Simon Harris gets fired up about Gerry Adams


Do you know who Simon Harris is?  I am ashamed to admit that I really wasn’t clear on who this important man is- somewhere in my head he was mixed up with Simon Coveney. But all is now clear. Simon Harris is a Minister of State for the Department of Finance – in other words, he’s in Enda Kenny’s Cabinet. And in a Sindo interview yesterday, Simon is very clear on  who he doesn’t want in the Cabinet with him, or with anybody: the terrorist Gerry Adams. “ I am irritated” he says “ by this attempt to separate Gerry Adams like ‘he was in the past, he is still knocking around, but don’t worry about him’.”

So  Simon believes Gerry Adams was a terrorist some thirty years ago and a member of the IRA Army Council. Simon knows this how?  His information is “ based on what I have heard and read from people who know an awful lot better than me.” And this man Adams, who some unnamed people make clear was a member of the IRA Army Council, is still knocking around. Vague information, a bit short on evidence? Yerrah everyone knows Adams was in the IRA and on the IRA Army Council. You don’t need to have evidence for that.

So it’s an arguable ethical position for Simon to take. Someone who Simon believes was involved in violence isn’t the kind of person you want to have sitting across a Cabinet table from you. Or even beside you. (And no, Virginia: we will not talk about Martin McGuinness).

But let’s spool back nearly a hundred years  to the first Cabinet formed in Dublin post-1916.  It contained some interesting people.

There was Eoin MacNeill, who wrote the famous pamphlet ‘The North Began’, arguing that since the Ulster Volunteers had been formed to force Ireland in a particular direction, the Irish Volunteers should be formed as a counter-weight to match this armed threat. He served in that first Cabinet.

Then there was Cathal Brugha, who took part in the Easter Rising and was badly wounded. Weak from loss of blood, he was found singing ‘God Save Ireland’ and clutching a pistol. He recovered and served in that first Cabinet.

And of course there was Michael Collins, the most revered figure in the pantheon of Fine Gael, Simon’s party. He fought in the GPO in 1916. In the post-1916 period he created a special assassination unit called The Squad, which specialised in killing British agents and informers.  In 1920, he and his Squad wiped out a number of top British secret service agents in a series of co-ordinated raids, on the day that became known as Bloody Sunday. He served in that first Cabinet.

We could go on but one thing’s clear: the first Irish Cabinet in 1919 wasn’t short of what are now called terrorists. In fact, you could argue that Collins invented terrorism, in that his war strategy was based on the notion of ‘flying columns’ ,  with sudden attacks followed by  immediate withdrawal – a  system of warfare copied throughout the world. You could even say that, besides being the father of Fine Gael, Simon’s party, Michael Collins was the father of what some refer to as terrorism.  From which we get the term terrorist, and which for Simon disqualifies Gerry Adams from ever serving in a southern Cabinet. Yes, it’s thirty years since all that bad stuff, but once a terrorist, always a terrorist.

Just as well McNeill, Brugha and Collins didn’t have to wait thirty years.

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19 Responses to Simon Harris gets fired up about Gerry Adams

  1. Bridget Cairns August 17, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Too right Jude, & once you go down the road of Simon Harris, where would you stop. World -wide many leaders have emerged from conflict, Mandela being a prime example. Who does Simon Harris believe O’Donnovan Rossa was & who does he think Thomas Kent was. Most political parties here in the south have an ability to not only speak out of both sides of their mouths at the same time but think out of both sides of their brains. Certainly this ability should make them interesting case studies.

    • John Clinton August 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      He would not be there if Irelands history had not happened, go a buy a very large bottle of cop on, obviously you don’t know anything about history, little does he know, that she knows, that he knows, that I know, that he knows.

  2. Séamus Ó Néill August 17, 2015 at 9:44 am #

    I have always maintained that Unionism had a natural political ally with Fine Gael in the “Free State”. FG , the remnants of British colonialism in the 26 , would have us back in the “Commonwealth” tomorrow or ,an even more repugnant thought ,the “United Kingdom ” if they thought they could get away with it…. They are natural bedfellows , their arrogant hypocrisy coupled with their lack of understanding of the developing political situation on these islands and their unnatural animosity towards anything Gaelic puts them in the one box. Simon Harris can rant all he wants , puffing hot air in a paper virtually nobody reads ,it will hardy cause G. Adams sleepless nights…..I was going to suggest that he sticks to something he knows a little about , but giving the financial quagmire his dept is responsible for …….

    • Emmet August 17, 2015 at 10:28 am #

      I agree with you there Seamus. Although I now see how derogatory it is, I used to call Fine Gael the Westbrits, in my mind they were the type Joyce wrote about. But maybe we should encourage FG to canvass unionism in the north, they may get some unionists to see THAT their future in a united Ireland lies with FG.

  3. Sean Marlow August 17, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    Reminds me of Harry Elfield’s posh pratt:

  4. Iolar August 17, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Is Simon a man with the right calibre for the job? His current mantra is a poor substitute for thought. Years ago, when all that bad stuff was going on, some politicians were more concerned with making money than creating a vibrant modern economy. Around the same time, others were being interned in relation to circumstances that had more to do with poverty, housing and gerrymandering in local government than terrorism. The real tragedy is that austerity policies are creating similar economic problems in 2015. Simon may be fired up, however, that is cold comfort to the men, women and children who are homeless in Dublin or the thousands who are forced by economic circumstances to leave the country. Now that is something to get fired up about.

  5. Neill August 17, 2015 at 10:46 am #

    Can you see why many people don’t regard SF to be fit for Government?

    • TheHist August 17, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      No Neil, could you please explain?

    • Ryan August 17, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

      You think there aren’t many people who don’t regard the DUP to be fit for Government Neill?

      Read up on Ulster Resistance, Third Force, DUP connections with the UDA/UVF, Ian Paisley Snr, DUP members sharing a platform with sectarian psychopath Billy Wright, etc

      • Neill August 17, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

        I raise you rapists child abusers bombers and murders from within the membership of the Republican movement.

        • Ryan August 17, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

          Sinn Fein isn’t the Republican Movement Neill, Sinn Fein has nothing to do with the likes of the INLA, CIRA, RIRA, RAAD, etc

          How many members of the “Republican Movement” has been convicted of rape or child abuse? There has been Unionists convicted of child abuse, does that mean all of Unionism are child abusers? If I adopted your logic Neill then I would class all of Unionism as child abusers due to the perverted crimes of a few but I like to keep a rational view of things, not a warped one.

          In reference to bombers: Yes many SF members were involved in bombings but that was during the Troubles at a time the British Army were bombing Dublin/Monaghan, colluding with UVF/UDA terrorists and Ian Paisley Snr was doing all he could to try to provoke an open civil war between Catholics and Protestants.

          But you don’t like to mention these uncomfortable facts concerning Unionism Neill, your logic is “Them’uns” did all the bombing and shooting while ignoring such facts that Gusty Spence, the founder of the modern UVF, said that the Unionist Government paid the UVF to start a sectarian war. Its time to take the blinkers off Neill.

  6. Perkin Warbeck August 17, 2015 at 11:21 am #

    As the Minister of State at the Department of Finance in Dublin, Esteemed Blogmeister, this means that Simon Harris ,to coin a phrase, gets to be put in charge of the pocket money.

    Once he starts to shave, behave and his voice begins to break Simon the Rattle might even be allowed by the Mandarins of that Department to fondle the folding stuff. Yes, these are the same veterans of the Ping Dynasty responsible for the emptying from the State Coffers of every last Pingin of the Filthy Lucre of the FSS,.

    So bereft indeed was the Free Southern Stateen of the F.Lucre that there wasn’t even enough of the brown stuff left to hit the fan.

    To judge by his performances yesterday there is a certain inevitability about the eventual promotion of Simon the Rattle as the Pooh Bah of choice of the Mandarins. And in this role to initiate the Ping Pong Dynasty.

