Whatever happened to Gerry Adams…

Alan McBride asks a question that has also intrigued me recently. Has Gerry Adams gone away do you know? Certainly there are members of his kitchen cabinet in critical positions of power at Stormont. But, for the moment, Mr Adams appears to have taken leave of the public scene.

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

  • harry

    i hear he is taking evening classes in preparation for the next free state election. one; “Debating Skills made Easy” and the other? “Economics for Beginners.”

  • J Kelly

    wishful thinking on many peoples part, but sorry to disappoint Gerry A is still about and will be for a long time to come

  • Ahem

    You’d think MI5 would relax the mandatory retirement age for him of all people.

  • harry

    You’d think MI5 would relax the mandatory retirement age for him of all people.

    Posted by Ahem on Jan 31, 2008 @ 04:51 PM

    well he is sixty this year. whereas martin has another couple of years to go.

  • Irish Republican In American

    Anyone know which MAZE escapee was arrested this morning at the US-Mexican border?

  • Twinbrook

    maybe the fact that Gerry A just like Big Ian, isn`t seen or interviewed every time SF or for that matter the Dup is mentioned, is a healthy sign of parties with enough skillful orators/spokespersons not to reply on the services of their leader and only figure of renown…..

    compare this to the uup and the sdlp, apart from their leaders, ask the man or woman on the street to name anyone else and they`ll have great difficulty…

  • joeCanuck

    I heard that he is redecorating his holiday home. This is given some credence by the fact that the local hardware shop has run out of green paint.

  • harry

    for that matter the Dup is mentioned, is a healthy sign of parties with enough skillful orators/spokespersons not to reply on the services of their leader and only figure of renown…..

    really? i was really impressed at the sinn fein councillor Mcgibbon’s remarkable lecture, now on Youtube, in the USA.

    skillful orator indeed


  • Gerry Lvs Castro

    Bye then Gerry. You’ll be sadly missed.

    Actually you won’t.

  • Bemused

    Thanks harry – haven’t laughed so hard in years. Just what the country needs to attract foreign investment – a little track-suited spide mumbling to a half-empty room of assorted dim-witted yanks and other oddballs. Priceless.

  • Ulsters my homeland, not Ireland

    Ed Maloney believes Adams was in the IRA.

    1170 First English invasion of Ireland, led by Strong bow at invitation of Dermot MacMurrough, exiled King of Leinster.
    1541 English Tudor monarch Henry VII declares himself king of Ireland.
    1558-1603 Six of Ulster’s nine counties “planted” with English and Scots settlers.
    1690 King William of Orange defeats Stuart King James II at Battle of the Boyne.
    1795 Orange Order founded after battle between Catholic Defenders and Protestant “Peep O’Day Boys.”
    1798 United Irishmen rebellion put down
    1801 Act of Union united Ireland and England, creating “United Kingdom”
    1867 Fenian rebellion defeated
    1916 Easter Rising
    1919 Sinn Féin wins 73 of 105 Irish seats at Westminster and forms first Dáil in Dublin
    1921-23 Anglo-Irish treaty negotiated; Irish Civil War begins; Michael Collins killed; “Northern Ireland” statelet consolidated
    1926 Eamonn de Valera forms Fianna Fáil
    1932 de Valera forms first Fianna Fáil government
    1938 Anti-Treaty remnants of Second Dáil elected in 1921 pass on their powers to IRA Army Council
    1939 IRA declares war on Britain with bombing campaign in English cities.
    1942 Belfast IRA leader Tom Williams hanged; Gerry Adams Sr. jailed.
    1948 Gerry Adams Jr. born; IRA General Arm Order no. 8 promulgated; forbids military action against Southern security forces.
    1956 IRA begins border campaign in North of Ireland.
    1959 Eamonn de Valera retires as Taoiseach; succeeded by Sean Lemass.
    1962 Border Campaign abandoned; Cathal Goulding becomes IRA Chief of Staff.
    1963 Terence O’Neill becomes prime minister of Northern Ireland; Roy Johnston and Tony Coughlan join republican movement.
    1964 Divis Street riots in Belfast over display of Irish flag.
    1965 Gerry Adams joins D Coy of Belfast Brigade IRA.
    1967 NICRA formed

