So Adams becomes a ‘founding member’ of a Civil Rights movement the IRA tried hard to circumvent?

I recommend watching Django (‘the D is silent’) just to try and get some kind of a fix on what sort of context Gerry thought he was coming from. The film is full of crude violence, retribution, and of course that fatal taboo word, “Nigger”.

Since the word recurs right through the Tarantino film, it’s perhaps not surprising the impulsive Mr Adams thought he was safe to publicly denote the singular parallels he felt existed between his own biography and that of the vengeful slave liberator of the film in a single short tweet.

As Pat Leahy notes in the Irish Times, the party has been here before and is prepared to endure it with “the usual mixture of ruefulness and defiance”. Gerry and his Twitter account are considered a thing all of their own. At times like these, the press like to speculate on the next generation.

So what’s likely to endure? The most jarring of the post hoc rationalisations is perhaps Adams claim that he’d been a founder member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association.

Certainly the OC of the Belfast Brigade of the IRA Billy McMillen was one of a three-man committee which drew up the Association’s constitution in 1967, although most of these ‘entryists’ would have stayed with the Official IRA after it split three years later.

Back in August 1995 Adams gave an interview to Professor Anthony Clare.  In this section he reveals his views of the Civil Rights movement and its failures at a point in time when many of NICRA’s original objectives had long been established both in law and custom.

Gerry Adams [GA]: My move into politics was quite a gradual one.

Anthony Clare [AC]: Would that have been when you would have discovered you had certain abilities or talents to do this kind of thing?

GA: Well I don’t know. I do know that I felt – and I think this was a mistake –  that the demands of the Civil Rights movement and the demands of that time for equality were so reasonable and so modest and so moderate that the state would have to concede. I just thought that it obvious that people had a right to a decent house, the right to a job the right not to be persecuted.

AC: So you are saying that after that time you would have felt that violence wasn’t needed, wasn’t justified, that changes would come through political means?

GA: We’ll whether or not the use of physical force is justified or not is a separate question.

AC: Well, one of the justifications I would assume is that rights you are entitled to cannot be obtained through peaceful means.

GA: The proof of the situation has been that in the entire history of English involvement in Ireland the maintenance of whatever influence they want has been by denying people rights. In the last seventy-five years and in the last fifteen to twenty the reality of the situation is that the British government has never willingly conceded anything and the Unionists have not conceded anything at all.

AC: I interrupted you. In the late sixties and early seventies, you said the mistake you made was that to assume that these very reasonable requests would be granted …and I understood you to say and that’s why you involved yourself in what was legitimate political activity.

GA: But it was illegal.

AC: To join the IRA?

GA: No it was illegal also to be involved in legitimate political activity.

Later in the interview Adams has difficulty articulating what drives a man into the physical force tradition of Irish Republicanism. And not just for the obvious legal concerns. Watching Django may well have connected with the inarticulate core of the soldiering volunteer.

Adams has long operated in ways that would kill any other politician. Well into his fourth decade in charge of Sinn Fein internally he is unassailable with a broad willingness to believe that he is an unrivalled vote getter.

But like Ken Livingstone, Adams is getting older and less adept at breasting the challenges of modern politics than his younger alter ego. And like Livingstone his missteps get more bizarre and harder to explain.

Drafting in Cromwell and the troubles of 1641 may sound reasonable to those on the inside, but odd and misshapen to those outside. But it is probably only in America where it is doing him the most active damage.

And it is not as though he wasn’t warned. Eamonn McCann writing in March after Adams compared himself to Rosa Parks had this to say back then:

Huge numbers of Irish people were forcibly displaced – “ethnically cleansed” we’d say today – and shipped to America and the Carribbean as indentured labour and treated abominably.

This was the fate of thousands of English poor as well, swept up from the streets and carried off against their will. James I once ordered the transportation of 100 Newbury youths whose late night roistering had disturbed his sleep.

These were not slaves, not the legal property of their masters, and had the right – not that the right was always vindicated – to buy out their “contract” after their allotted time.

Aidan McQuade, the director of Anti-Slavery International, puts it straight: “The Irish, because of the colour of their skin, had preferential treatment and pathways out unavailable to black slaves.”

To deny this, to equate Irish-Americans with African-Americans is insulting to history and to African experience.

