein’s political opponents in the North. There will be few voices demanding fair play or playing by the rules. It is very similar to the politicians in Westminster crying for measures to protect democracy and were strangely silent when a representative of that same democracy was brutally assaulted by a Pro-Israeli thug.
The bottom line is, I, like many others I am sure, have no intention of allowing the media to tell me who I can, and cannot vote for!
Brilliant Jude,theres alot about this case that doesn’t add up,if she is such a convincing witness why did she walk away from her chance at getting justice?why was she still in S.F four years after she claims to have been so badly treated by the party?whatever the validity of her story,it was lost when you look at who is controlling her campaign,roll on the elections….
So let us say you are a working or middle class Dublin resident thinking about voting Sinn Fein. You watch and listen to GA speak of the past. You attentively listen as he explains how he (and others) choose to follow a law and order of their own making. And you ask yourself, well if the law didn’t apply to them in the past why will it apply to them now. Perhaps they are just another party of privileged persons to whom the rules, which most of us must live under, do not apply.
Unthinking loyalty spawns mass murder
My message to you all, why not try voting for somebody else. To hell with Sinn Fein and the DUP. It has not worked, let’s try people with less baggage and history. To those who cherish a UI you may find it could speed it up.
But I know things won’t change, it will just be more of the same. This menu is boring.
We need new flavored, and fresh meat.
In fairness I do take my hat of to Martin, he has tried, and does deserve better. He gives me hope.
I see another young man has needlessly died today, for what? Twenty eight years of age, and another Mother with a broken heart.
I am going to say this again, put your politics second, act like an Irish Christian, if your daughter was raped, and you had to listen to the comments that you all have spewed out, would you like it. Be careful, you never know what’s round the corner, by that I mean we all have females, this could easily happen to.
I see Liam Adams is appealing his case, I hope they double his sentence, I suppose was innocent to.
I shall be heading to Dublin this week, if I meet nice people in the hotel, I shall give them my tuppence worth.. It’s always good to hear a PROTESTANTS point as well, and believe me they do listen.
They in turn tell me, they don’t want us, they have enough problems of their own. They are starting to form a picture of their own now, and they don’t like it.
Sinn Fein are stitching themselves up on this one. Gerry has spoken to the people involved and believes they tried to help Mairia Cahill.
Having spoken to them he also believes Morris to be guilty. As does Martin, as does MaryLou.
Yet they let him flee to Donegal.
The media will pick the story apart.
They let him flee to Donegal, you say, critically.
What would you have preferred the repulican movement do with Martin Morris?
MURDER him perhaps?? Would that have satisfied your desire for justice?
It seems no matter what the relublicans decided to do, it was going to be the wrong thing
Murder? Don’t you mean execute? After all they gave him a trial.
But perhaps they could have collected whatever evidence they could and hand it to the police or even the social services.
Perhaps they could have monitored him and the others who are presumably still in the community. And if they are monitoring them maybe they should now tell someone.
Or if you don’t like those options maybe if you think they were the legitimate police for their community, they could have placed restrictions on his movements, a curfew say.
That would have been better than what they actually did which is, apparently, nothing.
Sinn Fein’s contradictory stance between moral certitude of the Provisionals and its modern promises to Ireland
Mick Fealty on 25 October 2014 , 9:59 am 13 Comments | 643 views
In 1997 Ray Burke informed RTE after his hour long session in the Dail that ‘the line is in the sand, from this day on this is D day, I move on’. Within a month he resigned as Minister for Foreign Affairs following an allegation of corruption which led to the setting up of what became the Flood Tribunal.
Burke was jailed for tax fraud in 2004.
By contrast the retribution of the state seems to hold little fear for Sinn Fein, in the sense that it does not by its own lights represent disgrace but can be represented publicly as some form of repression.
The casting of critics as enemies has its origins in the midst of the IRA war against the British.
Attempts to suppress any political representation of the party or of the political thinking behind IRA military actions were widespread and invasive in both jurisdictions.
What the liberal press (or indeed liberal bloggers) might have to say about internal house keeping matters has never particularly worried the faithful.
Indeed there is ample evidence that criticism from these quarters serves to motivate activists to engage more robustly with the electorate.
However we’re heading into week three of the Mairia Cahill story, which despite its unpromising prognosis may be an indication that the story is not going away anytime soon. Thus far Sinn Fein have made several attempts to draw a proverbial line in the sand. And yet the tide presses forward.
One of the most acute observations of the last week comes from the writer Martina Devlin. Despite writing a column for the much hated Irish Independent Ms Devlin is most certainly not one of the usual Provo hating suspects:
Sinn Fein has lost its deft touch and is stalled at a crossroads – left there by a woman who has toppled the republican tradition’s sacred cow of silence.
Mairia Cahill is eloquent, believable and utterly determined. Exactly the sort of woman, in fact, that Sinn Fein normally would run for office.
She is forcing it to confront its past – something the party steadfastly avoids, if it can. Yet if Sinn Fein wants to be considered seriously by voters as a potential party of government, its past cannot be wrapped in prevarications.