  • Ulster’s my homeland, not Ireland

    1968 Start of Civil Rights marches in the North of Ireland
    1969 British army sent to North of Ireland; IRA splits into Officials and Provisionals
    1970 Provisional IRA Convention held; Sean MacStiofain becomes first chief of staff; Siege of St. Matthew’s and Falls Curfew boots clout of Provisionals; Billy McKee is Belfast commander; Adams heads IRA in Ballymurphy riots, defying McKee
    1971 IRA campaign intensifies; first British soldier shot dead, and Provo commercial bombing campaign begins; Adams on Second Belfast Battalion staff and then commander; Adams on Belfast Brigade staff; Internment without trial introduced; IRA campaign mushrooms
    1972 Bloody Sunday in Derry; Adams interned, but then released to take part in ceasefire talks with Brits; Adams becomes adjutant of Belfast brigade; Special-category status granted to IRA prisoners; Ceasefire breaks down at Belfast Brigade urging; Adams introduces Armalite rifle to IRA; Seven killed by IRA in Bloody Friday bombings; Operation Motorman1 puts IRA under pressure; Adams becomes Belfast Brigade Commander; “Four Square Laundry” Operation2; “Unknowns” cell formed by Adams3; Belfast Brigade begins to “disappear” double agents4; Breton nationalists introduce IRA to Libyans; IRA established “embassy” in Libyan capital, Tripoli.
    1973 London bombings carried out by Belfast Brigade; Adams arrested and interned, later imprisoned for trying to escape; The Claudia intercepted en route to Ireland from Libya with weapons; Brian Keenan appointed IRA Quartermaster General; Northern IRA leaders stop Sinn Féin’s contesting elections to Northern Ireland Assembly.
    1974 Power-sharing Sunningdale collapses after loyalists strike
    1975 IRA ceasefire, lengthy talks with the British; Adams and Ivor Bell lead Long Kesh “dissidents” against Billy McKee leadership and oppose ceasefire!
    1976 New British security police introduced; RUC put in charge of security operations; internment phased out; juryless courts set up; loss of political status for IRA prisoners, H-Block protest.
    1977 Adams released from jail and joins Army Council; Adams becomes Adjutant General; IRA campaign of assassination against Northern businessmen begins; Adams forms “think tank” group of advisers; IRA cells are restructured and Adams becomes Chief of Staff; Brian Keenan and Martin McGuinness join Army Council; Father Reid mediates Officials versus Provisionals feud; McKee deposed as both Belfast Commander and as Northern Commander; Gerry O’Hare deposed as editor of Dublin IRA newspaper, An Phoblacht.
    1978 Adams arrested in wake of La Mon bombing, loses status as IRA chief; McGuinness becomes IRA chief of staff; IRA introduces “Green Book” to recruits; Adams released; IRA sets up internal security unit to track down informers; An Phoblacht merges with Belfast IRA newspaper, Republican News; O Bradaigh proposal to contest Euro elections opposed by Adams.
    1979 Lord Mountbatten killed in IRA bombing; 18 British soldiers killed in ambush on border; Adams is made Northern Commander; Army Council rejects O Bradaigh’s “Eire Nua.”
    1980 First IRA prison hunger strike begins; Northern IRA leaders negotiate secret deal with MI6 to end fast; Northern Sinn Féin leaders win ban on standing in council elections; Father Reid suffers nervous breakdown
    1981 Second hunger strike begins; IRA prison leader Bobby Sands elected MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone5; two IRA prisoners elected to Dáil in Dublin; hunger strike ends with 10 deaths, IRA condemns behaviour of Catholic Church, SDLP and Irish Government during the hunger strikes; Sinn Féin adopts the “Armalite and Ballot Box” strategy and agrees to contest elections.
    1982 McGuinness quits as Chief of Staff, and McGuinness and Adams run in elections to new NI Assembly; Sinn Féin wins 10% of the vote; Ivor Bell becomes new Chief of Staff; Father Reid intercedes with Adams to negotiate peace talks; Sinn Féin rejects “Eire Nua” policy in major defeat for O Bradaigh-O Conaill faction.
    1983 Adams elected MP for West Belfast; Sinn Féin tops 100,000 votes in British general election; Adams succeeds O Bradaigh as president of Sinn Féin; Ivor Bell arrested, Kevin McKenna succeeds him as Chief of Staff

