That speech from different sides of the fence.

Two very different articles on Gerry Adams speech, An Address to the IRA, are provided by the ever excellent Newshound today.

Jim Gibney in the Irish News, Historic speech offers peaceful alternative,in a measured, thoughtful and calm analysis points out that the implications of the speech can only be understood when one considers Gerry Adams background and pedigree. Viewed in this light it becomes more than just another call from a politician for the IRA to go away. While praising the IRA for courage shown in the past, he asks them to make another great contribution, this time to the peace process, for their country.

Suzanne Breen writing in the Sunday Tribune, Charades and choreography, looks at the speech from a Unionist perspective and expresses the scepticism felt by many. Many will agree with her when, using the McCartney murder, she says “Lofty words are often unmatched by events on the ground.” She points out that the people in control of Catholic areas won’t be going away and won’t readily abandon their criminal empires. Somewhat cruelly she ends

The IRA’s business empire will remain intact. Republican ideology might be negotiable but robbery, money-laundering, and other financial scams aren’t.

And those IRA figures on the ground who rule working-class Catholic areas with an iron fist won’t be retiring. They might no longer be targeting the security forces but there will always be other duties for them.

With the wider conflict over, it must be admitted that many nationalists aren’t particularly bothered by the above scenario.It’s only when it affects their family, as the McCartneys discovered, that the reality hits home.

( My emphasis in bold )

  • Dessertspoon

    Both preaching to the converted really and there are elements of truth in both. I am trying hard to contain my own cynicism and pessimism that nothing will come of it this time just like nothing came of it all the other times. I won’t build my hopes up too high, I’m tried of having them torn down by both sides, but I’ll keep a little tower hope otherwise what’s the point.

  • beano @ Everything Ulster

    Was Suzanne’s ending really cruel? Have the McCartneys opposed violence for the past 30 years, or condemned anything about other intra-community violence in the past? I’m asking questions here because obviously I don’t know, but clearly the community in general isn’t overly worried about paramilitary violence until it affects them.

  • Éamo

    Yet again Suzanne Breen misses the point which is blatently obvious. Adam’s plea was important and historic, Breen’s article was diatribe and toilet roll!

  • Davros

    Yet again Suzanne Breen misses the point which is blatently obvious.

    But is it that blatently obvious Éamo? After all Jim Gibney had to write an article explaining the significance of the speech from the republican point of view. That was the point of the blog. The speech looks different depending on which side of the fence one is standing.

  • kitty

    “The speech looks different depending on which side of the fence one is standing.”

    Yes and which side they are standing on depending on the year and arena in which they are voicing their ‘thoughts’ in.

  • joe davis

    Good for you, Davros. I’m just so weary of the “historic events” and “historic speeches”, and the vast media coverage of that which isn’t happening. Now I’m just waiting for something to happen. Can anybody blame me?