This is precisely marks the real problem Sinn Fein now faces.
Ironically the military discipline which underpinned the IRAs long war of attrition against the British state in Ireland was in part inculcated into the younger generation of Adams and McGuinness by ‘old soldiers’ like Joe Cahill.
Cahill was at least as responsible and probably more so than Adams for the hard edge of the Provisional’s first onslaughts. And he was one Adams’ most ardent supporters through the various splits within the movement right up to the decision to go on ceasefire in 1994.
But after 75/6 Adams became one of the critical architects of the long war strategy. Critical to that became the need to strengthen the moral framework within which IRA volunteers would operate. One of the key lines from the Green Book (attributed by some to Adams and Seamus Twomey), provided it:
The Irish Republican Army, as the legal representatives of the Irish people, are morally justified in carrying out a campaign of resistance against foreign occupation forces and domestic collaborators. All volunteers are and must feel morally justified in carrying out the dictates of the legal government; they as the Army are the legal and lawful Army of the Irish Republic which has been forced underground by overwhelming forces.[emphasis added]
Contrary to common myth very few IRA volunteers were actual psychopaths. Most were ordinary men and women who opted into the Fenian tradition of physical force tradition of Irish Republicanism.
The core purpose of the Green Book therefore was to provide a legitimising psychological structure and moral authority to volunteers send out to kill or maim often at very close quarters.
After the IRA’s first act of decommissioning in April 2002, Phil Mac Giolla Bhain noted in the Magill Annual of that year how it marked a departure between old and new discourses:
The recent decommissioning event has caused a creeping moral ambivalence to seep into the belief system of IRA volunteers. This is no small matter. The Garda special branch approached social scientists in Maynooth in the 1980s with a simple question: “How do we beat the IRA?” The answer was simple: “Destroy their belief system.”
One of the main casualties for the republican movement in entering this process was the belief system that equipped volunteers to sustain their operational effectiveness as much as did the guns. The ‘event’ now opens the door guarding that moral certitude slightly. Doubt may creep into those who spent their youth preoccupied with the guns and their deadly use.
All of which works pretty well, whilst: one, the war remains ongoing; and two, the IRA remains dealing with hard core security related issues. In fact this is pretty much the position of the old IRA during the war of independence. What complicates matters for the Provisionals is their chosen long war scenario.
Denying civilians access to the statutory authorities in the relative short term of the earlier troubles is one thing. Denying it for a generation forced the modern IRA into a social task which as Adams has rather belated admitted for which it was ill-equipped.
This relates to a point dealt with a slightly more abstract way made by Gladys in her 2008 tome Evangelicalism and Conflict in Northern Ireland:
Evangelicalism and Conflict in Northern Ireland – Gladys Ganiel
Sinn Fein is somewhere between no change and some change. Although as noted in The Irish Times Inside Politics podcast this week, it’s not something the party themselves are inclined to share with political journalists.
So Martin McGuinness, with a public profile to protect, says he believes Mairia Cahill was raped, whilst Seamus Finucane (occupying a similarly senior but private position within the party) makes it clear he does not share the deputy First Minister’s public view.
In this matter, it is the military voice which carries the internal authority. Almost all the party’s public statements on the matter have sought to brand Cahill rather than Adams as the liar between two irreconcilable accounts.
It all adds up to a disconnected ragbag of responses designed to try and see the story out until such times as it definatively goes away. In the meantime, journalists are being repelled with the proverbial wall of silence.
One of the oddest stories of the week sought to brand Joe Cahill as an abuser in the London edition of the Daily Mirror. It’s not one which took hold in Ireland north or south. But in a week where Westminster declined to wrap Kincora into the more powerful Woolf Inquiry, it was an odd incursion into the fray.
Unlike Burke’s Fianna Fail, in this case the IRA and its Green Book ethic remains in charge. There is little chance that the new generation will rebel. The idea that Mary Lou harbours a serious ambition to take over from Gerry is challenged by her utter fealty to him in what are by her own principles are indefensible circumstances.
As Dan O’Brien noted last Sunday, Sinn Fein’s political culture owes a lot to the length of its long war in Northern Ireland:
Being at war requires, perforce, the nurturing of military values and practices - obedience, secrecy, suspicion and summary justice. These are the exact opposite of the values and practices that make for high-quality democracy – the questioning of authority, transparency, trust and the rule of law.
The North’s long war lasted from the late 1960s into this century. Two generations went from youth to middle age knowing nothing else. That deeply embedded a martial culture in the republican movement. It is far from clear that that has changed a great deal.
If you believe her account Mairia Cahill’s rights as a woman came nowhere next to an IRA’s volunteer’s right to carry on ‘the dictates of the legal government’. Dictates which had no provisions for rights of victims. In this case the victim in the eyes of the Provisionals had zero rights, nor will she in perpetuity so far as they are concerned.
