Adams: can he handle the truth..?

ON Sunday, I was in Belfast city centre while the Hunger Strike commemoration parade/anti-collusion rally was happening. While I wasn’t able to hang around for Gerry Adams’ speech, this was the first time I observed the rally at first hand, so I took a few pics and made a few observations.This was the third parade I’ve seen this summer, after the Twelfth and Gay Pride. While unionists might not appreciate it, the similarities between republican and loyal order marches are startlingly similar in many ways. In fact, if you had closed your eyes on Sunday in Wellington Place, you’d be hard pushed to tell if it was a loyalist or republican band passing you by.

Another thing that struck me was how relatively little tension there seemed to be between the participants and the police. This was, after all, a rally to highlight the collaboration between loyalist terrorists and security forces – and there were an awful lot of police along the route. Both sides largely ignored each other, at least as far as I could tell. The only thing I spotted was one of the ‘Eire Nua’ drummers deliberately trying to wind a female cop up by nearly blattering her with his drumsticks, which she just pretended not to notice.

One clear difference between the parade and loyal order marches is that republicans made great use of theatre during their march, for example, a float done up as a dirty protest jail cell and some fellas carrying a coffin, representing another collusion victim. Some participants were dressed as hunger strikers, others as members of the security forces or loyalist terrorists (though how you could tell the difference between that guy and a republican one is anyone’s guess). The replica guns looked very convincing, but fazed neither participants nor cops.

Unlike loyalists, republicans don’t seem as bothered about someone crossing the road during the parade – a good job, as the many tourists seemed clueless about parade etiquette. While some clearly just wanted to get to the shops, other visitors had other priorities, and I watched with amusement as a young French guy wearing an IRA T-shirt kneeled to pose for a photo in front of a line of PSNI officers. Trés bien, sucker.

It’s difficult to understand why so many republicans got upset by loyalists carrying banners celebrating UVF or UDA killers this year. For example, republicans – rightly – highlighted how offensive it was for loyalists to carry banners commemorating Joe Bratty (UDA) and Brian Robinson (UVF). But these were isolated incidents, whereas on Sunday, hundreds of people were carrying images, placards and posters of republican killers. One Dublin band chanted ‘IRA’ as it approached City Hall, prompting my Falls Road companion to remark: “Bloody Mexicans.”

I missed Adams’ speech because I had to be somewhere else and events were running late, and this was disappointing, as I was wondering if he could demand the truth about the Troubles while keeping a straight face. I read many of his comments later, although there wasn’t as much coverage as I had expected – perhaps because the double standard, so painfully laboured by Jim Gibney last week, was so obvious. Oddly, my feelings were largely in line with the nationalist commentator Brian Feeney’s in the Irish News:

[Gerry Adams] told the rally that “we are determined to pursue the truth” about collusion between loyalist death squads and the British state. He called on the British government to acknowledge its role in state violence and collusion.

Worthy sentiments but he is the very worst person to express them since he refuses to tell the truth about his own role in the IRA or even to admit he was a member despite compelling contemporary evidence that he was.

Whatever the reason he would like us to accept for his unexplained prominence in republicanism, the fact remains that he must think people are awful stupid if he believes he can be taken seriously standing on a platform demanding the British tell the truth while keeping decades of his own past secret and unbelievable.

Adams also knows that were the British to reveal all, it would include stacks of shelving containing intelligence and other reports of his IRA activities as well as his meetings and dealings with the British.

The only reason he risks making such a demand is that he knows the British will not reveal their dirty deeds of the past 40 years until we are all dead. Remember, they revealed official attempts to smear Parnell a mere century after his death.

Therefore, Adams can urge them to come clean certain in the knowledge it will not happen in his lifetime.

I’ve no doubt there was collusion and that this was wrong, but I don’t think that it makes other things automatically right…

  • Rory

    Jesus! The Hackney cops down the road from me blasted an old geezer to doom for carrying home a replacement leg for his dining room table in a plastic bag. They had, they said in justification, felt under immediate threat of serious or mortal injury from what they perceived was a firearm.

    These guys with the replicas best not holiday round here. The Bill are likely to call in a nuclear strike and my insurance doesn’t cover fallout. And, for fuck’s sake, don’t get on the Victoria Line (at least at Stockwell station).

