In the English language version of Der Speigel another indication that Sinn Fein’s international profile is in rapid decline. Although Bono might have a thing or two to say about the journalist’s description of U2’s classic Bloody Sunday, he pulls many less punches than we’re accustomed to in the British or Irish press:
The issue of brutal suppression by the British is a thing of the past. The IRA has used up its moral capital. In fact, they have a new nickname for the IRA in Catholic neighborhoods these days: the “Rafia.”
It gets its funding from burglaries and from smuggling cigarettes and diesel fuel, and it spreads terror in the areas it controls, while Gerry Adams and other buttoned-down types tend to the group’s pathetic political window dressing.
It doesn’t matter that the Protestant Ulster militias are criminals and drug dealers, that they assault Chinese immigrants, paint swastikas on walls and have managed to turn Belfast into the world’s most racist city.
It doesn’t matter because it’s the IRA that still counts in Northern Ireland. It’s the IRA that has the power to help bring about democracy in the region. And it’s the IRA that promised to disarm. But now it is becoming increasingly evident that these are no heroic members of a resistance movement, but instead are nothing but a corrupt group of people whose internationalism is limited to learning about explosives with Columbia’s drug-dealing FARC insurgency movement, attending conferences with Spain’s ETA Basque separatists and laundering money through Libya.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty