Gerry Adams TD has been calling for talks with those that killed PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr. He, like his entire party, have been absolute and unambiguous in their comdemnation of those involved but Adams at least has now expanded his party’s attack to other groups that clearly have no connection to the death. One of these groups, éirígí, has responded and as a result revealed while SF claim a willingness to have discussions on republicanism with those currently and actively engaged in armed actions they have refused to even acknowledge an offer for a discussion on republicanism from a non-armed but dissenting party.
In his recent statement condemning those involved in armed struggle or supportive of it, Adams moved on to a ‘thirdly’:
And thirdly there has been no attempt to defend or explain the rationale behind their actions.
This thirdly included some that clearly support armed struggle but linked in éirígí, Independent Republicans (a mighty broad brushstroke) and ‘localised historical groups’ – these 3 sets of people clearly worry Adams/SF as much as those that endorse armed struggle:
There are political groupings which present themselves as republican. These include Republican Sinn Féin, the 32 County Sovereignty Movement, the Republican Network for Unity and Éirigí.
Others present themselves as Independent Republicans or as localised historical groups.
These are all entirely legitimate political groupings. They are fully entitled to disagree with Sinn Féin and to criticise us and our strategy.
But since the murder of Ronan Kerr they have all put their heads down.
He accused these groups of putting their heads down. éirígí via their Rúnaí Ginearálta, Breandán Mac Cionnaith have come out fighting against the attempt from SF to link them with the death of Constable Kerr (felon setting they called it):
This is the latest in the long line of cynical attacks by Gerry Adams and others in the Sinn Féin leadership upon éirígí. These attacks are motivated by nothing more than Sinn Féin’s fear that éirígí’s coherent socialist republican message is gaining increasing support in areas that Adams & Co regard as their personal political fiefdoms.
éirígí’s position on the recent killing in Omagh and on other armed actions is clear and unambiguous. The party is not aligned to or supportive of any armed groups or their actions. This has been our position since our foundation five years ago, something Gerry Adams is well aware
They challenged Adam’s claim they were ‘running for cover’:
It is hardly plausible for Mr Adams to claim that éirígí are ‘running for cover’ at a time when we are, in fact, running for election in his former constituency in West Belfast. Scores or our activists are canvassing daily on the ground in West Belfast
And stated not only have they made themselves available for comment on this issue but have offered SF a broader debate on republicanism – something that party has not availed despite their claims, via the media, of offering discussions to armed groups engaged in killing PSNI members.
éirígí spokespeople have consistently made themselves available for public comment on every aspect of the party’s policies and we will continue to do so
éirígí is on the record as offering Sinn Féin a public debate on the future direction of the republican struggle, an offer which they have, so far, declined to even respond to.
If Sinn Féin is genuinely interested in engaging with republican Ireland, they will take this offer up
So are SF cynically using the death of Constable Kerr for political ends? Attempting to link small electoral competitors to something they have no connection to? Claiming to offer talks during an election when they refuse real offers of talks from political dissenters if an election isn’t imminent?
And importantly – which SF statement drafter forgot to hit the IRSP with the blunderbuss of link every fecker to the killing?