  • Pete Baker

    Not that the issue mentioned by Brian Feeney hasn’t been raised on Slugger before..

    So much for that March for Half-Truth..

  • Sean

    well better a march for half truth then no march and no truth which is what comes from the securocrats

  • Rubicon

    “on Sunday, hundreds of people were carrying images, placards and posters of republican killers”

    Do SF think this stunt has increased their credibility? Loyalists and bowler-hatted unionists will be carefully filing away this to quote back at SF’s next complaint about Orange marches celebrating their killers. SF have brought the debate down to the infantile level of “your terrorists were worse than ours” while undermining legitimate complaints about marches celebrating terrorists.

    But – hey! At least they’re not shooting at us anymore? Well, not at much as they used to anyway – and don’t forget all those tourist dollars/euros this ‘street theatre’ brings.

    If this as credible as the campaign to discover collusion gets – all I can say is, “where’s the pukebag!”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Do SF think this stunt has increased their credibility?

    I think the number of people who attended the rally answers that question. Even the top estimate of 6,000 isn’t impressive.

  • the doc

    if the brits offered to tell the truth (which they wont)there would be a lot of twitching bums,all the stakeknifes who were protected by mi5 leaving others to be shot as informers in their stead.

  • Sam Hanna

    Perhaps Gerry has not yet spread the word about telling the truth to the Deputy First Minister

    Classic example of hypocrisy by the Londonderry Butcher

  • Harry Flashman

    *loyalist terrorists (though how you could tell the difference between that guy and a republican one is anyone’s guess*

    It used to be so much easier in the seventies, the Chucks wore badly made balaclavas, tatty parka jackets and, if they were going to funerals, berets.

    The Prods went for the more stylish Aussie slouch hats or woolly British commando hats with scarves on their faces and big gold aviator style sun glasses.

    The huns won the style war back then, unfortunately in the early nineties they went for shell suits and chunky gold jewellry and the provies won with their PLO scarves and Latino chic AK47’s.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Excellent use of street theatre to highlight real concerns over the past, and perhaps present collusion between the forces of law and order and terrorists. Are the professional begrudger’s on here content to allow a scandalous state of affairs to continue, simply because they can’t stand the people who are screaming the loudest for an investigation? What is the agenda here?


    The Scots guy that you speak of was murdered because they thought he was Irish. Go figure…..

  • Ranger1640

    I was an innocent bystander during the rally and what took my interest was the lack of people taking part, on looking or genuinely interested!

    Is Gerry’s pulling power as an IRA/Sinn Fein A list celebrity on the decline.

    A few short years ago tens of thousands would have been there beating their collective chests ranting that everyone was to blame but the republican movement (well at least that was a constant theme but with not as much gusto).

    Can it be that the people, from whom the republican movement have drawn their support, are now seeing the IRA/Sinn Fein whole republican movement as transparent as the shop windows in Royal Avenue?

    You can fool some of the people all of the time. You can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can’t fool all of the people all of the time!

    Gerry come on down the TIME is nigh.

  • darth rumsfeld

    LOL Harry, you are truly a style guru

    As for the damp squib protest, with only a couple of thousand chucks and every bemused tourist in town swelling the numbers hardly rivalling a decent Orange district twelfth, the thing that strikes me is the need for these inadequates to keep dressing up as terrorists, and the lack of the plods law enforcement.Is the gun not supposed to be out of Irish politics?

    How do we know that the AK47 in photo 1 is made of plastic, or that it hadn’t been used to hijack a car in the Northern Bank Robbery? Might it not intimidate or offend members of the public to see such hardware in town?

    Ought not a responsible peeler err on the side of safety and empty a clip into the gunholder just in case? Better safe than sorry- and we got no advance warning when previous ceasefires came to an end.

    I mean, they can hardly make a martyr out of him-cue fat fingered husky voiced mammy in her tasteful New Lodge semi, ciggie in hand, on Evening Ulster- “Seanie was only walking down the street in a balaclava and combat jacket with an AK47 so he was, goin’ for a pint of milk, and them bleck bawstards said he was a gunman and shot him in could blood”

    But nah, Hugh Orde probably signed a wee chit for the lad before going off for his morning jog with the girlfriend (perhaps even a vertical one) “Seanie gets out of jail free”.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Harry is indeed a dedicated follower of fashion. Whilst Darth is an unrepentant supporter of state murder. A bit bloodthirsty Darth, wot? Only street theatre, oh for the halcyon days of yore whence these uppity Taigs knew their place. And if they didn’t, well we could turn a blind eye while ‘Cecil emptied a clip into Seanie’ Charming!

