MacManus: Gerry Adams must take back the initiative

Father Sean MacManus argues in Daily Ireland that Sinn Fein must take back the initiative, and move to resolve the policing issue for nationalists as speedily as possible.

Sinn Féin must somehow come to terms with the policing issue, which I knew was always going to be the most difficult of all. How can Gerry Adams look the family of Pat Finucane in the eye and tell them that all the bad old days are truly over, that all bad attitudes and bad individuals, bad laws and bad systems, have been removed and that a young Finucane could with honor and pride now join the police and protect the rights of all the people in the North of Ireland?

Yet if Sinn Féin remains aloof from the police, there will never be an acceptable police service in the North, because the police will never fully change until Sinn Féin forces that change by its active participation. I don’t know how Gerry Adams does all that has to be done. But I do know there is not another man or woman on the island of Ireland who can do it.

  • peteb

    Personally, Mick, I’d have linked to the same forelock-tugging article by McManus in The Blanket 😉

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill


    Are you the only member of the Slugger team who has an open mind about republicans bona fides and who’s prepared to give them the benefit of engaging with their argument rather than their personalities?

    I ask more in despair than in anticipation.

  • Mick Fealty

    Oilbhear, not quite. But I hear what you’re saying.

    Pete, I think that’s distinctly in the category of man not ball!

  • cg

    OC sure according to luby Mick is a closet prove LOL

  • cg

    should read “closet provo” 😉

  • peteb

    It may be Mick.. but MacManus’s entire argument is that the process is all about The Man.

  • Mick Fealty

    Pete, I find itt pays not to get distracted by rhetorical flourish.

    CG, I missed that. Which thread was it on? That’s another distinction to add to my growing and diverse collection!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Is this the same Mr Chromaill who does exactly the same thing in other threads?

    Surely not?

  • peteb

    You say “rhetorical flourish”, I say “forelock-tugging”.. So it goes. 🙂

  • tom luby

    this issue now is the fitness of people like gerry adams to be in government or in charge of a party with members in government – personally i think a party led by people who disappeared jean mcconville for 30 years and repeatedly lied about it, and who cold-bloodedly murdered six of their supposed comrades on hunger striker are fit only for the dustbin – the notion that such people could or should have any influence over policing fills me with dread – it must not happen! it will not happen.

  • cg

    Mick it’s on the Hunger strike thread you linked to Balrog

  • Davros

    And it was to that comment that I was referring when I opined that Mr Luby should be cyber-sectioned.

  • spirit-level

    “the notion that such people could or should have any influence over policing fills me with dread – it must not happen! it will not happen.”

    worry not tom luby maybe I should be cyber-sectioned too, but I’ve looked into the crystal-ball regards the future of what will be, and it won’t happen.
    I can say the future’s bright, but I can’t say its orange;)

  • Ireland Today

    Bring in the FBI.

  • spirit-level

    I’m not sure of their record IT, perhaps you were being flippant.
    Seriously though why can’t the gardai be more involved in norn iron policing?

    In the article:
    Gardai warned against serving in Ulster

    in todays telegraph I’m wondering “attacked from whom”?
    Also I note regards “The wall of silence” Tom Griffin suggests the bricks are the police.

  • Ireland Today


    No I wasn’t, read by blog:

    “Far from helping the McCartney sisters the Sinn Fein/IRA propaganda machine is in full swing discrediting their campaign for justice. All the usual mouthpieces, including the fiery Jesuit priest Father McManus, the Savanarola of Washington DC, are condemning these brave girls as republican heretics, enemies of the people, everything they can think of, fit only for the witches pyre.

    Yet how can we abandon them? One of them said yesterday: “You know, Robert did not die an easy death. He was beaten and then stabbed and then beaten again. He didn’t die until another eight hours later in hospital. It was a long and brutal death that should not have happened.”

    It doesn’t matter who the murderers are, IRA, Sinn Fein, UVF, UDA, Catholic or Protestant, that is not the point. The point is that the Northern Ireland state’s justice and police system is unable to handle it. In that regard everybody over there who resisted the creation of a police force worthy of a democratic country is to blame. But that is not going to help the McCartney family now. It could take years to build a proper police force. So what can be done?

    I suggest bringing in the FBI. No British police force can be trusted to do the job. Indeed they are part of the problem. America sent George Mitchell, why not the FBI? This crime has to be solved. It is a test case. It cannot be swept away in a torrent of hypocritical political posturing.

