Beadle’s About

Suzanne Breen and the Sunday Tribune are to be complimented for the sterling investigative journalism they are conducting. Tonight, as every Saturday night, is filled with a sense of expectation that tomorrow’s paper will be awash with new revelations. Belfast readers will have to be up earlier than usual. A former republican prisoner laughed as she told me Sinn Fein members were spotted buying the paper in bulk so that nobody else would get a chance to read them. If true, they must envy the Chinese for internet censorship. She read hers on-line.

Good investigative journalism always stimulates the mind. The sillier the responses of those being investigated the greater the whetting of the appetite for even more insights. Hiding the papers is as bad as having concealed the abuse issue to begin with.

Now if people were waiting on their curiosity to be assuaged by the BBC they will wait a long time. It seems to think the less society knows about contentious issues the better for it. Having hidden out in Haiti for almost a week, BBC television yielded to public interest and finally noticed the elephant charging through the news room. Even then the instinct was to feed the beast rather than corner it. The beast in question was not the Sinn Fein President per se but the issue of cover up and denial that growing numbers of people now suspect he was involved in. A queue of abuse victims is beginning to form outside his door demanding the justice they feel he has long denied them in his desire to place party before people and his own extended career before everything else. As James McErlean was fond of saying in the jail. ‘Lord pity me and screw the rest.’

Not that the BBC did a particularly good job in its handing of the matter. Rendered anaemic by the plague of the peace process which has suffocated all its vital signs it now flounders in the same news league as the doddering old Irish Times. The once proud paper of record just about manages to shuffle along in an advanced state of senility and timidity seemingly terrified of dropping any clangers about the peace process. Clumped together, BBC Northern Ireland and the Old Lady of D'Olier Street make a rare pair. Debilitated by investigative Alzheimer’s each forgets what it came for when they arrive on the door to ask the probing question. It is like watching a car being pushed with a rope.

During his televised interview Adams looked rattled as he was gently put through allegations of inertia in response to separate acts of serial rape and torture against a teenage girl and a ten year old child committed by his colleagues in the Provisional movement. Rather than give a plausible account of his role, whatever it was, he fell back on the hoary old defence that the paper tearing shreds from his credibility, the Sunday Tribune, was engaged in a campaign of untruths against him and the party he leads.

Whatever the strength of Sinn Fein’s case when it resorts to allegations of untruths and evasions its leaders invariably fail to get their well burst credibility ball over the line of believability. They are stopped short every single time. People just think they are being winded up when listening to Sinn Fein. They half expect the late Jeremy Beadle to jump out at the end of each Sinn Fein interview.

In a country of 5 million people, it is easy to find six million who don’t believe a word Sinn Fein says.


  1. Hi Anthony, there is more than an element of truth, in what the ex-prisoner told you about Sinn Fein censoring the Sunday Tribune. For the third week in a row we have been unable to purchase a copy of this paper anywhere on the Falls Road. Maybe there are designated places where people go secretly to buy a copy and have a read. Think I'll try Clonard crypt, have not seen any shinners there since the night last policing debate.

  2. Nuala, was just writing about it today to go out tonight or tomorrow. The paper is either being avidly read of they are bulk buying.

  3. The question now that needs to be asked, what justice can an ordinary nationalist/republican get if the victim in these cases are being obstructed by Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein/IRA! Remember the recent incidents involving Sinn Fein/IRA, the Robert McCartney and Paul Quinn cover ups and denials, then there was the slow release of information to the families of the disappeared and the character assassination of the disappeared, the Robert McCartney sisters and the family of Paul Quinn!!!

    Gerry Adams the man who all through his life has denied being in the IRA, and has denied his full roll in several infamous incidents during the so called troubles.

    So Adams, form on these issues is hardly unfamiliar to him.

    Here I believe is the issue that goes to the heart of the matter and issues that nationalists and republicans are in complete denial about.

    The issue that needs to be addressed is that of the lies, cover-ups and disinformation that Adams is coming out with. These issues are of concern for the Unionist side of the fence, but the nationalist and republican side need to re-examine what type of people and party they want to represent them.

    As a Unionist we have seen Adams blatantly tell lies and half truths over many years. He is a master in the tactics of deflection, spin and victim-hood, all the tactics he has used in this case.

    The ordinary nationalist and republican needs to get the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, collective monkey off their backs, and see Adams and Sinn Fein/IRA for what they really are.

    Until ordinary nationalists and republicans, realize that Adams and Sinn Fein/IRA have a vested interest in keeping their communities and electorate subjugated then the cycle of some old, same old in nationalist and republican areas will continue forever.

    I’m sure there are more of these cases, and at some stage they will be forced out, to affect the nationalist and republican communities.

    Remember Robert McCartney and Paul Quinn if Sinn Fein/IRA can clean up and cover up murders, there is nothing they won’t stoop too, to cover up for the party’s apparatchiks or other IRA players in a sexual abuse allegation against ordinary people!!!

    To quote Thomas Jefferson: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Change the government, to Sinn Fein and this seems to sum up everything in nationalist/republican communities!!!

  4. "Fraid that your "Elephants", are peanuts in the real world. I think that you search for the "unforgivable crime" in order to find your own redemption. Telegraphing, as I said.

  5. Ranger1640, an interesting take. It would have made a good article

  6. yeah ranger 1640 and some would say that Adams and co had a good teacher pardon the spelling if its wrong Perfidious Albion

  7. uilodomhnaill, you are back. Good for you. And still I have no idea WTF you are talking about. No matter; nice to see you around

  8. mackers, you should have included rte in your critique of the media's handling of this story - tommy 'the shinner' gorman has gone out of his way to exculpate gerry adams while, with the exception of pat kenny, rte has largely ignored the story - where is miriam o'callaghan and prime time, why no exposé of this story? does sinn fein and the peace process deserve softer treatment than the catholic church?