  • Ulster’s my homeland, not Ireland

    1984 Sinn Féin vote falls in Euro election; Bell and Belfast Brigade rebel against Adams leadership over resources devoted to elections; Libyan Intelligence Service negotiates arms and cash deal with IRA Army Council; Army Council plans Irish “Tet Offensive”; Adams leaks possibility of IRA ceasefire, calls for pan-nationalist political initiative.
    1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement signed, gives Dublin a consultive say in the North’s affairs; Mickey McKevitt named Quartermaster General, “Slab” Murphy appointed to oversee Libyan weapons operations, Casamara makes two trips from Libya carrying 17 tonnes of weapons; Martin McGuinness made Northern Commander; Adams begins talks with SDLP leader John Hume.
    1986 Father Reid approaches Gerry Haughey on behalf of Adams; Adams begins secret talks with Tory NI Secretary of State, Tom King. Correspondence between Adams and King lead to secret British offer of talks with Sinn Féin and on terms for IRA ceasefire; First General Army Council held since 1970, IRA lifts ban on taking seats in Dáil; Kulu ships 14 tonnes guns from Libya, Villa ships 105 tonnes, including Semtex; Adams receives secret British letter that “London has no interests in Northern Ireland” with an offer of new definition for British withdrawal, Adams calls for British public declaration of contents in letter.
    1987 Charles Haughey becomes Taoiseach after Fianna Fáil returns to power; Jim Lynagh, East Tyrone Brigade commander, dispute with IRA chief of staff over Northern Command knowledge of planned Loughall ambush6; Father Reid helps formulate “stepping stone” documents outlining pan-nationalist alliance as alternative to IRA violence; Eskund intercepted off the coast of Brittany because of an informer; Libyans cut off supplies of cash to IRA; MI6’s Michael Oatley approaches IRA leadership; Enniskillen bomb kills 11.
    1988 Army Council secretly softens terms for British withdrawal, saying it can take up to 20 years to happen; Adams tells Army Council of approach from Reid; Hume-Adams talks begin; Sinn Féin-SDLP delegations meet and conclude without agreement, secret contacts between Hume and Adams continue immediately afterward; IRA attempt to kill British foreign secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, in Brussels is foiled; deaths of Gibraltar Three by SAS; Tom King suspends Reid-Adams dialogue due to upsurge of IRA violence; IRA adopts policy of targetting British military personnel
    1989 Major IRA informer Joe Fenton killed before he can be interrogated; Peter Brooke succeeds Tom King as Secretary of State of Northern Ireland and inherits Father Reid’s conduit to Adams
    1990 Adams threatens to quit IRA over civilian deaths, and seeks separation of Sinn Féin and IRA; Revolution Council revived to curb IRA; Adams raises possibility of unannounced IRA ceasefire; Northern Command secures Army Council permission to use “human bomb” tactic; MI5 officer John Deverill tells Brooke of new British linkman in secret talks with IRA; Danny Morrison arrested in Belfast; McGuinness proposes “Christmas ceasefire,” the first official cessation since 1975; Army Council debates ceasefire; Oatley holds talks with McGuinness.
    1991 Thatcher resigns as British Prime Minister; Sinn Féin says it will no longer speak for IRA; Haughey relaunches peace initiative with new British leader, John Major; first version of joint government declaration on Northern Ireland, otherwise known as Hume-Adams document, drafted.
    1992 Adams loses West Belfast seat to SDLP after string of poor election performances by Sinn Féin; Haughey ousted, succeeded by Albert Reynolds, who backs process and keeps Martin Mansergh as NI adviser; Sinn Féin publishes “Toward a Lasting Peace”; Hume-Adams document is worked out, but omits time period for British withdrawal.
    1993 Hume-Adams contacts are publicly revealed for first time, and Sinn Féin’s vote rises for first time; Army Council rejects British “Nine Pointer” demands, Adams urges AC to continue negotiations; AC agrees to ban commercial bombings; Irish Prime Minister Albert Reynolds negotiates separate document with the British, the “Downing Street Declaration” (DSD); Shankill bomb kills 10.
    1994 AC rejects DSD; IRA mini-Convention opposes ceasefire; Reynolds lifts Irish broadcasting ban on Sinn Féin; U.S. President Bill Clinton grants Adams 48-hour Visa for trip to New York; Reynolds sends 14-point ceasefire proposal to AC; AC votes for four-month ceasefire; British raise IRA decommissioning demand; AC extends ceasefire to April 1995.

