Tommy McNulty, Sammy Davis Jr and Jim Cusack

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I’ve led a sheltered life so the name of Tommy McNulty, while probably on your lips at least twice a day, is new to me. I discovered this morning that he is originally from Tyrone (what part, I wonder?) and according to today’s Sindo, is the chairman of “a Cavan Sinn Féin cumann”.  The Sindo’s Jim Cusack devotes a whole column to Mr McNulty today.  His piece is headed “SF grassroots call for Adams to ‘get off the stage’ and step down”.

Mr McNulty did this in a letter to that venerable and well-balanced organ, The Irish News. “Just as there was a time for change in 1986, there is a time for change again in 2016. Sammy Davis Jnr once famously said that one of the great secrets of life was knowing when to get on the stage and knowing when to get off it. I believe the time has come for Mr Adams to get off it”.

I would, of course, be slow to dispute the thinking of an intellectual giant like Sammy Davis Jr, but I’m not sure he knew a lot about Irish politics. But Jim Cusack does. Mr McNulty’s call for Gerry Adams’s resignation morphs into “SF grassroots”. What’s more, Jim quotes ‘sources’ (don’t keep asking ‘What sources?’, Virginia. They’re just sources, OK) as saying Mr McNulty’s call is “very significant”. “It signals that the party in the Republic is ‘fed-up’ with the domination of Mr Adams’s Northern-based leadership, who are out of touch with events south of the border”.

I think that’s pretty conclusive. Gerry Adams can’t possibly continue as Sinn Féin president, now that sources close to Jim  Cusack are ‘fed-up (sic)’ with him and the way he’s out of touch with the south.  What’s that, Virginia?  Mr Adams was elected leader by the party? Yes, I’m sure that’s true. But ‘sources’ are ‘fed-up (sic)’  with that too.  Besides,  no right-thinking person would want to pit themselves against the political wisdom of Sammy Davis Jr. Or Jim. Or the Sindo

10 Responses to Tommy McNulty, Sammy Davis Jr and Jim Cusack

  1. jessica July 17, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    I would tend to agree with him.

    Ireland will not be united by the north of Ireland but by the motivation from Dublin which must have the support of all of the main parties.

    At the moment, there is no effort being made from Dublin in this regard and for as long as the Sinn Fein are seen as a northern led party, that will not change.

    If Dublin continue to attempt to write the north out of the Irish nation, it will be up to all of the people on this Island whether they choose to accept it or to do something about it.

    Irish citizens in the north are not part of the Irish diaspora, we are just as Irish as anyone in the south, Dublin is as much our capital as it is theirs. This is as much our country as it is theirs.

    If they choose to continue with the disenfranchisement of a section of our people for political reasons, similar acts have occurred throughout the world, often leading to armed revolution and I do believe they need to take this consideration a little more seriously.

    While I don’t believe an armed coup is about to take place, you can be sure that if conflict does break out again in the north, I don’t see any possible way whatsoever that the southern state could be kept out of any new conflict the way it was on the past. In fact I would imagine that the majority of the activities would most likely take place in Dublin.

    It is indeed time for Gerry Adams to step aside and for Sinn Fein to be led from Dublin.

    The Dublin establishment must be given an opportunity to make decisions over unification in the new circumstances we find ourselves in. It is my opinion that Ireland is more divided than it has ever been before and it is not simply north south, but that this division runs throughout the whole of our country.

  2. Perkin Warbeck July 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    Hadn’t heard of Tommy McNulty, Esteemed Blogmeister, till one read of him in your blog today .

    (Been a tad busy of late , you will understand, attempting to cope with the unexpected global success of Perkemon Go. Not so much with the success itself as the sheer, unadulterated extent of same. Here in the HQ of Augmented Reality PLC it is now known by the overworked underlings in the cellar as ‘Perkemon Gone through the Roof’. Though not of course by the more circumspect CEO in his penthouse suit and suite alike).

    You wait a long time for one mention of Tommy McNulty and – whaddyaknow -! – two mentions come along at the same time. The second mench was actually a three dimensional one. With Sunday Morning Coming Down it came, not altogether surprisingly, courtesy of the The Dame Dosh Finucance Show on RtTE. The hostesss as ever fumbling as ever in the closet for her cleanest, purty platitude.