The problem is not the insult to African experience. We’ve seen Adams time and again turn a tin ear to victims of the IRA’s long war with the temerity to speak out against the largely unregarded and persistent effects of that war.

The larger question is the quality of his judgement and the pursuit of a narrative which ignores any inconvenient precepts of historical fact that get in its way. So, sufficient unto the needs of the day, he becomes a founding member of the Civil Rights movement the IRA tried so hard to circumvent.

Go figure?

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  • congal claen

    The terms Irish/Ireland come from a British tribe, the Errain, from in and around modern day Bristol.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    TS, I keep telling him this and he tells me, me, a namesake of Seán Donnghaileach Mac Cuinn Bhacaigh Ó Néill, and a (verifiable) descendant of Niall Nóigiallach, “Yopu have foreign ancestry and you support British colonial rule in Ireland. That makes you an enemy of the native Irish population.” A “Walker” ( good grief) tells me that! A “Sean Bui”!!!!!!!!!

    I even offered him a bit of a way out, “Seosamh Siúlóir”, but I don’t think he understood.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The sooner we get these lost lands back, the better……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Joe, enough, this is where you really need to give us, chapter and verse, your entire Irish ancestry back to King Milesius, and confound those cynics like myself who scratch our heads at someone who sounds like an apparent “Sean Bui” telling us we are not Irish with all the authority of the editor of an Irish “Das Ahnenerbe.”

  • John Collins

    I saw it in some article many years ago. I console myself in the knowledge that I am hopefully one of the 5% that are not descended from him. However, I am descended on both my father and mother’s side from De Lacys. so it is hard for most of us, at least down South, to get away from some vestage of Norman roots.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    There used to be a troop of “Ohio Minstrels” in Belfast in the late 1920s…….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I’m told I have some of Raymond le Gros’s blood, through de Burca links. Certainly I have problems loosing weight……

  • Joe Walker

    If you don’t support British rule in the north then what are your political views on Irish unification?

  • Joe Walker

    You are, of course, assuming that I would use my real name on the Internet.

  • Joe Walker

    So what?

  • Joe Walker

    The important fact is that I am against British colonial rule in Ireland and I believe that the native Irish people have the right to use violence to free themselves from the British occupation.

  • Joe Walker

    In other words, there is no evidence to back up your claim. Just as I thought.

  • John Collins

    You did not address my recitation of several common Norman names in the Southern Irish landscape. I would also refer you to the fact that the names mentioned above are mainly to be found in the West Limerick, North Cork, North Kerry border area. Now my wife is from Wexford and Norman surnames are much more common there. When you consider that everyone has 128 ancestors over the past six generations and that number keeps doubling with every previous generation and the Normans have been here for about nine hundred and fifty years, how can you say that most RCs have little or no Norman antecedents. You certainly have no documentary evidence to support your argument,

  • Joe Walker

    As I have said previously, it is not uncommon for oppressed people to take on the names of their oppressors. Just because there are Norman names in Ireland does not necessarily mean that all those people are descended from the Normans.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Hey now. Politics is politics but don’t blame the movie. That film is great fun lol

  • John Collins

    Can you provide any credible documentary evidence to support these claims. BTW most of the Norman names in my locality were never major landlords or recorded as our oppressors.

  • Tochais Siorai

    Either that or you chose to use what in your terms is a ‘colonist’ name.

  • Joe Walker

    The only way that I could do that would be to give every person in Ireland a DNA test and then see how similar the DNA of the people with Norman last names are to people with Gaelic last names.

  • John Collins

    And Hannaway, Gerry’s mother’s maiden name

  • Joe Walker

    So what if I do?

  • John Collins

    Funny you mention the violence against British Rule. Fitzgeralds and Lacys have been forcibly resisting British Rule for centuries and they are most certainly of Norman extraction. I don’t recall too many Walkers in that bandwagon.

  • Joe Walker

    So what?

  • John Collins

    As described by you that means nothing, I am an O’Coileain with a Larkin mother and McCarthy and Mullane Grandmothers. This all looks very Irish, then an Ambrose, a Jordan and two Lacys enter the scene. Your ‘last name’ theorgy means nothing

  • ted hagan

    Ah yes, the Hannaway slave owners. It’s all slotting into place.

  • John Collins

    You do not have to be utterly ‘pure Irish’ to resist British Rule.

