Outside the Box: Take 2

Guest writer Sean Mallory with his thoughts on Sinn Fein's handling of the party's most recent sex abuse scandal. This is his second Outside the Box column for TPQ.

Recently the media has been clamouring over itself to report on the latest self-inflicted bullet in the foot for SF.  A wound surprising in itself in that it wasn’t fatal for the foot is a good place to hide your brains ... until you find a gun that is!  Some grannies have learned many years ago how to suck eggs but not all as it would appear!

The media, reporting least of all, on the actual act of sexual abuse of young people and the trauma they endured at the hands of Irish Republicans, implied that these sordid crimes were widespread but without any hint of solid foundation - two swallows do make a summer.  They predominantly focused on the cover-up that ensued, orchestrated by the leadership of the Republican Movement, and their current scurrying to extend the life span of that cover-up even after the magician’s hanky has been removed.  A leadership that hasn’t quite grasped the concept of skeletons in the closet – they always eventually fall out!  And a leadership that for over thirty years has taken its direction from one person - Gerry Adams. 

But, unlike other institutions that have recently faced such severe criticism and rebuke for their own failures on similar charges and which have forcibly striven to distance the crime of the individual as wholly independent of the organisation and thus ensuring that the good of the institution is retained while the stain of the individual is wiped away, SF don’t distance the individual Adams from the Party.

Pope Francis can blame his predecessors, Cameron can blame his predecessors, Tory or Labour for that matter, and Kenny can blame his predecessors, irrespective of what colour of shirt they wear, but who are SF to blame?  Those who have treaded the leadership boards before Adams have long since retreated to the pages of history and the sordid crimes reported by the media have, it would seem, happened under Adams decades of leadership anyway.  Adams, being the head of the party, and the party being him, cannot be blamed, as to do so would mean wiping him away.  To blame Adams is to blame the Party.  Cameron or Kenny must be livid that they cannot attain such loyalty as that shown to Adams by his party members.   To have all of your top table willing to lie in the face of public ridicule – now that is loyalty!  But what loving child would deny their mother? So who do they blame?  The simple answer is as it always has been when Adams or the Party is under threat – the enemies of the peace process.  Which translates to all those who hold a difference of opinion to SF.  It would seem that infallibility is a trait held by more than one leader.

And like those other institutions who have survived their own scandals, SF has survived again.  In all media outlets it has been reported that since Ms Cahill went public with her rape claim, SF has not lost any of its’ hard fought gains in the South irrespective how long Kenny hangs on to Ms Cahill’s plight in the vain attempt at destroying SF’s gains – hollow sincerity.  In the North Ms Cahill and others are old news, and painful as it is, that is all they ever were – news items.  The dubious earnestness of the politicians who scrambled to express their disgust at SF has now withered as they turn their attention to the arrival of Mr G Harte, another G of impeccable credentials and the budget, flags, parades and ironically the welfare bill.  The justice sought has not been found nor is it ever likely to be. The show is over and all that is left is most likely alienation for Ms Cahill within her own community.  Irrespective of the crime or who committed it, there is an understanding within her community that there is a fine line that you don’t cross, but she did.  Meeting with the long-term enemies of Irish Republicanism to ask for assistance is tantamount to sticking the boot in and is not acceptable even though, those who condemn her, work closely on a daily basis with those same enemies!

Therefore, those who sustained injuries at the hands of Party members whilst Adams was and is in charge should understand that attacking Adams is attacking SF for It is he, and he is It, and in turn attacking all of its members.  When we watch, read or listen to an interview by such staunch worshippers as Mary Lou, when they are asked that irritating ubiquitous question about Adams being in the IRA, when they all agree with his much publicised response of NO, don’t be surprised for they are not just defending Adams but are defending the party also.  To answer otherwise would only open the closet to skeletons that have yet to fall out.  Mea culpa will never be heard echoing around the halls of SF head office on the Falls. Gerry Adams, the greatest political escape artist in the Western hemisphere, has escaped ... and he will escape again.


  1. "The show is over and all that is left is most likely alienation for Ms Cahill within her own community..."

    Máiría Cahill has emerged from this with more integrity than the combined female membership of Adamsite SF, who have cowered in shame behind the so called Republican wall of silence. If any emerged to hurl slanderous gossip they quickly retreated at the first hint of confrontation.

    Máiría's community are not fanatical Adamsite worshipers, they are mainly struggling to survive while being cheated by those politicians in whom they placed their trust. The fact that they continue to vote for a cult that passes for a political party is proof that they have no alternative, not that they are fanatics who would turn on victims of rape and abuse.

    Republicans are not those who would toast the British Queen and claim it was a strategy, they are people who have caught on to the liars and who would never be bought over by British cash. By and large they sympathise with victims like Máiría, even if some might disagree with whom she used to open doors for her. We don't and won't alienate victims who seek justice.

    We should all worry what will happen if the fanatics who turn on victims get control of the system of justice in the South, bad enough as it presently is.

  2. The fact that SF didn't drop in the polls is more complex than straight out support in spite of the continued sexual abuse scandals enveloping Adams. The southern electorate are at the end of their tether with Kenny and Co. and the water charges are now the focal point for anger at the bonus self serving cute hoor culture that refuses to even slow down.

    The SF position in the polls should be viewed more as a message to FG/Lab that the southern electorate are not going to be deflected by short term scandals in the north from sending the Labour party into the history books and FG into political 'exile' at the next opportunity.

    That SF gained in the latest poll will have brought the message home, or should have, to FG/Lab that the electorate smell blood and are out now to finish those self serving hoodlums in the Dail off once and for all.

    I wouldn't like to be in Mairia's shoes in Belfast, because the cult members are and ugly mob when they get going. But she can take heart, I hope, from the fact that people believe her and not SF.

  3. From Sean Mallory


    There may be those among her community who see through Adams and SF but you and they are in the minority even though your support for those who seek justice is most welcome.

    It is the greater part, who may initially empathise, but generally comply with and are influenced by SF. You don't have to be fanatical to be persuaded to support the immoral contrary....it's called politics.

    We'll wait and see see what happens.