McCartney case won't alter US support for Sinn Fein

Terry Prone argues in the Irish Examiner that, despite media reports to the contrary, the visit of the McCartney sisters has not made the United States a cold house for Sinn Fein.
The reality, she says, is that Sinn Féin is still sitting pretty in the USA, its fundraising pipelines as full as ever, and Gerry Adams still has his visa.

Prone points out that nobody from Ireland was on the front page of American newspapers on St Patrick’s Day and that American support for militant republicanism is more deeply rooted than some might like to imagine.

“Just how deeply rooted is that pattern of donation is shown in an account by writer Brian McDonald of his Irish American family where father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all New York cops. About his great-grandfather, he wrote that “it was his wife’s strong Irish will that drew him to her. He supported Julia when she began to collect nickels and dimes, kept in a coffee can in the cabinet over the stove, for Irish Freedom, an organisation that funded the Irish struggles against the English, and he never tired of Julia telling the story of her father being jailed by the English for harbouring Fenian rebels.

That coffee can, dating back to 1910, is replicated in the homes of millions of Irish Americans, and one confusing story of a murder in a pub was never going to shift it. “

She also makes the valid point that it was because SF “smelled of sulphur and gave the finger to everything the Establishment stood for” that many people admired it and that they will do so even more “with every condemning column inch”.

She concludes: “you can never move people by using reason from a position to which reason has not brought them.”

  • Malachy

    That coffee can, dating back to 1910, is replicated in the homes of millions of Irish Americans

    Hilarious and insulting. The only thing more weird than Ireland as seen by the American media is America as seen by the Irish media.

  • alex s

    There is no doubt an element of truth in these claims, however Gerry and the boys wouldn’t have invested so much time and political captial in wooing America’s political leadership if the opinion on the ‘hill’ and in the Whitehouse wasn’t important to their project.

  • levitas

    That whole trip to the USA was for consumption back here in Ireland, also most interesting to hear Antony Macintyre on Today FM’s “The last Word” stating that he had role in advising the McCartney’s at all .
    Then tempted, probably by his own high opinion of himself , he went on to catalogue a fairly impressive amount contact and advice, such as directing journos from the Sunday Tribune and numerous other media outlets etc to the sisters, ringing them to offer his opinions on how to develop the campaign further. Hello? is this not acting as some kind of adviser? He started off by saying he only talked to them at the funeral and then by the end of the interview it seemed he was almost in constant contact. Such a shame he could’nt have made a better fist of self effacement to further the sisters cause, but then why would he be worth talking to if that was the case.

  • aquifer

    Well at least Terry reminds us how armed propaganda can displace the politics of the humanely possible.

    ‘if it bleeds it leads’