  • Joe Walker

    From my perspective, the most important thing is whether or not you support British colonial rule in Ireland.

  • Joe Walker

    Where did I say that someone had to be pure Irish to oppose British colonial rule?

  • Skibo

    So GA was the main instigator of the troubles. The IRA would not have been so successful without him. Is that what you are trying to say?

  • Granni Trixie

    I regard him as a Paisley-like influence.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The same, Joe, as this man, a great Irishman of planter extraction whom I mentioned in an earlier posting. He thought the border such a scandal that after 1922 he took boat from Belfast to Liverpool and on to Dublin rather than pass a border post:

    http://www.ardrighbooks.com/fjb.html

    In the 1948 debates about the Republic of Ireland Bill in the Seanad his nephew demanded, Robert Emmet style, “let no man call this state Ireland as long as the scandal of the border stands”, and then scandalised the “pure bloods” by demanding safeguards for his fellow Irishmen in the north who differed from him on the issues of the Union.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So that means then that many if not most people living in Ireland aren’t actually Irish?

    Will you break the news to them or shall I?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Try reading Douglas Hyde’s “The Necessity of De-Anglicising Ireland”, where he identified the genuine problem in 1892:

    http://www.gaeilge.org/deanglicising.html

    “the Irish race is at present in a most anomalous position, imitating England and yet apparently hating it.” What point is there to any spurious political independence where everything culturally is simply a different version of Englishness

    It matters not who is seemingly in the “driving seat” (its going to be other “Global” financial interests anyway nowadays) as long as your actual cultural identity is rich and vital. That, not some spurious blood theory, or having anglicised politicians of Irish Birth pretending they are “independent”, is the real issue in all of this.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    You might regret that Joe. They did something similar years ago with Gaelic speakers from the Arran Islands and found out that most of them had East Anglian heritage, stemming from Cromwell’s garrison there during the blockade of Galway.

    The only way you can be sure of being ‘pure’ Irish is if your family have been holed up in a cave since before the Vikings arrived (or before the Gaels started slave raiding).

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    And so do people actually descended from them.

    It also works both ways, there must be an incalculable number b*st*rd children conceived from drunken fumbles from Norman lords and servant girls or tavern wench or any other underlings that tickled their French fancy.

    Not to mention all those cover-up stories that occur to this day – “you can never let them know who the child’s father is, we shall raise him as our own…”

    And if one embraces the idea of 800 years of oppression well that goes hand in hand with rape and sexual coercion so that’s 800 years of shagging not to mention all those armies that were marauding around the place time after time: Viking, Scottish (Bruce, Covenanters and Gallowglass), English, Spanish, Williamite euro trash etc and then we have all the groups that came and gradually blended in: Palatines, Moravians, Welsh, Hugenouts, Flemmings….

    Statistically speaking the chances of someone born on the island of Ireland (especially if they’re from the coast, a large town, a barrack town, a commercial town or a navigable river) and NOT having some sort of ‘foreign DNA’ are practically zero.

  • Skibo

    Granni I can understand that when I look through Unionist eyes. I would hope that as for the Nationalist impression to Paisley softening, at some stage GA will be recognised for his place in the peace process. I do not think it would have went as well without him.

  • Lee

    Your’e a quare geg. (Note the Scottish origins of what you might consider to be such a occupied 6 counties and Irish phrase). Or maybe you’re a unionist ‘plant’ on this forum. 😉
    If Walker is your real name you probably don’t have to go back too many generations to find an English or Scottish male ancestor. You may have a few cousins knocking around Lancaster, Lanarkshire or Llanelli.
    Most wee towns in Ulster were built by the Ulster-Scots, with their pleasant wee squares and diamonds and wide streets. From Comber to Kilrea, and the Walls of Derry. In a United Ireland would you bulldoze them and start again, remove all trace of the foreigners.
    Embrace your inner Brit 😉 and chill out.

  • Barneyt

    you mean…we own Bristol? 🙂

  • Joe Walker

    Most people in Ireland are descended from the native Irish population.

  • Joe Walker

    Do you have a link to this research? If it took place anywhere besides your imagination then there should be some link to it. Please produce it.

  • Joe Walker

    Where is the evidence to back up your claims?

  • Joe Walker

    Just because the Brits built towns on land that they stole from the native Irish does not mean that they have a right to live in them.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    List the claims one by one and i’ll elaborate on them.