  • Ulster’s my homeland, not Ireland

    1995 Adams says he will accept Stormont Assembly only if it is “transitional” to Irish unity; “Frameworks” document foresees power-sharing government and North-South bodies; Clinton gives Adams Visa to raise funds in the U.S.; Reynolds coalition falls and is replaced by anti-Sinn Féin Rainbow Coalition; British propose political talks and IRA decommissioning in tandem; 50 percent remission restored to IRA prisoners; West Belfast Westminster seat redrawn in favour of Adams’ reelection chances; U.S. Senator George Mitchell to head decommissioning body, IRA makes submission to decommissioning body; Sinn Féin begins to downgrade Noraid.
    1996 Mitchell publishes “six principles of nonviolence”; huge truck bomb kills two and cause £100 million in damage at Canary Wharf in London; IRA confines campaign to England; IRA calls for Convention to discuss peace process; AC votes to end ceasefire; on eve of Convention, car bombs explode inside army’s NI HQ, killing one; “dissidents” fail to capture majority at Convention, power to decommission taken away from AC and given to Convention, McGuinness assures Convention that there will be no ceasefire; Brian Keenan disassociates with “dissidents” and backs Adams.7
    1997 McGuinness steps down as AC commander but retains AC chair; IRA banned from engaging in commercial bombings; So. Armagh sniper squad arrested and Adams writes letter of condolence to mother of British soldier killed by sniper squad; Tony Blair wins huge majority as New Labour forms new British government; McGuinness wins Mid-Ulster seat; McGuinness tells IRA there will be no second ceasefire; British aide-mémoire sets out terms for new IRA ceasefire and IRA mini-Convention rejects it; Fianna Fáil wins election in Republic and Bertie Ahern becomes Taoiseach; Ahern government sets out terms for new ceasefire; AC secretly votes for second ceasefire, AC and IRA Executive clash over decision few weeks later; IRA Executive suggest Adams quit IRA to better engage in talks with Mitchell; so-called “dissidents” defeated at Convention; Brian Gillen disassociates with “dissidents” and backs Adams again, Gillen wins AC seat; Kevin McKenna loses job as Chief of Staff and is replaced by Slab Murphy; All-Party talks start at Stormont, Sinn Féin attends and subscribes to Mitchell Principles; Executive members led by Mickey McKevitt leave to form Real IRA.
    1998 Good Friday Agreement is reached; IRA lifts abstentionist ban on taking seats in Stormont; Omagh bomb8 kills 29; Second IRA convention of the year restores AC’s power to decommission.
    1999 AC agrees to locate bodies of the disappeared; IRA appoints a representative (believed to be Keenan) to discuss terms with de Chastelain international decommissioning body; Power-sharing government set up, Bairbre de Brun and McGuinness are Sinn Féin ministers
    2000 AC agrees to put weapons “beyond use,” allows inspection of two arms dumps
    2001 Sinn Féin wins two more Westminster seats: Michelle Gildernew and Pat Doherty; Weston Park conference reaches agreement on decommission deal and British Demilitarisation; Sinn Féin’s “Columbia Three” arrested; PIRA decommission unspecified amount of weaponry; Sinn Féin accepts office facilities and financial expense at House of Commons

    *NOTE: The Chronology of Events is excerpted from Secret History of the IRA by Ed Moloney; the footnotes are my own and not necessarily the opinion/view of Ed Moloney. —dmg

    1 Following Bloody Friday, hundreds of British troops infiltrated the no-go areas of Belfast and Derry and put the IRA under heavy surveillance. This was known as Operation Motorman.
    2 Four Square Laundry was set up by the Brits and offered half price discounts on laundry services. In this way, they were able to check for traces of explosives or gunpowder on clothing, and set republican homes under surveillance as possible IRA members.
    3″The Unknowns” were two secret cells set up in Belfast to run independently of the Belfast Brigade to carry out secret operations and to subvert British intelligence.
    4″The Disappeared” is an IRA term for those thought to be informers who were quietly murdered, i.e., “disappeared.”
    5When Sands died, Owen Carron was elected in his place.
    6East Tyrone Brigade wiped out in SAS ambush at Loughall.
    7The term ‘dissidents’ was a derogatory terms used for O Bradaigh’s breakaway group, Republican Sinn Féin and their Army, the Continuity IRA. It later became a broader term, still derogatory, to include the Real IRA formed in 1997, as well.

