Former Hunger Striker Calls on Adams to Resign from Sands Trust

Former Hunger Striker Gerard Hodgins has called upon Gerry Adams to resign from the Bobby Sands Trust in light of his actions surrounding the accusations against his brother, Liam Adams. The Sands Trust is currently run out of the Sinn Fein offices on the Falls Road, and its members are Gerry Adams, Danny Morrison, Tom Hartley, Jim Gibney, Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane, Sile Darragh, Caral Ni Chuilin, and Peter Madden (Madden and Finucane represent the Trust). Hartley, Morrison and Adams have been on the Trust since its inception. The Sands family have rejected the Trust and have publicly called for it to be wound up. “We came to look closer at the Trust and in turn were concerned at the lack of control or accountability”, said one family source. “There were no records of minutes etc. or proper accounts and it was debatable if they ever functioned as a Trust but rather as an extension of SF.”

There was also family concern over an alleged attempt by Sinn Féin to insert a clause in the new Trust which would have made Gerry Adams a financial beneficiary. “It came in the draft version of the new trust documents drawn up in 1994 though Adams said that it should read the president of Sinn Féin of the day. We didn’t agree to either”.

In related news, Sinn Fein Vice President Mary Lou McDonald has said anyone found to have covered up the abuse of children should be arrested: “Anyone found to be complicit in the cover up of child abuse must be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law.”

Hodgins’ letter to the Irish News is very hard hitting; its full text, along with McDonald’s press release, follows below the jump. Full text of former hunger striker Gerard Hodgins’ letter:

Ten years ago the family of Bobby Sands asked Gerry Adams and Danny Morrison to wind up The Bobby Sands Trust; their reasons for this included they don’t believe The Bobby Sands Trust is all Gerry and Danny claim it to be.

Bobby Sands was a man of principle, a man of honour, a man of courage and a man of unblemished character. He has inspired thousands throughout the globe in their struggles for social justice and remains a beacon of hope for the oppressed, the imprisoned and the socially conscious.

In the intervening years since Bobby’s family asked Adams and Morrison to wind up the organisation they run using Bobby’s name, much has come to light about the high level of penetration of the Provisional leadership by British intelligence agencies: so much so in fact it is difficult not to juxtapose this information alongside the new found ostentatious wealth of the Provisional leadership and not conclude there is truth in there!

The latest episode on the true face behind the Provisional leadership mask is a very disturbing one, given that it concerns the rape and abuse of children and the manipulation of that heinous crime by the Police, intelligence agencies and the Provisional leadership: nobody cared for the victim, all had their own agendas.

Whether Gerry Adams remains or goes as the leader of Sinn Fein is an irrelevance to me and I wouldn’t comment on it other than to say Gerry is probably the most morally apt person to lead an organisation which appears, in its upper echelons at least, to be a depository for informers, paedophiles and God knows what else.

I would call on him to resign immediately though from The Bobby Sands Trust as I believe further association with a discredited Provisional leadership besmirches and dishonours the sacrifces Bobby and the other men of ’81 made in the name of freedom. One of Bobby’s most famous quotes is: our revenge will be the laughter of our children!

Gerry Adams is not a man who can continue this charade that he and he alone speaks for Bobby, the hunger strikers, the Blanketmen and women. Not in my name Gerry, most definitely not in my name!

Is Hodgins’ viewpoint representative of Adams’ constituency? Squinter, writing in the Andersonstown News, doesn’t think so. He puts down any concerns over Adams’ political behaviour to ‘the usual suspects’ and ‘professional Adams-bashers’ and says that the true consensus is “Adams has shown a lot of courage and class, and that he and his family should be given the time and the space to endure and to heal”.

Gerry Adams also disparages the media in his latest blog entry, which is a folksy walk through the bog meadows, dismissing the coverage of the story out of hand: “‘I’ll tell you about the ones with their own wee agenda some other time,’ I smiled. They usually write for the Sunday World, the Sunday Times, papers of that ilk. I stopped buying the Sunday papers about ten years ago. A waste of a Sunday morning. Pages of half truths, opinions, bias, lies. Better buying a decent novel’.” (Curiously, when Adams’ blog entry first went up late last night, the Irish News was also mentioned; that reference has since been removed)

Arrest and charge those complicit in child abuse cover up – McDonald
November 28, 2009

Commenting this morning on the report on clerical sexual abuse of children in the Dublin Diocese Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald said anyone found to have covered up the abuse of children should be arrested and face the full rigours of the law.

Ms. McDonald described the State’s child protection services as a disgrace and said sadly the abuse of children continues today.

Ms. McDonald said:

“The report on clerical sexual abuse of children in Dublin exposes how the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in the Dublin Diocese conspired to protect abusers of children. It was a gross betrayal of generations of children.

“It is especially damning that the State authorities facilitated the cover-up and allowed the Church to be beyond the reach of the law. Senior Gardai, up to and including the level of Commissioner, repeatedly turned a blind eye to crimes of clerical sexual abuse.

“Anyone, including Gardaí, found to be complicit in the cover up of child abuse must be arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law.

“The Government must take immediate action in response to the Report’s finding that the legislation governing the role of the HSE in dealing with child sexual abuse is inadequate.

“Like the Ryan Report, this report must prompt the Government to act urgently to protect vulnerable children today. Another recent report led to the closure of the facility at Ballydowd. It exposes serious deficits in standards aimed at safeguarding vulnerable children.

“Sadly child abuse is not a thing of the past and is continuing today and, to the shame of successive Governments in this state our child protection services are a disgrace. The HSE knows of cases where children are in grave danger but the services are not in place to make the interventions required.

“If the State does not put in place the services for the protection of children then it will be just as culpable as it was in the past when it facilitated the cover up of child sex abuse.” ENDS