    And if you don’t believe that there were extra -marital births by Norman lords, Anglo lords and marauding armies then please state as such (and prepare to be laughed at ).

  • congal claen

    Hi Joe,

    So….. the Etymology of Irish is British. If you can’t see the importance of that with regard to some of your other statements, you should try harder.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And probably as far as Turkey too, even! “Where Gael has trod…..”

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    The last paragraph, here: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/Scotch-Irish/1997-08/0870668072

    Taken from the medical journal: ‘The ABO and Rh blood groups of the Aran islanders’.

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF02951578
    As George Bernard Shaw said: “We are a parcel of Mongrels: Spanish, Scottish, Welsh, English, and even a Jew or two”.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    As is Mick and a few others that you decried as ‘foreign/colonist’. You need to make up your mind.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Could you back that assertion up with some legal evidence please?

  • Joe Walker

    Where is the genetic evidence to support this activity?

  • Joe Walker

    Are you saying that the Irish are descended from the English? Where is your proof?

  • Joe Walker

    The article on the Aran Islanders was published in 1958 when the science of genetics was still in its early stages of development. Can you find more recent evidence to back up your claim? Shaw wasn’t a scientist.

  • Joe Walker

    But they also have British ancestry and support British colonial rule in Ireland.

  • Joe Walker

    I am expressing my own viewpoint.

  • Theelk11

    Half of the overloaded girona were settled round north Antrim by SB Macdonnell.. He told the English they all drowned.. The local girls were delighted … Apparently..

  • Theelk11

    Couldn’t disagree more and I vote shinner , my view of Paisley was that I was watching the actions of the most cynical politician since Nixon
    I can tolerate Marty because he has been honest about his political journey.
    GA has never acknowledged his background but could call off the hard men back in the day. creative ambiguity was a Clinton/Blair Construction which got the agreement over the line and it made GA a world figure.
    If he had pissed off in about 1998 I would agree with you regarding theGA legacy.
    All I see now is that his party protects and worships a man who goes into bat for rapists and is clearly delusional regarding his role in a lot of things that don’t bear even the most shallow scrutiny.
    the shinner vote continues to drop they are in bed with a rather nasty religious right wing DUP and have rolled over to them , so now they are neither republican or radical .
    They lost a lot of votes today to candidates stealing the shinner clothes, it must be a wake up call.
    Long past time the beard walked.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So what you say is legally speaking (if not morally speaking) nonsense.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    In support of Shaw:

    From Dr James Patrick Mallory’s book – ‘The Origins of the Irish’- Chapter 8 ‘Blood, Skulls and Genes’:

    “Pure Irish? Finally a word of warning for those who seek some form of irish genetic purity: it doesn’t exist”

    As for the Aran Islanders:
    https://books.google.hr/books?id=nkpwQf2Lu9QC&pg=PA352&lpg=PA352&dq=cromwell+soldiers+aran+islands&source=bl&ots=xIhnJfMb1D&sig=VEC-dPLbML3HJIfC22poSrJFPmg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUroauqcfMAhXD0xQKHV50Bh0Q6AEIJDAC#v=onepage&q=cromwell%20soldiers%20aran%20islands&f=false

    https://books.google.hr/books?id=JsNMJQF7nu8C&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=cromwell+soldiers+aran+islands&source=bl&ots=_UXOzhqD2y&sig=ZdY1A7-EtKZqPvSkDTCwGVWUgEY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUroauqcfMAhXD0xQKHV50Bh0Q6AEIQTAI#v=onepage&q=cromwell%20soldiers%20aran%20islands&f=false

    https://books.google.hr/books?id=JsNMJQF7nu8C&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=cromwell+soldiers+aran+islands&source=bl&ots=_UXOzhqD2y&sig=ZdY1A7-EtKZqPvSkDTCwGVWUgEY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUroauqcfMAhXD0xQKHV50Bh0Q6AEIQTAI#v=onepage&q=cromwell%20soldiers%20aran%20islands&f=false

    https://books.google.hr/books?id=dsMgfbyLHnMC&pg=PT16&lpg=PT16&dq=cromwell+soldiers+aran+islands&source=bl&ots=vvujhzXAHj&sig=1UYluHfJ7asQ3wiw14D6s_ep7Qs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUroauqcfMAhXD0xQKHV50Bh0Q6AEIODAG#v=onepage&q=cromwell%20soldiers%20aran%20islands&f=false

    Or this:
    “Ireland

    Ireland is more complicated because the actual number of Viking settlers was probably quite limited, but Germanic haplogroups account for about 25% of the male lineages. The reason is that many English people settled in Ireland, bringing with them I1, R1a and R1b-S21 haplogroups. To make things even more complex, Northern Ireland has a lot of fairly recent Scottish lineages, who also brought Norwegian R1a and I1a with them.