    Being, as ever, a beacon of biased broadcasting, not, there was a vast range of five guests, only two of whom were stablemates in the Sindo, J. Cusack and B. Keenan. Not only are they now naturalized DOBliners but both originally started off as Mic an Ultaigh (Sons of Ulster/ McNultys).

    Furthermore, both Mici are still, if not exactly card-carrying members of the SDLP but then torch-carrying ones (unlapsed).

    That would be, erm, the Sammy Davis LP. This is the LP which carries that party founder’s greatest hits. Most, if not all, were of the Kick the Shinners in the Shins genre. A variation of the McCann McCann fandango.

    Indeed, the highpoint of the show was the Two Mici doing a swinging duet (Sammy Davis famously converted to duetism, which , in his case meant his inner Jnr singing along with his outer Snr) on one of their founder’s signature toons:

    The Rhythm of Liffeyside

    Daddy spread his gospel to Dundalkie
    Took his walky-talky to the Boyne Ridge;
    BLEW his way through politics of the 26C,
    Till he landed on top of O’Connell Bridge.

  3. donal kennedy July 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

    I presume Sinn Fein has a Constitution which allows for election, re-election, and removal
    of its officers.
    There’s no daily paper which wishes it well. So why would anyone regard media advice
    as disinterested.?
    I see Ireland’s Press Council has condemned the IRISH TIMES for lying about a Sinn Fein
    Councillor in Kerry.
    I’m sure that if I wanted to criticise Sinn Fein I could find something. But most of the party’s
    media critics are shameless liars.

  4. Sherdy July 17, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    I don’t know anything about Tommy McNulty or his thinking, but I’m afraid he is falling for the anti Sinn Fein campaign by the likes of the Indo/Sindo, RTE and their opposition FF and FG in the south.
    These not-so-august bodies have only one ambition, and that is to neutralise the effects of the Sinn Fein progress over the years, and Gerry Adams’ age is just a bogus argument.
    If other SF members fall for such claptrap and change their leader, their next target will be Martin McGuinness, as he’s roughly the same age.
    Then they would change their target to GA’s replacement on some other pretext – it is just a hammer Sinn Fein campaign – there is nothing moral or ethical to it!

    • jessica July 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

      I can see Martin also stepping aside within the next few years.
      He would make an excellent President of Ireland and could do more good in that position than he could achieve in Stormont.

  5. Pointis July 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    When I was at school there was a guy that was far too touchy about others succeeding by bending the rules or not following the rules completely. He used to really get up tight when others mentioned someone who had done well but hadn’t done so by following convention. This guy used to “blow a fuse” and go away overboard about it to the extent of getting himself into trouble over issues that had nothing to do with him.

    It got to the point where others used to routinely wind him up and then sit back and enjoy the over-reaction. The guy never realised that the topic was never the issue, it was his over-reaction which was causing the problem and creating the interest for others and sometimes probably leaving him feeling depressed, frustrated and angry.

    Sometimes I feel Sinn Fein supporters have the same over-reaction when it comes to the topic of Gerry Adams leadership of the party. Instead of being dismissive and saying “the party officers and members are always considering the composition of the officers and leadership of the party in order to provide the best service to its members and the country” they go on the attack of those raising the issue and this leaves those with no involvement with the party feeling bemused and probably buoys them up for another go at Gerry Adams.

    Sinn Fein probably have rules about members using the media to criticise the party policy and Tommy McNulty has probably breached these protocols and Sinn will have to deal with such breaches in due course but it must ensure that this is done objectively with no weight given to the topic. It might be best to completely ignore Mr McNulty’s letter to the Irish News in terms of party discipline but rather send a reminder to all branches of the protol of bringing any grievances through the mechanisms set up in the party. To be fair Mr McNulty has a mechanism open to him to change the leadership and that is to propose someone else who is willing to stand for the position. Why he has not done this is anyone’s guess.