  • Pancho’s Horse

    I wonder was Ed Maloney in the IRA?

  • lib2016

    Very good. What else did Santie bring besides the book? 😉

  • joeCanuck

    Maloney’s book does have an air of believability about it but it must be wrong because we all know that Gerry Adams was never in the IRA.

  • Seimi

    1963 ‘Grassy knoll’ actually turns out to be Adams’ beard
    1966 Adams wins World Cup
    2008 Ed Maloney stops writing fiction, turns to history

  • austin

    What was the year that Charlie Haughey won the Tour De France??

  • Twinbrook

    ulster, didn`t SF have a part in the john and bobby Kennedy, MalcolmX, and M.L.King assassinations…

    hire a turk to kill the pope, spill the beans on Nixon, fit up lord lucan, launch the first manned spaceship to the planet X….

    and wipe off the face of the earth the other three counties of the REAL ulster?

  • The Dubliner

    The above few posts are a good example of how wearing blinkers in order to see only what the political elite direct you to see can make a horse’s ass out of the wearers. Which is it to be, kids: either Gerry Adams was a member of PIRA or he is a pathological liar?

    If he was a member of PIRA, and he has made fools out of his supporters by lying to them and making them repeat his lies in his defence; or, alternatively, they have made fools and liars out of themselves by willingly repeating his lies in order to serve their master self-serving agenda, knowing them to be false.

    If they know that he is a pathological liar, then why do they trust the character of a pathological liar? Presumably because they lack the minimal level of intelligence that is required to understand that someone who is untrustworthy is not to be trusted, or else it is because they feel that their own agenda is best advanced by lies and deceit, since it cannot stand on its own merits, thereby requiring the services of a skilled deceiver.

    Of course, Gerry Adams may be telling the truth when he says that he was not a member of PIRA. In which case, Ed Maloney owes him an apology for suggesting that he was the ‘Belfast Commander’ who was the architect of the policy of ‘The Disappeared’ and who organised ‘The Unknowns’ for that purpose, just as others owe the innocent Gerry an apology for saying that he organised Bloody Friday, was arrested over the La Mon bombing, and was a ‘protected member’ being one of only two people whose lives were saved by double agent activities of the British Army’s notorious FRU unit.

  • lib2016

    Well he hasn’t gone away you know. There’s a thread over on politics i.e. which discusses his interview on Newstalk this morning. Sorry I don’t do links but I do like quotes. Discussing the possibility of Adams running for President the conversation went as follows

    Interviewer; “Why won’t you do it?”

    Gerry; “I’ve been locked up in an institution before”

    Given that the polls in last week’s Sunday papers showed Sinn Fein still holding onto their voters and Gerry still hugely popular with the punters things seem to be back to normal after the Christmas break.

  • RepublicanStones

    ulster’s my homeland, ulster was home to lots of people before your ancestor’s showed up in the boats and claimed land already owned. oops should i not have mentioned that?

    hard truths best faced head on. Im from ulster and Ireland is my homeland.

  • USA

    Word is Gerry’s busy downloading songs onto his new iPhone.
    I want to ask “Ulster is my Homeland” what was the point of his insanely long posts, but i’m afraid he might answer.

  • Kevin

    I’ve wondered, when seeing “Ulster’s my Homeland”s posts, when Ulster was physically separated from the rest of Ireland.

  • andy

    I would guess most of his supporters accept he is/was in the IRA and think that his denials are for legal purposes.

  • Mayoman

    Dubliner hides the shame of his and other southerner’s cowardice behind the veil of ‘everything was the IRA’s fault’. No other country would have watched its own citizens being treated the way they were and ‘stood idly by’. But its easier to place all the blame on republicans than to acknowledge that fact. Its the simple psyche of the apologist for cowardice.

  • gaelgannaire

    Gerry Adams had a full page article in Lá Nua today.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Is his written Irish better than his spoken Irish?

  • USA

    I’m certainly no expert, but compared to the rest of the population in Ireland I think Adams’ Irish is quite good.

  • graduate

    Your youtube link was priceless!! the suggestion has been just been made by my better half that Roy and Ruby Gillespie (ex-DUP and protesting yesterday outside Galgorm hotel) should join yon eejit and do a tour of USA telling it from both sides:-)

  • Sir Herbert Mercer

    “. Its the simple psyche of the apologist for cowardice.”

    An apologist for violence would be much more admirable