    R1a makes up some 3% of the Irish population. With the same reasoning as for England above, Norwegian Vikings lineages should account for about 9% (with 3% of R1b and 3% of I1).

    This is unlikely, because of the higher proportion of R1b-S21 (11%), I1 (7%), I2b1 (4%), but also R1b-S28 (6.5%), which could also be Dutch, Danish or Norwegian, or maybe also from an earlier Belgic migration (which is documented (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24913)). Let’s say that 3.5% of R1b-S28 is Belgic, and 3% came later.

    This way we have 14% of R1b, 7% of I1, 4% of I2b1 and 3% of R1a. This pattern doesn’t match at all the Norwegian population, but fits right in between the Dutch and Danish one, pointing at an admixture, like the one found among the English.

    Many surnames in Ireland are also English, further confirming that a big part of the Irish population (about one fourth) is of English descent on their paternal side”

    From: http://www.eupedia.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-24907.html

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    First of all you tell me which bits exactly you don’t believe and I’ll take it from there.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So, which is it then that makes a person of a nation? Their politics or family tree?
    If an Irish Catholic ‘pureblood’ supported the Union with the UK for reasons such as the education system (CMS) and NHS would that person then NOT be Irish in your (muddled) book?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    “Just because you and Mick have foreign ancestry does not mean that most native Irish Catholics do”
    Where’s your evidence to support this assertion?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So, ‘no’ you don’t have evidence to back up your claims regarding the suggestion that Irish people with Norman names might not be descended from the Normans.

  • Joe Walker

    Under the British legal system. Of course, under the British legal system both colonialism and slavery were permissible.

  • Joe Walker

    In other words, non-Gaelic DNA only makes up a minority of the native Irish population.

  • Joe Walker

    If a native Irish person did not support a united Ireland, that would make them a traitor in my opinion.

  • Joe Walker

    Your own previous post shows that non-Gaelic DNA only makes up a minority of the native Irish population which means that Gaelic DNA makes up a majority of the native Irish population.

  • Joe Walker

    They might be or they might not be. So far I am not aware of any evidence that supports either conclusion.

  • Skibo

    I think the abortion and marriage issues lost votes also but I believe they are on the right track.
    It will be interesting to see just what Carroll and McCann can do on the back benches. Both talk the talk but it is easy to do that on the fringes without power.
    I want to see a reunited Ireland and the only way I can see it happen is with a strong SF team.

  • Theelk11

    I think the point I’m making is that to my generation Gerry is not credible. His attitude to women and his own past is comical and frankly embarrassing . We need to move on very soon, he costs votes

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    And under the Irish legal system? And the EU legal system?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    And by having Gaelic DNA (unsurprisingly) it does not exclude the possibility of some foreign influence along the line. You asserted that Mick was a ‘British colonist’ on account of some foreign influence centuries ago.
    Hence Dr Mallory’s conclusion of ‘no such thing as pure Irish’, him being a specialist in this particular field.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    And if there is you don’t have it, but will still stick to your ludicrous notion of people with Norman names definitely not being descended from Normans?

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Well duh, but that does not exclude automatically foreign input somewhere further down the line yet you are expelling people from Gaeldom on account of said foreign input e.g. Mick

  • Joe Walker

    So what? Just because something is legal does not mean that it is morally right.

  • Joe Walker

    As I have said previously, the most important factor is that you oppose British colonialism in Ireland.

  • Joe Walker

    I never said that people with Norman names were definitely not descended from Normans.

  • Joe Walker

    As I have said again and again, the most important factor is that you are opposed to British colonialism in Ireland.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    no, but you sure used it as a skirt to hide behind earlier.

  • Joe Walker

    How could I use it as a “skirt to hide behind” if I never said it?