    >>As for the damp squib protest, with only a couple of thousand chucks and every bemused tourist in town swelling the numbers hardly rivalling a decent Orange district twelfth<

  • PE,

    Have I missed something important, or are you just making stuff up off the top of your head?

    BTW, ‘likes of yersel”, may be your idea of humour, but it also a clear tackling of the man, rather than an earnest lunge for the ball.

    Here’s that Yellow Card I warned you about last week!

  • Prince Eoghan

    Thanks Mick!

    There has been better and clearer cut opportunities than this for you to do what I suspect you have been wanting to do for a while.

    Clearly there will be a plethora of yellow cards to follow, considering that there is worse man playing than this example going on on a regular basis. Or am I to be made an example of? Starting to look like a hint of favouritism going on here, some faces being pursued rather more rigorously than others.

    That may be neither here nor there, as I have stated before there is always going to be an element of man playing in any forum like this. I do not believe that I have went over the top in any way.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I am indeed an unrepentant supporter of the death penalty for treason, but note:after due process, which would naturally have removed a substantial section of our current assembly from this temporal sphere- for the greater good, I would suggest.

    I am equally a supporter of the need for the forces of law and order to take the necessary steps- up to and including lethal force- against armed terrorists in public places- hence no sorrow on my part at the demise of the late terrorist Brian Robinson. It’s hard to see how any other country in the world would just brush this individual off as an “extra” in a play. I bet not too many Gardai would have chortled at his performance if it had been in O’Connell Street.

    It seems that this clearly illegal pantomime is allowed to go unpoliced, like the illegal IRA parade in Strabane that Gerry “never a member” Adams attended last year. My point is that the law would certainly have justified direct and lethal action against a gunman, if he had refused to disarm and submit to arrest, (which given the lack of law enforcement he might naturally have expected- and was evidently correct in that belief ), and I’m sure the courts would have accepted that any peeler confronted with this man would have reason to suspect criminal behaviour and respond accordingly. Yet MOPEists would have whined and cried “conspiracy”.How do you even know the gun was fake?

    Tell you what, post your home town details and join in the gales of merry laffing when the “UDA theatre troupe” turns up in balaclavas and baseball bats and reenact some event in their past, and tell us you find it acceptable.

    I emphatically do not support state murder- if proven in the Finucane, Nelson or any other case, whether directly by state representatives or by proxies.So sorry to disappoint.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Ok then Darth then you should also have no problem joining the voices calling out for an enquiry into these matters. Good!

    >>Tell you what, post your home town details and join in the gales of merry laffing when the “UDA theatre troupe” turns up in balaclavas and baseball bats and reenact some event in their past, and tell us you find it acceptable.<

  • Really Prince? Point it out and I will deal with it appropriately. You, however, have been put to the right of this question for some time, and consistently refuse to toe the line.

    Let me spell it out. If you want to make groundless personal attacks against other posters, then do it somewhere else. Set up your own blog, or post in your own name so you can take the blow back for your own manplaying!

    As Mulley says: ‘invisible people have invisible rights’.

  • Cromwell

    The Princess appears to be on the glue.

    you got it soooo wrong, the wee spides on the street were wearing shell suits & gold bling, the big guys went for Stone Island, CP Company & Armani, Italian military chic dontcha know?
    Far more stylish than looking like a 60’s student dropout dearie!

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Really Prince? Point it out< >and consistently refuse to toe the line.<

  • PE,

    “…it is all around you.”

    Hmmm… that sounds like the cue for a song…

    Just look for the ball Prince, and play it hard… just try to sift the niggly man biting bits out of it, before hitting the ‘Submit’ button.

