Threatening Language

The Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has made baleful comments at a fund raising event in New York about the Irish Independent that must raise alarm about a threat to the freedom of the press as well as feeding into suspicions about the fascistic ambience that swathes Sinn Fein. The Independent News Group has been a long term critic of Adams. As Sinn Fein pointed out it was critical of his role in making peace. It was also critical of his role in making war.

The Independent has a long history of dishing out anti-republican invective. During the Northern conflict the paper’s editorial line excoriated republican political violence but was quiescent in the face of British state political violence. It was also a cheerleader for the draconian powers often utilised by the Dublin government. A frequent contributor to the paper was Ireland’s chief censor, the late Conor Cruise O’Brien, an inveterate hater of Sinn Fein, who often plied his pen to the propagation of spurious nonsense whereby he would predict the resumption of a full blown IRA campaign.

Republican anathema towards The Indo predated the emergence of the Provisional Movement. The paper’s founder William Martin Murphy was a demonic figure in the republican mindset, an evil nemesis representing the forces of darkness pitted against the iconic luminary, James Connolly. Murphy’s role in the Great Dublin Lockout was reviled while Connolly’s was lauded. Republicans believed that when The Independent called for the execution of James Connolly in the wake of the 1916 Rising, it was Murphy’s revenge.

In recent years the paper has vigorously and vociferously challenged Sinn Fein. Gerry Adams sought to legally muzzle it because it outlined what it said was his role in covering up for a child rapist. It was a retrograde step. The paper is no more hostile to Sinn Fein than An Phoblacht/Republican News is to Fine Gael. Yet there are no grounds that would merit the muzzling of AP/RN. The question that can be levelled at The Independent is why it fails to scrutinise other parties to the same extent that it does Sinn Fein. The answer is to have more, not fewer, papers questioning more, not fewer, political parties.

Adams, ironically citing the actions of one of the progenitors of Fine Gael, Michael Collins who favoured a Napoleonic dictatorship in Ireland, said that Collins’ attitude to The Independent was that:
He went in, sent volunteers in, to the offices, held the editor at gunpoint, and destroyed the entire printing press. That’s what he did. Now I can just see the headline in The Independent tomorrow, I’m obviously not advocating that.

Perhaps he is not inciting violence against the paper, just conveying hostility in a plausibly deniable way with little intention of following through. Alternatively he could be exhorting some disposable disciple to consider ridding him of turbulent priests. One reason perhaps for his claim not to be advocating physical violence against The Indo is that to do so would see him hauled before the courts, just as one reason for him not admitting his membership of the IRA would also see him in the dock. What he is very much seeking to do is create an incendiary atmosphere, really telling the paper in language pregnant with menace, what he would like to see done to it. Ultimately he is using the legitimacy of the Easter Rising to bully The Independent.

Again Adams has placed his devoted deputy Mary Lou McDonald in a position where she would prefer not to be, firefighting the blazes his napalm toxicity ignites.  She said her commander:
was scathingly critical of Independent Newspaper and little wonder that he would be. I think any objective assessment of the editorial line or standard or should I say sub-standard of journalism, particularly within Sunday Independent would explain why Gerry made those comments ... I understand that he referred back to Michael Collins who was the person in question who had the confrontation with the editor of the Irish Independent. I think he was making it clear that he was not suggesting an appropriate course of action now ... He was referencing a turn of events many, many moons ago that Michael Collins, an Irish patriot took that particular action. It was a comment as simple as that, it certainly does not constitute a threat in any shape or form ... If you are going to be relentlessly abusive of elected representatives of Sinn Féin or abusive of people who vote or support Sinn Féin then you shouldn’t be so sensitive when people criticise you back.
Cautioning against inflated sensitivity is a fine point which Sinn Fein invariably fails to get. More than any party on the island it has railed at criticism, seeking in the manner of scientologists to smear all and sundry who engage in it.  

Ian McEwan in his novel Amsterdam has one of his characters, a newspaper editor, thinking ‘in some respects journalism resembled science: the best ideas were the ones that survived, and were strengthened by intelligent opposition.’

Sinn Fein should address The Independent with intelligent opposition not the crude language of fascism.


  1. Adamsite SF Cllr Michael Henry McIvor continues to abuse rape victims online. His latest remark while not surprising, given his vile comments about Paul Quinn and victims of suicide, is disturbing to say the least....

    "Michael-Henry Mcivor

    I see sweet Mairia has complained to Gerry Adams Twitter about me and my comments-( she still runs to Gerry when in bother )-

    6:21 a.m., Saturday Nov. 8 "

  2. Gerry Itwasntme as most people are now aware is a member of that protected species of rats such as state agents ,touts and special branch personnel guilty of involvement in mass murder,so in such a shit pool the rat belongs,his arrogance comes from the fact that he knows his place and that he is still regarded as useful by the state ,we all know that all political careers in end in failure Paisley is the latest example ,Gerrybroys fall from grace will be far more spectacular I predict I for one cant wait for the day and as sure as there is shit on his shirt tail that day is coming Tiocfaidh Ar La ..

  3. AM,

    Mary Lou McDonald will of course try to dismiss Gerry's menacing tone as mere tongue-in-cheek. However, I don't think Jim Gibney was joking last year when he called for a "Patten-style investigation into the media" and for journalism to be "democratically regulated" in order to stop the ongoing criticism of Gerry Adams.

    I'm not sure why Gibney is so concerned with censoring Gerry's critics though. In the very same piece, Gibney suggests that their criticism has no detrimental effect on Gerry Adams, who remains "revered by party activists and the more he is criticised the more his personal integrity shines through."


  4. Nothing patriotic about Adams or SF. A paedo family led cult with a horde of gimps idolising their paedo king. Absolutely dread to think what the country would be like with them running it. Stormont cuts times TEN and a Nazi tribute act ta-boot!!

  5. Alfie,

    it reflects the view of the press as a mere instrument rather than having any autonomous scrutinising function. The party is a firm practitioner of censorship. The fascistic undertones increasingly making their way to the surface is a picture of the society it would kike to have: one in which it would like to tell us all it is much improved under its aegis but which we would never be allowed to work out because we would not be allowed to discuss it. We can consider ourselves lucky to have the internet.

  6. "Truth is generally the best vindication against slander."

    So said Abraham Lincoln.

    Hence Adams, along with his mimicking lackeys and cronies, when not engaged in doublespeak find themselves with no choice ... but to advocate for ... make attempts at ... and implement where possible ... censorship.

    And people can support such liars and hypocrites ... blah!

  7. Surely the indie is well able to defend itself in the "rough and tumble of debate." After all it's not beyond it to use innuendo and smears.

    More seriously on this issue one could take the Niemöller option as expressed in the famous poem. Or one could decide the paper and M Adams deserve each other as both have only a fleeting understanding of the truth and move on to more important issues.

  8. Rage,

    Freedom of expression is always important regardless of who the censors are.

  9. I was sort of preaching to the converted on that Mick!