    America is a friend of both Ireland and Britain. What are friends for? We have the wherewithal to clear this whole mess up, quickly and according to the law. I hope the McCartney’s call John McCain and ask for the FBI. Martin McGuinness and Gerry Kelly are not going to help them.”

  • sean32

    While Fr. Mc Manus is entitled to his opinion. I feel when he defends Adams and levels critiscism at Mc Cain/ Mc Dowell/ by putting them in the same category as Paisley he lets himself down.
    I also strongly believe that the Church should not get involved in politics period.
    The reason I say this is it’s a little bit silly to have a 5th commandment-When you defend people like Sinn Fein who have murdered so many.

  • tom luby

    hi davros’
    doesn’t take much for the fascism inherent in the provo nature to come out, does it? – anyone speaking against the great and beloved leader? silence them! suppress them! censor them! boycott them! shun them! badmouth them! beat them! imprison them! shoot them!
    its people like you davros you give living proof of why people like adams should never be allowed anywhere near power! recreate ireland in the image of autocratic west belfast? no thanks!

  • cg

    Now luby just a minute

    We have had to see this shit all day

    Davros is far from a Republican sympathiser, He is an honest poster who puts his views forward in an articulate manner and he treats people with respect.

    You however are a lunatic; you come across as an egotistical, arrogant nut.

    I find it interesting that you attack those who are well respected on this site, is it because you are not.

    Stop behaving like a child and grow up.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    I agree with Gaskin. Someone call a paramedic. Tom Luby, if everyone had that attitude nothing would ever be accomplished.

    The future of politics in Northern Ireland is a powersharing government which includes republicans, unionists, and all of the other sections of our community. Both the DUP as well as the UUP have now accepted that. The difficulty we have at the minute is the question of present and possible future activities, not those of the past.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    It’s funny that McManus would propose bringing in the FBI, a force which retains friendly ties with the PSNI that stretch right back through it’s previous incarnation as the RUC.

    The problem is that republicans are not prepared to accept policing of any kind.

  • Davros

    Thanks Chris and Roger.

    Tom – I cannot believe you are being serious here – this is a wind-up, right ? It was a great one, but it’s time it was put to bed. If it wasn’t it’s time you were picking plaster off the walls in a quiet room mate.

  • slackjaw

    I agree with Tom Luby – everyone on this site is a Stalinist goon. The website is nothing but a series of Show Debates, put on as part of an elaborate provo hoax by Gerry Adams.

    Now, I’m off to play with My Little Ponies.

  • SlugFest


    What’s that you guys say in NI? ‘Och, you’re away in the head.’

    Now if only you were away … period.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    All power to the Moderators!

  • Ireland Today

    Christ XVII:

    For “your” sake please don’t confuse me with that nutter McManus. It was I who proposed bringing in the FBI. The said nutter said: “the police will never fully change until Sinn Fein forces that change by its active participation.” McManus proposed that SF join the PSNI! The only thing he has ever said I agree with.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    Sorry about that IT, long day.

    The problem with policing is partially one of not co-operating with the authorities. The Robert McCartney business was instructive in that respect. People argued here – probably with a degree of credibility – that it doesn’t matter if Sinn Fein tell people to go to the police, it still won’t happen. In the same token it doesn’t seem likely that even if the requisite reforms were in place that Sinn Fein would even then be able to tell people to support them.

    I think it’s more of a general culture of not touting to the authorities, no matter who they are.

  • Ireland Today


    That’s very depressing. Then if I were a southern Irisher I would want nothing to do with the north until they cop themselves on (pun intended).

  • cg

    Are you talking to me?

  • DXI

    Not a very helpful article by Fr Sean. “Sinn Féin must somehow get things back to where they were before Christmas.” It is not for them to make the next move. Hang tight and wait for the elections. No panic. No hurry. They represent 60% of the Nationalist as myself and Davros have determined.

    All they need is that position to be re-endorsed and they can stick up middle finger to their critics. This is not a time for appeasement.

  • Jimmy Sands

    “Sinn Féin must somehow get things back to where they were before Christmas.”

    Put the money back in the vault and raise Bert McCartney from the dead? How does this idea work?

  • DXI

    It does not work Jimmy. That is why that was not a very helpful article by Fr Sean.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “All they need is that position to be re-endorsed and they can stick up middle finger to their critics.”