Not that those actions don’t have serious contemporary consequences for the Republic. But like the Catholic Church denying its own culpability in spreading the problem by shipping offending priests out of the parish Sinn Fein plainly resents external interference in what it regards as its own and no one else’s affairs.
We just don’t know who these abusers are, whom they’ve abused or whether or not they comprise another Father Brendan Smyth. It’s also important to note that the Church back then had hit its heights, and was already in decline. By contrast Sinn Fein is rising in popularity and will not willingly concede anything to history.
Martina Devlin again…
[Sinn Fein] now accepts that she was abused but denies the cover-up – a shift in position. When you’re telling the truth your position doesn’t alter. Confirmed Sinn Fein supporters may well dismiss Mairia Cahill’s testimony, but anti-austerity voters inclining towards the party will have second thoughts.
Especially if more victims emerge. I have no doubt there are other women with reservations about how they were dealt with by the republican leadership when they made complaints.
Machiavelli noted that “a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty”. And cruelty is a good word for what the movement has subjected Ms Cahill to in the last week.
Much as it may shock an Irish media become accustomed to think otherwise, the party we call Sinn Fein today is a creature wrought from the Provisionals not the other way round. Dominant within the movement since the mid 1970s Mr Adams did not get to where he is today by being kind to children and small animals.
Two things strike me about this episode. One is just how all over the place the party has been in its response. And two, just how strange the man who has been at the head of the party might actually be if Ms Cahill’s recounting of her meeting with him is in the least bit reliable.
Ms Cahill’s demand remains a simple one to Gerry Adams: to tell the truth. That appears to be the one thing Mr Adams cannot give her, or indeed anyone else caught up in the nightmare of child sexual abuse. Which, if this ‘operation’ proves to be a more successful line in the sand than Burke’s, will still not be a great a result for anyone.
In those immortal words, “Houston, we have a problem…”
Cover up, Gerry Adams, ira, Maíria Cahill, rape
All your own work, Norma?
Why Jude, you are such a cynic…….
Pilfering someone else’s bigoted diatribe is so unconvincing. Stick to what you’re good at; – the ‘kick the pope’ invective. Its so much more eloquent, expressed in your usual ‘bitter sarcasm’ – ‘orange lil’ demeanour. At least that way we get the odd laugh.
I NEVER SAID IT WAS MY WORK. I took it from Slugger O’Toole. I did not find that to hard, you see telling the truth is really easy. You Shin Vienners, should try it.
The normal thing when you use someone else’s words, Norma, is to acknowledge who you took them from. Otherwise it looks like fraud/plagiarism.
Its right there at the top of the piece.
Mick Fealty 25th Oct. Or was that bit added in later?
If you must call me names, I would prefer “Combat Lil”
Norma (aka ‘Combat Lil’)
I would never have imagined you were so militant. Hope this trait doesn’t manifest itself in the bedroom, but if it does, please spare us any descriptions. Ulster has suffered enough !
norma, are you william fay in disguise?
Believe me, I love men, I am 100% woman, have given birth to a son and daughter. Still enjoy sex at sixty. The trick to a good marriage, be brilliant in the kitchen, and a bad woman in the bedroom.
Too much information, Norma!
THIS IS SHERDY, NOT ME…
I always enjoy Perkie and his convoluted eloquence is so impressive.
So I would not glibly correct him, but in case I never get another opportunity to do so I would point out to him that it was William Caxton who brought printing with movable type to England – not Claxton.
The IRA contained good decent people, it also had bad, horrible people. There probably were rapists and child abusers within it`s ranks. The RUC had some good decent members and it housed some of the most wicked people around. The fact is, political/military organisations are made up of people. People are complex. When I cast my vote for Sinn Féin I do so because of the party`s policies and ideals, not because I think all it`s members are saintly and fair. The McCartney sisters, Anne Travers and now Ms Cahill were given access to the highest people in authority simply because they were seen as being anti IRA which they were. Nobody in their right mind could complain about that, but when Jim Allister, Enda Kenny and Peter Robinson give their full support you know why. When this young woman has faded from the public eye another cause célebre will spring forth, all in a vain attempt to try and blacken Gerry Adams.
GRMA, Shardie, a chara,
Perkie’s inner Nerdy is only too happy to wear the L plate of Liability.
Actually, he’s unhappy but, shur, what can he do?
When, like Stephen Cluxton, he’s been so busy picking the Donegal ball out of the Dublin net.
Confucius say: Jesus saves while Homer nods the rebound into the net.
Love that last Confucian saying. Deeply irreverent and wildly funny…You are a bad influence, Perkie.
Oops, bron orm/ apologies abject, Sherdy, for misspelling your name.
As Perkie’s inner insomniac has just pointed out to one.
It’s what happens when one finds oneself, as per usual in the wee hours of Sunday morning, seated in one’s striped pajamas on the third step of the spiral staircase from the bottom, patiently waiting for the plop of the Sunday Independent’s Cult circular after its drop through the letter box and on to the soft deep pile of the hallway’s Axminster carpet..
Beir bua !