    One uses the plural of performance. For, so busy was the Baby of the House on Sunday that he obviously had no time to have his diaper changed as he had to keep his Enda up as it were. After his interview for the Sunday Endant the next port of call of the Prime Minister’s pendant was Glasnevin Graveyard. Where he arrived trailing clouds of hydrogen sulphur, dispatched there by his mentor, the Father of the House.

    -As we progress through the Decade of Centenaries, it is most important that we continue to acknowledge these two giants of the Irish Free State’.

    The bevy of blueshirted brobdinagian boyos in q. being (l to r), Collins and Griffith. It was wreath laying time (93rd) and Simon got the gig, A chance to rattle on once again about how the giants ‘always championed democratic values’.

    According to The Unionist Times which reverentially reported the ceremony, prayers were said. One is left to speculate which prayers were intoned. Perhaps, even these prayers,; perhaps even whispered::

    -The Lord have mercy on your souls.

    These were the very merciful words whispered by one Vinny Byrne, a fired up democrat and one of the Twelve Apostles dispatched by The Saviour of Democracy, M. Collins to a gorgeous Georgian house on Upper Mount Street early one Sunday morning coming 1920.

    The intention being to drill the basics of democracy into Lieutenants A and B (Ames and Bennett ).The above words were whispered as the pair of political illiterates,who hadn’t even got a chance to fumble in the closet for their cleanest dirty shirts, were put standing on the mattess of a back bedroom in their PJs with theiir hands to the wall.

    In a gesture of particular poignancy, the armoured car of General Collins was parked nearby in the Glasnevin Graveyard. during the commemorative ceremony.

    It is not reported if Simon the Rattle,who is still at that stage, actually got to get a free jaunt in the Sliabh na mBan (for it was it !).

    Ta suil againn go bhfuair.

  7. TheHist August 17, 2015 at 11:36 am #

    Excellent piece Jude – Simon Harris, the FG politician, who previously stated SF will “ruin Ireland” and believed SF’s 2015 resolution was to wreck the country! Youngest politician in the Dail – hopefully he will learn with experience ….

    Not forgetting in the first Dail Cabinet, Richard Mulcahy as Minister of Defence – Harris’ allegations on Adams could be analogised here – Mulcahy, a bit of a chequered history in line with Mr Harris’ analysis, a terrorist or a freedom fighter? Mulcahy joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood (yip, an Irish revolutionary organisation – that some would regard as a terrorist organisation) in 1908, fought in the Easter Rebellion, second in command to Thomas Ashe at Asbourne, became the Irish Republican Army (IRA) chief of Staff in March 1919, was responsible along with Collins in directing the military campaign against the British and RIC during the War of Independence and ordered the execution of anti-Treaty Republicans during the Civil War – former comrades in arms. A bit of a History steeped in militarism or maybe Harris would call it terrorism? Maybe Mulcahy was “one of many young men, in pursuit of the goal of Irish freedom” that Harris’ boss Enda Kenny mentioned recently about Thomas Kent – Irish freedom, that goal that seemed to end in 1921 to many Southerners. Like Adams, Mulcahy embraced the “armalite (well, Lee Enfield’s) and ballot box strategy” to then focus completely on constitutional politics, to become a TD for Fine Gael and subsequent leader of Harris’ party in 1944 after the resignation of WT Cosgrove – another ex-Easter Rebellion veteran! Oh, shall we go on … Fine Gael … you should be embarrassed with the history of your party (please note sarcasm).