    Anyone knows that the Sindo and other elements of the Irish media do not behave evenhandedly when reporting on Sinn Fein but that is unlikely to change in the short term. I think Gerry Adams and the leadership do behave with maturity when subjected to criticism but it is important that this pragmatism is cascaded down through every element of the party and it’s support.

  6. Brian Mac Domhnaill July 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm #

    Tommy McNulty is a native of the Dungannon area who joined the Civil Rights movement and the IRA at the outbreak of the conflict in the late 60s. His autobiography ‘Exiled’ is a fascinating account of his activities in Tyrone, while on the run in County Monaghan and later in Dublin and in north Meath. I would heartily recommend it to all of those interesed in the history of our conflict, written by a man who wasn’t content to stand idly by. While the book could have done with editing, it is well written as Tommy has a great gift for remembering incidents, some hair raising, others funny and many tragic.
    He remains a republican activist to this day. Why he decided to write this letter to the Irish News I do not know. Perhaps he wanted to start a debate amongst Sinn Féin members. I would have thought that the best way to do that would be to propose (through his cumann) an alternative leader and have the debate before and during an Ard Fheis. I can’t see the value of feeding the appetite of anti-Adams media outlets. Having said that, I fully respect Tommy’s right to voice his opinion in whatever way he sees fit. .

  7. Mary Jo July 18, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Hillary Clinton, close to Gerry’s age, carries her age well and enjoys superb mental clarity. Gerry hasn’t worn so well. He lacks clarity when questioned. I listened to his stumbling responses to questions about the economy before the last election and wondered who will be kind enough to tell him it is time to make way for younger strengths.

    Worse than his stumbling was his condemnation of the Special Criminal Court on grounds of their harassment of old comrade Slab Murphy. Certainly Gerry’s loyalty to Murphy is laudable but condemning the court that is a chief weapon against gang violence in our cities because of loyalty to an erring old comrade suggests very poor judgement, poor to the point of being another disqualification for the position of head of party.

    I didn’t need the Independent to tell me Adams was damaging Sinn Fein’s election prospects. I could hear it for myself every time Gerry opened his mouth. I sympathised with him because I belong to the same age group and my recall is closer to Gerry’s level than to Hillary’s.

    None of which takes away from his enormous achievement in bringing us peace, alongside the prospect of equality and justice on this island. I would hope to see Gerry stand aside for long enough to let SF fulfil its current potential in ROI. SF did well in the election but could have done so much better.

    Stand aside but not retire. Gerry Adams in the Aras would be a radical, outspoken President who would tolerate no dirty tricks from RTE or O’Brien media..

    • Jude Collins July 19, 2016 at 10:06 am #

      I agree with much of what you say (once more), Mary Jo. But I think before making Gerry walk the plank, it might be important to think how many people vote for SF BECAUSE OF Gerry Adams? I think that the day GA retires is the day the SF vote will be in serious danger of decline.

      • jessica July 19, 2016 at 10:42 am #

        “I think that the day GA retires is the day the SF vote will be in serious danger of decline.”

        Jude, in the north the Sinn Fein vote is already on the decline and may well continue to decline.

        There has never been less interest in Irish reunification in the north than the present day over divisions between Irish citizens on either side of the border.

        I am much more interested in the recent comments on reunification from Fine Gael and Fianna Fail than I am hell bent on it being Sinn Fein that reunites this country,

        I was actually very pleased to hear the more positive sound bites from both Enda Kenny and Michael Martin in terms of reunification recently, and they were not made because of Sinn Fein or have anything to do with any Sinn Fein strategy or acts.

        What I mean is, it felt like they have more gravity.

        In fact, I would say both parties have more accurately identified the feeling on the ground in the north that the 56% result in the referendum was mainly for open borders to remain on this island, for continued free trade throughout all of Ireland and only secondly to remain in the EU.

        All I hear from Sinn Fein is the importance of remaining in Europe, when the priority for just about everyone I know who voted remain, was more based on keeping the border out and not changing the status in Ireland than a vote for Brussels rule. In fact I don’t know one single person who would put membership of Europe above the relationship within Ireland.

        Oh yes, except the current Sinn Fein leadership of course.