  • It’s all around you

    Just look at any thread started by Chris. Here’s a reply from yesterday:

    “Donnelly on the wind up as usual.( bit late coming to the party on this one Christopher, spose the losers in Connolly house dont pay much attention to plantation games unless they can make out all prods are bigots!)
    Posted by Cromwell on Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:54 PM”

  • Cromwell

    Oh get you!

  • mary kelly

    ” A float done up as a dirty protest cell????” Let’s hope they didn’t go too far replicating that one.

  • Chris Donnelly


    Interesting observations, but you make a couple of glaring omissions which might help explain to you why nationalists highlighted the Orangemen’s carrying of banners commemorating loyalists.

    Firstly, republicans make no bones about the fact that a republican commemoration is one in which republicans will be remembered, either as IRA volunteers or Sinn Fein activists- there is no attempt to deceive the wider public. In this case, the republican commemoration adopted a broader theme of seeking British admission for its part in the conflict (the ‘truth’ slogan) which is obviously contrary to the unionist/ British/ Alliance(?) narrative which held that the British forces were somehow a ‘piggy in the middle’ arbiter during the war.

    Secondly, the government and tourist boards are not trying to fund and promote the republican commemoration parades on the bogus premise of being ‘open to everyone.’

    Thirdly, the republican commemoration parades do not seek to march through unionist areas carrying banners which obviously would not be welcomed in those areas.

    And, lastly,

    “I’ve no doubt there was collusion and that this was wrong, but I don’t think that it makes other things automatically right…”

    Who said it did???

  • baslamak

    Time for International Enquiry into UK State Collusion in Criminality

    read article here,

  • Sean

    Its amusing that all the yellow cards are going to one side of the divide even though for days now turgon has been playing the man and not the ball in relation to any posting involving Trowbridge, even going so far as to brag about it on other threads and inviting others to join in

  • Cromwell,

    Consider yourself on notice! and let the rest of us who want to talk politics get on with it…

  • Sean, they are handed out on merit, not by quota. See note above.

  • Rory

    “The Scots guy that you speak of was murdered because they thought he was Irish”

    That theory, Prince, was an unattributal rumour planted in the media to justify the shooting on the belief that their information identified him as a possible armed Irish terrorist. This was said to be based on a tipoff phoned into the Bill from a punter in his local pub where Haryy had stopped in on his way home with the table leg.

    Harry was in fact a well known local old retired small-time villian with a bit of “previous” against whom the local Bill had a long standing grudge. The message sent out and reinforced was that if the Hackney plod don’t like you then it’s serious.

  • Turgon

    It would have been interesting had a republican been arrested for being a loyalist terrorist, would that be a case of mistaken identity?

    On the whole march I suspect Feeny is correct in his analysis and that SF are only highlighting their march for truth because they know they will not get all the truth about anything the governmet did here.

    They may get some enquiries as a sop from the government but if they do will they accept any outcome that suggests collusion (though totally unacceptable) was minor and localised?

    It is more than possible that Blair would have given them some enquiries (with essentially predetermined outcomes). I do not know if the new dispensation at Westminister will be as accomodating of republicians (it probably will).

    The one thing we can be pratically certain of is that the government will ensure no revelations which would really embarass SF and upset the current arrangements by implying any senior republicians were in involved with colluding with or informing on their own side, nor for that matter revealing that leading republicians were personally involved in carrying out or directing the murder of anyone.

    Of course it goes without saying that SF/IRA will not tell us anything useful about their activities and their “apologies/explanations” are all they will ever say except of course actually the whole thing was really the Prods/Brits fault.

    I am sure this quarter truth process will be dropped or at least fade from prominence soon when it has done its job of pleasing the hard line and giving them something to complain about and march about feeling that SF is still the great revolutionary party and that defeat of the Brits / Prods is just around the corner. That and of course the always useful aim of annoying Prods. For example unionist engagement (a plan woith similar bacjground motives) has vanished without trace for the meantime hasn’t it?

  • CTN

    If the top turnout figure is circa 6,000 then grizz is seriously losing his pulling power.

    The Tom Williams re-interment several years ago brought 50,000 out onto the streets.

    Although that event was mainly confined to West Belfast this disparity is evident of an apathy which now exists in mainstream republicanism under the jaded McGuinness/Adams autocracy.

  • Cromwell

    So its not even a march for truth, or a march for half truth, its a march for a republican version of truth, or better still a “march for a load of oul ballicks by a bunch of murderers & their Clingons.”

