Having yesterday delivered a knee to the Sinn Féin groin in the form of Stephen Collins, the Irish Times this morning delivers a forearm smash to the face in the shape of Noel Whelan.
Yesterday, Stephen flexed and then planted his brawny knee in an article entitled ‘Sinn Féin reveals true self again with Venezuela infatuation”. This referred to the fact that Sinn Féin had responded to an invitation and sent two delegates to attend the inauguration of the elected Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro. Not just that, but Mary-Lou McDonald had gone further and suggested the Venezuelan election was open and fair. Well – brass neck or what? As Stephen pointed out, the EU was “highly critical” of how the election was conducted. (So too was Donald Trump, ach sin sceal eile.) Stephen concluded that Sinn Féin’s respecting of the elected president “Illustrates the direction in which the party would like to take this country if it ever gets its hands on the levers of power.” Knee raised, crunch of delivered groin-thud. Ooooph…
With the Shinners stumbling about clutching their softer bits, today the Irish Times features Noel Whelan with a major article entitled “Sinn Féin is misrepresenting Countess Markievicz.” Noel has a number of man-sized gripes with the Shinners, especially Mary-Lou.
It seems that the community and “local historians” in Soloheadbeg last Sunday conducted “an inclusive centenary event.” Sinn Féin had the cheek not to attend it but had their own commemoration the previous day. Outrageous.
And not just that. As Noel points out, Sinn Féin are now commemorating and claiming Countess Markievicz as one of their own. Noel quickly corrects any such notion. Yes, she was a Sinn Féin member until the mid-1920s, when she left Sinn Féin and joined De Valera’s Fianna Fail….Yes, Virginia, the same party to which Noel himself once belonged – a double distinction, then, for the FFers…No, wait. There’s more. Noel is critical of Mary-Lou and the Shinners for claiming Dan Breen as a republican icon. Yes, he was a Shinner, but like Markievicz he left and joined Fianna Fail in 1926.
In short, it’s Noel’s complaint that Sinn Féin have left out the FF bit: “There have…been some interesting, almost entertaining attempts to deny or overlook the complexity of our political heritage or to shape it into politically self-serving narratives.”
Elbow crook, muscles flexed, smash to Shinner gob. Ker-crunch.
What Stephen and Noel themselves omit is the fact that they have for years now been raining verbal body-blows to Sinn Féin when the opportunity arises and even when it doesn’t. Maybe if both were to have a by-line after their name: “Shinners make me sick”.Such an inclusion might help temper their politically self-serving narratives. Pow=eee!