    I am glad to see that republicans are holding on to having a constructive attitude to moving the political process forward. I hope for the sake of your sanity that you are right about SF’s vote, although I wonder what you’re going to do if you’re not.

  • aquifer

    “The point is that the Northern Ireland state’s justice and police system is unable to handle it.”

    Seriously? Even the discredited old RUC managed to jail murderers including loyalist sectarian assassins.

    Has operating all those human rights safeguards handicapped the PSNI so badly?

    Pathetic propaganda is just silly. Go put a tricolour up a lamppost.

  • Ireland Today


    So the PSNI are capable of handling it? Is that what you are saying? Then why have they not made an arrest in the McCartney case? It happened on Jan 31. Are they safeguarding the IRA’s human rights?

    I agree that pathetic propaganda is silly. Who were you refering to? Do you think I’m a SF propagandist?

    The PSNI are either able to handle it or they are not, which is it? Will there be an arrest for the McCartney murder? I think you know the answer.

    Go put two union jacks up two lamposts if you think it will help. Is that like saying three hail mary’s?

  • Mark


    What would the FBI do to solve the case that the PSNI are not doing presently?

  • Ireland Today

    The IRA could not call those nationalists who talked to the FBI “touts”. The whole idea is to deny SF/IRA their traditional excuses, which have foundation – the RUC/PSNI ften “turned” odcs. They saw themselves primarily as guardians of the northern state not of public order. Now that state is paying the price.

  • Mark

    Thats a valid point but one that I’d disagree with you on. A tout is still a tout no matter who he goes to, the end result is the same, he grasses someone up and they go to jail. I don’t see how that perception will change just because the police force is different.

    On a similar line of thought, I dont see how having a different police force in charge of the investigation could change the effects of IRA intimidation of witnesses. They’ll still do damage to you and/or your family if you approach the police, whatever force it may be, with admissable evidence.

    Do you not think that the fact that the FBI are american could be turned against them? I’m sure there are plenty of left wing elements within the IRA who could spin a line similar to “Dont give evidence to the murderers in Iraq or the oppressors of the palestinian people”

  • aquifer

    Why the FBI? Is it time to flatter the americans before they turn sour on the whole RM project?

    The best police force in the world could make a case out of absent evidence and silent witnesses.

  • spirit-level

    This thread is beginning to get interesting.
    ie policing is the key.
    A picture:
    You know the scence in the horror movie where the guy/gal is trapped between walls that are moving slowly together;its a feature of countless films.
    This could well be a metaphor for nationalist communities. One wall is the IRA with its intimidation , history etc. The other wall is the PSNI and the lack of trust, touting worries etc. These two walls are closing in.
    What’s going to happen?

  • Lafcadio

    IT – (on the off chance that your tongue isn’t firmly lodged in your cheek) your faith in the FBI is rather touching; these are the guys who didn’t think anything of reports in the months before Sept ’01 that a group of Arab men were learning to fly, but weren’t interested in learning how to land – this despite an intelligence report as far back as ’98 that al-Quaeda might carry out suicide attacks using hijacked planes.

  • Roger W. Christ XVII

    “The IRA could not call those nationalists who talked to the FBI “touts”.”

    I despair for the mind that thought up that axiom out of thin air. If information from the community went to the FBI and that information resulted in the IRA’s operation being impaired, the arrest of it’s members or confiscation of it’s equipment, you can bet your bottom dollar the IRA would shoot the informants just the same.

    I can’t believe you would delude yourself into thinking that the IRA simply shoots people for going to the police force they happen not to like. Truth is they shoot people who interfere with what they are doing by involving the law.

    “They saw themselves primarily as guardians of the northern state not of public order. Now that state is paying the price.”

    How can you have a lack of public order without being a guardian of the state ? Law enforcement by it’s very existence is there to uphold the laws of the land. The FBI are guardians of the state in the USA.

    spirit-level, I don’t think the credibility of the police is as bad in nationalist communities as the republicans lead us to believe. I wouldn’t say people trust the police or regard them as competent, but they don’t boycott them or refuse to have anything to do with them in most cases either.

  • Jacko

    “…are you the only member of the Slugger team who has an open mind about republicans bona fides”?

    How in God’s name, after all that has happened and been disclosed about the behaviour and nature of the provos could anyone except a complete idiot have an open mind about their bona fides?