  • darth rumsfeld

    “Ok then Darth then you should also have no problem joining the voices calling out for an enquiry into these matters. Good!”

    Er.. there already is one

    “Hardly comparable now Darth.”
    Quite right. No firearms involved. And zero tolerance from the Glesga polis I’d wager. Which is my point.

  • Crom,

    Since we’re highlighting non content abuse for those who haven’t bother to read the commenting rules (or have, and simply don’t care), your next breach is a Yellow!

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Er.. there already is one< >And zero tolerance from the Glesga polis I’d wager.<

  • Harry Flashman

    Hey Rory, nice to see you, still think I’m a Yank or did you just ignore my post on the Jock thread?

  • Cromwell

    Well done “its all around you”, did you bring an apple for teacher today?


    The phraseology was possiby out of order, but the point stands, it took 4 whole days for Mr.Donnelly to place his story on Davy Jeffrey, & you’d have to question his motivations, now whats not political about that?
    I was only responding to his story & I’d also like to point out he called me a narrow minded bigot, for no other reason than pointing out the fact that his story, based on a statement by Davy Jeffrey, was incorrect.
    I await his yellow card.

  • One, just take the warning in the spirit is meant – ie to call back to basic standards.

    Two, none of us has to answer for how we spend our time, on or off Slugger. Some of us have other committments beyond ‘SluggerWorld’.

    Three, I’ve had this backchat routine from Sean and PE over the last two days, and it’s pointless. The rules is the rules. Just stick to them and we can have a lively competitive conversation.

    If not, you know where the door is!

  • Cromwell

    Fair enough Mick.

  • Prince Eoghan


    That a fact, Frig me! I remember being shocked when the polis were cleared on that shooting, perhaps I shouldn’t have been.

  • willowfield


    Thirdly, the republican commemoration parades do not seek to march through unionist areas carrying banners which obviously would not be welcomed in those areas.

    DO you think PIRA terrorist banners were welcomed by the shoppers in the city centre?

  • Chris Donnelly

    I’d be careful about labelling town centres in such a manner as the Apprentice Boys/Black/ Orange Orders get much exercise on the tarmac on main ‘drags’ across the north.

  • darth rumsfeld

    So you’ll welcome the Billy Wright Tribute Group’s reenactment of the Siege of Drumcree by driving an armourplated big digger filled with petrol down Shipquay street while assorted balaclava wearing spides force drugs on local teens? Sure it’s only street theatre Chris

  • interested

    You’re excuse that republican parades dont seek to ‘hide’ the fact that they glorify terrorists is absolute rubbish.

    You’re simply saying that if any loyalist parade was a bit more blatant in any supposed glorification of UDA/UVF men then it would be ok.

    Also your point about town centres is absolute rubbish. If there was a loyalist parade outside Belfast City Hall with replica weapons being not just carried, but carried as a major feature of the parade then there would be understandable outrage.

    Its plain republican double standards – its ok to ‘commemorate’ republican terrorists, but loyalists are a different matter. One hooded gunman is the same as any other. Expect every Sinn Fein criticism of any Loyal Order parade to have this parade brought in as an example of how republicans have absolutely no right to criticise anything.

  • willowfield

    Chris Donnelly

    I’d be careful about labelling town centres in such a manner as the Apprentice Boys/Black/ Orange Orders get much exercise on the tarmac on main ‘drags’ across the north.

    I see no need to be “careful”. I absolutely oppose the honouring of terrorists by anyone and anywhere. That includes in Apprentice Boys/Black/Orange Order parades just as it does in “republican” parades. And it includes town centres.

    You seem to think it is OK to honour terrorists as long as you don’t walk through or past a district perceived to be inhabited by those of a community other than that from which the terrorist came.

    I say it’s wrong absolutely. And I say to you – if it’s wrong to carry terrorist banners down the Ormeau Road, it’s wrong to do it down Castle Street and into Donegall Square.

