“Which of these questions do you think are ‘silly’?”

Prime Time had two main items last night. One of the plight of the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries in the wake of UN Committee against Torture recommendation that the Irish state’s failure to protect the women should be properly investigated.

Then there is a piece looking at the recovery process of those bodies of those Disappeared by the IRA in which it documents the fact that most of the investigations are being done through intermediaries rather by direct contact with those who actually buried the bodies themselves.

Then Donogh Diamond has a pretty combative interview with Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein President and TD for Louth, in which he reprises his infamous line from March 2007 when he lectured Mark Devenport “Journalists have the right and the responsibility and the duty to ask questions.. you don’t have the right to ask stupid questions”.

I’ve no further comment to make on it other than to say, ‘the past hasn’t gone away you know…”

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  • So what were the questions?

  • sdelaneys

    The questions were ‘were you a member of the ira?’, ‘how can people accept anything from you if you persist in denying you were in the ira?’ and a few more along those lines. the bearded one was not amused.

  • My mother was taught to think of and refer to them as ‘the penitents’. Girls could be sent there for little or no reason but pregnancy, even from incest or rape, was a good one. Oddly enough I can’t recall one case of a man being charged with rape or incest relating to any of the girls in the laundries… An added benefit to the church in those cases was they then had a baby to give to the suitable. Once inside the girls had little chance of getting out, ever, and they were worked. The motto over the door did not say ‘freedom through work’ but it might as well have. The girls were worked and abused for the profits of the church and the state got rid of its dirty little secrets. Dev and his successors could sleep soundly no doubt dreaming of ‘comely maidens’… It was a win, win situation.

    Gerry Adams presented the search for the disappeared as though everyone in PIRA and Sinn Fein were personally digging through Ireland with their bare hands to find them. He got aggressive when asked about Jean McConville but then he always gets aggressive when he doesn’t like the questions.

    In answer to your question: Neither.

  • The questions were ‘were you a member of the ira?’, ‘how can people accept anything from you if you persist in denying you were in the ira?’

    So they were silly questions then…

  • HeinzGuderian

    You can’t fool all of the people all of the time Gerry !!

  • 241934 john brennan

    It is said that a woman’s nay is worth naught – but for the completely amoral person truth and lies are of equal value, equally valueless, or equally interchangeable.

    ” You should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
    “I do, ” Alice replied; “at least I mean what I say, that’s the same thing, you know.”
    “Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see!”

  • Mick Fealty

    Ulick,

    Okay, the asking of the questions may be construed as silly since we already know what the answer was going to be (ie, those are silly questions)…

    But the questions themselves are anything but silly. In fact they serve two serious purposes. One, to establish the general credibility and competence of the witness to answer correctly and reliably on this subject.

    And two, given the programme notes that those who buried the victims are not actually directly involved in the liaison with the commission set up to find it, these questions aimed finding out whether or not that part of the party’s bureaucracy charged with handling that liaison is working to its own and its party leader’s rather than the family’s interest, as Mr Adams claims.

    It is not a journalist’s job to unquestioningly stenograph the words of a responding politicians.

  • Cynic2

    At some point we need an interviewer and his Editor to have the balls to say “OK Gerry, we have heard that answer. So if you are going to insult the intelligence of our viewers in that way, there is no point continuing this interview” and pulling the plug.

    The one thing Gerry wants is coverage of his statesman like utterances and publicity. Cut off the oxygen of both and he will look like the fool he is trying to make of the Irish people

  • Mick Fealty

    The quote from Alice is a good one. The trouble is that Gerry Adams is an important figure in the Irish democratic world who runs a politiical project that rightly should commands respect from journalist HHe caannot be cast off our treeated in aa demeaning way.

    There are a number of diffcult storiies around for him personally coming up. I don”t think this reflex that the fault lies with thee questioner is a proper response to honest inquiry. But hdoes not mean it is not a viable one.

  • “The trouble is that Gerry Adams is an important figure in the Irish democratic world who runs a politiical project that rightly should commands respect from journalist”

    Rubbish, and not just about Gerry Adams. All would be politicians should be subject to the most rigorous investigation and questioning If someone wants to lead he better be more than a man of straw and a lot less than a murderer. Respect is not a gift it is hard earned and even harder maintained.

  • Cynic2

    “He caannot be cast off our treeated in aa demeaning way.”

    Mick

    But he demeaned by his own utterances not by the questions