    It is pretty poignant when Simon Harris uses the specific term “terrorist” to define Gerry Adams’ past, when it could be argued that his party, Fine Gael’s History is stepped in militant Irish Republican history – maybe Harris could be doing with reading History – it might help him understand the past and prevent him making such silly comments in the future! Maybe during cabinet meetings Simon, Gerry could teach you some Irish History …

  8. philip kelly August 17, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    simon Harris asks do you want a terrorist in government ,did anyone out there ever hear of institutional terrorism, well I did and its his government, who have terrorised and abused the people of Ireland 1 homelessness, 2 suicide, 3 emigration, 4 abuse of the old,5 destruction of the health system 6 reduction of the grant system to the poor who wish to attend university,8 water charges 9 arrest and imprisonment of people protesting against their policies ,10 the use of the forces of the state ie the garda to beat protesters of the streets And he talks about terrorist in government, make your own mind up folks the peace maker or institutional violence imposed by fg/lab on the poorest and middle Ireland at the behest of right wing bankers and bondholders plus of course their friends in the vulture capitalist world who have under their watch raped this country or a party whose friends get darling deals ie Dennis O’Brien a 600 million euro write down on his depts while the banks make 800 families homeless and this government starve local authorities of funds to deal with the problem and nama sit on more than enough houses to completely end the problem so if you ask me who i would want in government simon Harris and his corrupt pals or Gerry Adams the peacemaker well you make up your own mind !!! NP can Harris prove that Gerry Adams was/ is a terrorist !!!! even the British/irish could not charge him with membership of any terrorist organization wonder why, they did charge and convict martin mcguinness the best they could do with Gerry Adams was to intern him as they did with my brother who was a solicitor but was never in the IRA or a terrorist , so sindo / indo evidence please and not the maria cahill or the eilish ohanlon version of history

  9. ANOTHER JUDE August 17, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

    But people like Collins did not use real ammunition, they only used water pistols (admittedly they were pretty big ones, like the ones weans play with in the summer months) and party poppers, it was only the IRA of the seventies that used real guns and bombs.

  10. KopperbergCentral August 17, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    Michael Collin’s “Flying Columns” is just a tactic of guerrilla warfare and guerrilla warfare goes back to Sun Tzu’s time 2500 years ago, if not before. American militias used similar hit and run tactics against the British during war of Independence, as did native Indians against Spanish forces in North America during the 1500s

    • billy August 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

      dont think mick done much operating himself,same as some others,get the name of an early riser you can lie in bed all day,

  11. Ryan August 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    Fine Gael might claim Michael Collins as one of their own or as the founder of their party but if Michael Collins was alive today I don’t think he’d be a Fine Gael voter. Collins might have been Pro-Treaty but he regarded it as a “stepping stone” to ultimate Irish freedom, of all 32 counties. One thing he cant be accused of and that’s being a “West Brit”, which the bulk of the Fine Gael membership definitely consists of, Simon Harris being a good example.

    As already pointed out by many commentators on this blog, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail condemning the actions of the Provisional IRA but on the other hand saying the actions of Michael Collins IRA were justified is the height of hypocrisy. They would certainly be strong contenders for the Gold medal if Hypocrisy was an Olympic sport but they are still a mile behind the DUP so they would just have to settle for Silver.

    The abuse and ranting’s against Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein will only increase as the General Election approaches. Will it do any damage to Sinn Fein in terms of attracting new potential voters? Very little, if any. You’d think the Shinner haters would’ve learnt by now that SF bashing isn’t effective in killing off their voter base, it just gives the party more publicity and keeps them in the public eye.

    • Veronica Austin August 18, 2015 at 2:15 am #

      I agree completely (though I admit from afar) that Michael Collins would never want to be a member of today’s FG nor would they accept him if he did! It’s sort of like our Abraham Lincoln who, since US political parties completely switched poles over the years, would want nothing to do with the GOP of today. Abraham Lincoln would be a Democrat now. Yet the GOP persist falsely in claiming to be ‘the party of Lincoln’. It’s all public posturing for their political base of ignorant racists and bigots. And how can anyone read Collins’ book ‘The Path to Freedom’ and call him a WestBrit? He did indeed consider the accursed treaty as nothing but a stepping stone to provide a breather so Ireland could regather and regroup for the final push for complete independence and one island, one country. If not for his assassination, I believe Ireland’s work in that regard would’ve been accomplished long ago. Dev was correct when he said history would judge him harshly in regard to Mick, and rightly so. There is no dishonor in repaying an invader in his own coin.