Cartoon by Brian Mór
Adams, signaling ‘Poor Gerry’ mode with his choice of blog title, ‘The ides of March?’, folksily expands on his earlier press release regarding the publication of Voices from the Grave. One wonders how the contents of the book are reduced to a schoolyardish tug-of-war over who was a better friend to the most popular kid, but Adams seems to feel the need to boast.
An old friend of mine, Brendan Hughes, has been in the news this week. The Irish News actually devoted eight pages on one day and three pages another day to a book containing interviews with Brendan.
This book by Ed Moloney and Anthony McIntyre appears to be a rerun of an earlier tome by Ed Moloney.
Mr Moloney and Mr McIntyre have written books and countless articles attacking me, and in its time the IRA leadership.
I knew Brendan Hughes well. Better than Ed Moloney or Anthony McIntyre. And I cared more for him and about him than they ever will. Some time I hope to get the space to reflect on my life with Brendan and the separate twists and turns of his life, and mine.
He wasnt well and hadnt been for a very long time, including during the time he did these interviews.
He also carried with him an enormous sense of guilt over events surrounding the first hunger strike. This made him very vulnerable even before his health deteriorated.
However, that is no excuse for his involvement in this book.
Brendan also opposed the peace process. That was his right. His assertion that the struggle was not worth it is wrong.
The fact is that the decisions taken collectively by republicans have improved the quality of life for people across this island; have ensured the growth of republican politics and created a new and dynamic context in which there is the potential to achieve reunification and independence.
Brendan could and should have been part of this. For a mixture of reasons he wasnt. That was his choice. Like everything else he was involved in. Big boys didnt make him do it.
Hughes himself was very clear what he thought of Adams, and where that relationship was in the latter years of his life. In a 2000 interview with Niall Stanage, he describes an encounter with Adams:
Adams and Hughes last met about three months ago. It wasn’t a pleasant experience: “He was asking me questions about my getting publicity, talking about the ‘Armani suit brigade’ and so on. And he was saying things about the people I was associating with — that I had got myself into bad company and I should get myself out of it. It was an attempt to censor me through friendship. But it was so ridiculous! If Gerry had said that to me 20 years ago, I’d have f*cked him a right!”
(Even in death, Adams is still attempting to ‘censor [him] through friendship’.)
“I loved him. I’d have taken a bullet for Gerry. I probably should have put one in him.”