Taoiseach is ‘diluting the impact of the alleged charges against Adams by cynical and lazy repetition’

Eilis O’Hanlon is not so much coming to the rescue of Gerry Adams, as upbrading the Taoiseach for using the abduction and murder of a Belfast housewife to punctuate his own inability to answer fairly straightforward questions from the Opposition:

In the right context, the charges against Gerry Adams carry considerable weight. Last week, demanding that the British government come clean about its role in the murder of lawyer Pat Finucane, it would have been perfectly legitimate to inquire what secrets of his own Adams might be hiding behind that greying beard. But Enda Kenny now uses the same accusation every single time he addresses Adams, whether it’s relevant or not to the subject at hand.

Last week’s row came as the Dail debated the Budget. In October the same thing happened when Adams questioned Health Minister James Reilly’s judgement. Back in January, Kenny even raised the IRA issue after Adams called him “an eejit” when he was pictured having his hair ruffled by Sarkozy.

The Taoiseach might like to think he is doughtily defending innocent victims against the might of the Provisional IRA war machine, but in reality he’s just diluting the impact of the alleged charges against Adams by cynical and lazy repetition. Like the boy who cried wolf, Kenny accuses Adams of being an IRA godfather so often that the words have lost their impact. When the time comes that the charge ought to be raised, people now simply roll their eyes and sigh: “There he goes again.”

By using the Troubles like a high five to punctuate Dail questions when he thinks he’s on a roll, Kenny is disrespecting the memory of Jean McConville and other victims. They should never be forgotten and those who may have questions to answer about their brutal fate must be made to answer for what they did. But don’t use their memory as a tactic to avoid answering serious questions about the Government’s lamentable record and your own feebleness as a leader during a time of national crisis.


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  • David Crookes

    Mick, is Mr Kenny pursuing a long-term ‘lest-we-forget’ policy? It may not be so much a matter of coping with his present difficulties. It may rather be a matter of disenchanting the electorate with Sinn Fein and all their works.

    I know some people in the RoI who responded to GA’s interminable rant by saying, ‘That’s those Belfast ones for you.’ A few more no-I-can’t-shut-up rants from GA may cause people in the RoI to ask themselves if they really want a unified Ireland. The abiding memory of that day’s proceedings for many TV viewers will be that GA is an intolerably self-important bully.

  • GEF
  • Adams is the chief protagonist of the article but not the only one as Eilis notes:

    It isn’t only Gerry Adams … It’s as if he [the Taoiseach] knows a grand total of one fact about each member of the house and has been programmed to repeat it every time he hears their voice. By refusing to submit himself to the normal democratic process of questions and answers, he is demeaning the office he holds.

    From Dáil debates, December 11:

    Deputy Adams: “Second, he referred to events in my life and women. That is below him and diminishes the office he holds.”

    Eilis is almost echoing Gerry’s words though she’s apparently no fan of the Louth TD. Presumably the ‘my’ in his comment qualifies ‘life’ but not ‘women’. Losing the run of himself when the heat was on will hardly surprise Adams watchers.