Anthony McIntyre ✒ Gerry Adams might not be causing controversy again but has been placed at the centre of one all the same. 

His latest outing has drawn the noisy flak of some people whose concern about the past has always been expressed silently anytime the violent role of British state forces and prison staff has fallen under the strobe. The heavy thump of applause for denunciations of the IRA quickly assumes the sound of one hand clapping when it comes the turn of the British to feature in Rogues' Gallery. 

It is difficult to tell with Adams whether he plans controversy or is caught in its web. Designed or not, he is unable to plead not wittingly M'Lord to Miriam or anybody else about the consequences of his schemes and scams, whereby he invariably manages to be the centre of attention without being the centre of attention.

With multiple motives driving his actions, including quirky behaviour, allowing for multiple outcomes beneficial to him, he knows in advance the likely outcome of his public posturing and utterances, and calculates accordingly. Eoin Ó Broin alluded to this in a public rebuke of his former leader over his appearance in the Christmas video skit, which some have claimed was a mockery of their loved ones whose lives were snuffed out by the Provisional IRA during the Northern conflict. Ó Broin, calling on his former boss to apologise, also pointedly referred to the:

hurt or pain or trauma that republicans, including some people I have worked with directly and very closely for many years, have caused.

Ó Broin's point: Adams could have foreseen the fall out. But not any more than Ó Broin could have predicted Adams behaving precisely as he did. It is in his nature.

Other party figures have expressed the view that Adams has nothing to apologise for including Matt Carthy and David Cullinane, himself forced to walk the apology plank some time back for shouting Up the Ra, while party leader Mary Lou McDonald has thus far remained silent. 

Ó Broin  has form for refusing to publicly kowtow to Adams and is not therefore an indication of what way the current leadership cat will jump. I do not subscribe to the Matt Treacy view that Ó Broin is "annoyed over the Adams video because it potentially interferes with ... becoming ministers. Sin é." The impulse toward political careerism is arguably much stronger among those who have backed Adams on the issue than it is evident in Ó Broin, who at least seems to believe in something.  Nevertheless, McDonald is astute enough to discern that the party's phenomenal rise in popularity cannot be dissociated from the public perception that it has left Adams behind it. In her view, best for him to stay on the margins in the past rather than be part of the present.  

As for the video, a friend sent it to me seemingly more in a gesture of ridicule than an outpouring of exasperation. The one comment I remember making was that Adams is a bigger bore than Covid. The video did not seem mocking. If anything, there was a touch of the self-deprecatory to it all, more a parody of his claims never to have been in the IRA, than insensitivity towards victims.



As such, there should be no need for Adams to apologise to victims' groups. To insist that he should is to trivialise the meaning of apology in political discourse. Times have moved on from when Gerry Adams knocking on your door one dark December evening was a cause for grave concern.


⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

No Cause For Grave Concern



Anthony McIntyre ✒ Gerry Adams might not be causing controversy again but has been placed at the centre of one all the same. 

His latest outing has drawn the noisy flak of some people whose concern about the past has always been expressed silently anytime the violent role of British state forces and prison staff has fallen under the strobe. The heavy thump of applause for denunciations of the IRA quickly assumes the sound of one hand clapping when it comes the turn of the British to feature in Rogues' Gallery. 

It is difficult to tell with Adams whether he plans controversy or is caught in its web. Designed or not, he is unable to plead not wittingly M'Lord to Miriam or anybody else about the consequences of his schemes and scams, whereby he invariably manages to be the centre of attention without being the centre of attention.

With multiple motives driving his actions, including quirky behaviour, allowing for multiple outcomes beneficial to him, he knows in advance the likely outcome of his public posturing and utterances, and calculates accordingly. Eoin Ó Broin alluded to this in a public rebuke of his former leader over his appearance in the Christmas video skit, which some have claimed was a mockery of their loved ones whose lives were snuffed out by the Provisional IRA during the Northern conflict. Ó Broin, calling on his former boss to apologise, also pointedly referred to the:

hurt or pain or trauma that republicans, including some people I have worked with directly and very closely for many years, have caused.

Ó Broin's point: Adams could have foreseen the fall out. But not any more than Ó Broin could have predicted Adams behaving precisely as he did. It is in his nature.

Other party figures have expressed the view that Adams has nothing to apologise for including Matt Carthy and David Cullinane, himself forced to walk the apology plank some time back for shouting Up the Ra, while party leader Mary Lou McDonald has thus far remained silent. 

Ó Broin  has form for refusing to publicly kowtow to Adams and is not therefore an indication of what way the current leadership cat will jump. I do not subscribe to the Matt Treacy view that Ó Broin is "annoyed over the Adams video because it potentially interferes with ... becoming ministers. Sin é." The impulse toward political careerism is arguably much stronger among those who have backed Adams on the issue than it is evident in Ó Broin, who at least seems to believe in something.  Nevertheless, McDonald is astute enough to discern that the party's phenomenal rise in popularity cannot be dissociated from the public perception that it has left Adams behind it. In her view, best for him to stay on the margins in the past rather than be part of the present.  

As for the video, a friend sent it to me seemingly more in a gesture of ridicule than an outpouring of exasperation. The one comment I remember making was that Adams is a bigger bore than Covid. The video did not seem mocking. If anything, there was a touch of the self-deprecatory to it all, more a parody of his claims never to have been in the IRA, than insensitivity towards victims.



As such, there should be no need for Adams to apologise to victims' groups. To insist that he should is to trivialise the meaning of apology in political discourse. Times have moved on from when Gerry Adams knocking on your door one dark December evening was a cause for grave concern.


⏩ Follow on Twitter @AnthonyMcIntyre.

7 comments:

  1. Above anything else it's incredibly cringe worthy. But it's not the "tiocfaidh ar la la la" that gets a reaction it's the implied threat of "They haven't gone away you know". Especially at Christmas. It just seems really odd that this was given the nod for release. Some balls on O'Brion to stick his head up too. Never hear of solo runs in the shinners.

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    1. It's parody Steve, not a threat. Cringeworthy is as good a way to describe it as any

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    2. I get that it's supposed to be a parody, but coming up to the Christmas period those with lost loved ones may not see it as such.
      Cringe worthy and tactless in that regard. If Adams didn't do this kind of calculated buffoonery quite so often it could prehaps be allowed to slide, but jumping naked on trampolines and Ballymurphy N*****s suggest something far more thought out.

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  2. I am not one to shine a light for Gerry Aams, far from it, but the "they haven't gone away you know" was a quip from Adams at a march back in the later nineties. I was on the march to Belfast city centre and a young lad shouted out, "bring back the IRA" to which Adams gave his now almost legendary answer, "they haven't gone away you know". It was an off the cuff reply and far too much has been, and continues to be made of it.

    Caoimhin O'Muraile

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  3. Tiocfaidh ár lá once the battle cry of republicans has now along with everthing else been turned into a money making commodity by the quisling $inn £anny party, what next ,?calorie free Bobby Sands hamburgers perhaps, with a grinning eejit big Gerry saying I can make that disappear,,

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  4. Mick Hall comments

    I thought it was a tiny bit funny. Why Adams made it only he know. As to apologise - coming from politicians - they are not worth a hill of beans. Besides for once he has nothing to apologize for.

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  5. https://i.imgflip.com/5y6qar.jpg

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