Arthur Morgan Watch: Day 21…

Well, confession time (one of several I’ll be making in the next day or two after the last weeks of madness)… I got the day wrong. I said yesterday was day 21. In fact today is day twenty one (sorry Arthur!). Just to keep us right, we’ll be instigating a clock that keeps us straight in future. Now, today, we have nothing to report directly on Deputy Morgan’s lack of a response to his false statement that Gerry Adams’ ‘estranged’ brother:

Although he was a party member, he was never an officer, and certainly was never in the running, as has been stated in the media, for nomination as a candidate in the 1997 Dáil elections

Update, Valerie Robinson in the Irish News reports on how she spent all day yesterday trying to contact Arthur:

Getting desperate I picked up the phone again and rang a usually helpful public relations representative for one of Mr Morgan’s colleagues in the Dail. He told me he’d make a call. Shortly afterwards I received a call from a party PR man in Leinster House reassuring me he would speak to the missing TD on my behalf. He gave me his mobile and landline numbers and told me to contact him “anytime”.

Some hours later I did contact the spokesman, who told me he had spoken to Mr Morgan who was “quite busy” and “in a meeting” and was “quite difficult to track down” but he would keep trying. It helped to know that I was not now alone in my quest for “The Morgan”, I hoped.

However despair set in when by early evening even the Sinn Fein spokesman also became untraceable. Leaving me feel road weary but determined to finish my mission today.

Maybe tomorrow Valerie?? Now, back to the original post... In today’s Irish Times, Gerry Adams has this to say on the political usefulness of silence:

Robinson was standing down for six weeks as First Minister. Had we six weeks to reach agreement? But Gerry Adams didn’t respond because to do so would be setting deadlines, and annoying the DUP. “Least said, soonest mended,” said Adams. Very wise.

Wise indeed, not least since every time Gerry speaks on the subject of his brother’s membership of the party, he prompts more questions. And the Guardian has some interestingly divided opinions from a West Belfast, apparently finding some enjoyment in bind in which Peter Robinson now finds himself:

There are also lingering questions over Gerry Adams’s conduct once he learned that his brother, Liam, had allegedly abused his own daughter from the age of four. West Belfast might have been unified, mostly, in distaste at the conduct of the Robinsons, but on the question of Adams’s behaviour there was rather less agreement.

A number of shoppers, mostly women, reacted indignantly when asked about the Adams affair. “I think that is completely irrelevant, nobody’s interested in that any more,” said one woman called Angela, having coffee with a friend.

But outside the Spar supermarket a little further up the hill, Paul Conlon, who has known Gerry Adams since they were children, said he thought the Sinn Fein president’s position was also “a bit precarious now. He definitely has questions to answer too.” That issue might even explain Sinn Fein’s comparative reticence over the Robinson scandal, he said. “Put it this way: nobody wants to start throwing mud right now.”

What’s this all about? Check out the Arthur Morgan Watch archives…

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