  • Ben

    An interesting bit at the AOH parade in Derry on Wednesday. A pack of tossers came up from the Bog and sliced through the Diamond as the parade was turning from Butchers Street down into Shipquay. One of them crossed over to the area between the NIHE office and Richmond Centre and hauled an Ulster flag out of his pocket and the group started to roar. The cops were on him in a flash (they had even begun to engage some of the group before that one raised the flag) and they bottled up the incident in moments. I was told later that the kid was going to burn the flag, but at the minute, because of the Ulster flag and the yelling, I figured it was kids from the Fountain there to jeer the parade. So what’s the lesson in all of this? A) that the PSNI always jump the Catholics? B) that the PSNI will grab anyone causing a disruption in the Diamond during a parade? C) that the PSNI thought they were lifting Protestant kids but just can’t seem to get it right? D) all of the above E) none of the above.

    All in all it seemed like a fine and innocuous parade, though no doubt there will be some complaints. Can the AOH get away with that parade on the Waterside I wonder….? Ben

  • PeaceandJustice

    “The Parades’ Commission said last night it was still getting complaints about a republican parade in Belfast on Sunday during which masked republicans carried life-like weapons … as part of the parade up to 20 men carried realistic weapons and IRA insignia.

    A Parades’ Commission spokesman said last night that its code of conduct prohibited any paramilitary trappings during authorised parades.

    Although he could not give exact numbers of complaints he said there had been ‘a serious reaction’.”

    I don’t expect the Parades Commission to do anything about this terror-parade. Chris Donnelly and his Sinn Fein IRA killer friends would be calling for an investigation if it was the UDA or UVF parading with life-like weapons around City Hall. But sure, this was his mates who belonged to the SF IRA death squads and he will tell you that they only killed people who ‘deserved it’.

    No wonder Unionists have to laugh at the so-called SF IRA Unionist Outreach. And what about exposing tourists to this terror-fest?

  • IJP

    That’s actually a very interesting point, Gonzo.

    As you say, 6,000 isn’t impressive (and it wasn’t 6,000).

    This isn’t the first damp squib in recent years. Anyone remember SF’s (equally hypocritical) “democracy denied” campaign? Thought not…

    I said to a DUP Council colleague recently that his was a party of opposition in government, and mine is a party of government in opposition. The prize will go to the party which recognizes the new reality fastest.

    SF, meanwhile, is a party of revolution whose leaders are now firmly part of the establishment…

  • IJP


    Good points.

    And of course, the view that it’s OK to carry a certain banner in an area inhabited by a certain community is fundamentally sectarian.

    And therefore not very republican.

  • Dympna

    In my view Adams is a scumbag. Some time ago he eulogised his provo gunmen and bombers by stating that “they gave their all while others stood idly by”. By his own admission he too stood “idly by” while others were killed giving their “all”. Is it not remarkable how many senior shinners never did nuffing guv….it was always someone else.

    I look forward to the day when this man runs out of tarmac and the “truth” about his activities becomes known. There is a simple question for him to answer;

    Did you collude in the murder of Irish or British citizens in the last 38 years?

  • Turgon


    Good post but “Did you collude in the murder of Irish or British citizens in the last 38 years?” contains 4 too many words. Just drop “collude”, “in”, “the” and “of”.

  • Prince Eoghan

    Whataboutery aside is there a case for NOT investigating of the allegations that the state colluded in the murder of her own citizens?

  • Prince Eoghan


    Drop ‘of the’

  • Sean

    I suspect the answer to your question would be “no, Prove me wrong”

    Yours is a silly querstion with a flat denial

  • Turgon


    Yes of course he could never have killed anyone. Silly me.

  • Sean

    Other than a few rabid loyalists I have never seen anyone claim that he diorectly murdered any one

    And neither have I seen any thing but vague anecdotal evidence that Adams belonged to the IRA most just assume he did but as you should be well aware when you assume you make an ASS out of U and ME

  • Turgon


    “ASS out of U and ME”

    Leave out any debate between our differing views I have never seen the above before. It is really good.

  • Belfast Gonzo


    Did you read the Brian Feeney column this week? He writes about a couple of meetings the IRA had with the British, which Adams attended. Don’t think he was there as an observer, somehow…!

  • Sean

    Does that make Feeney IRA as well?

    Plus did you not see the bit about anecdotal

    Turgon I think I First seen that 30 years ago in a Bad News Bears movie which perhaps you didnt see, as baseball doesnt play big there!!