“when a major political leader tells such an obvious falsehood about a defining part of his life…”

Also for the record, Ed Moloney has responded to Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’ attack on the Boston College oral history project.  From Ed Moloney’s blog

I don’t intend to spill a lot of ink responding to Gerry Adams’ recent statement taking yet another swipe at the motives of those who were interviewed and who did the interviewing for the Boston College oral history archive.

That is because I have already answered a very similar charge from Mary Lou McDonald. [added link]

Essentially Gerry Adams is saying that anyone who is interviewed about the Provisionals who is not with his programme and makes allegations about his IRA career and history that he contests and denies, must be making them up for malicious and mendacious reasons.

Implicitly he is also saying that such people should not be allowed an audience and should be ignored or even silenced.

The core issue is the denial of his IRA membership from which all else flows, including the Jean McConville affair. Without that denial of their shared lives, and the shunting of responsibility onto others that it implies, I seriously doubt whether Brendan Hughes would ever have given Boston College an interview and I don’t think Dolours Price would have gone to the Irish News to speak of her role in disappearing Jean McConville (it is conveniently forgotten, incidentally, that she never mentioned Jean McConville in her interviews with Boston College).

And if they hadn’t spoken, the Jean McConville business would never have emerged in the way it has. It is important to remember that Gerry Adams brought all the business about his IRA membership and role in Jean McConville’s death on himself. If he had not denied his IRA past (and that does not mean admitting it either) none of this would have happened.

Personally I do not give a tinkers whether Gerry Adams is, was or ever wanted to be in the IRA. But when a major political leader tells such an obvious falsehood about a defining part of his life – and by extension must be capable of telling lies about other issues of more direct relevance to others’ lives – then I do believe that it the journalist’s job, and the historian’s too, to subject that claim to the most stringent scrutiny.

Read the whole thing.

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  • sherdy

    Pete, – And all other political leaders are scrupulously honest! Could you name one of this rare breed?

  • Zig70

    “Not if you keep agreeing to interview them, and provide them with some publicity, they don’t…” practice what you preach for self-promoting bullshit artists. Mmmm.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    ” And all other political leaders are scrupulously honest!”

    Of course now. But there’s quite a difference between, say, Alan Shatter’s less than honest actions in the south, and lying with regard to one’s role in the abduction and murder of a single mother.

  • Tir Chonaill Gael

    * of course not.

  • Mickish

    Slugger,whos pay role are you on?your daily attacks on the Republican movement is starting to make you look like a “woman “spurned! Is there no other subject or for that matter party that you could attack,just for once??Either the Brits or Free state has compromised you in some major way,because your are definately on one of their payrolls!! were you caught sucking something you shouldnt????

  • Expatrick

    Holding politicians accountable for past acts is standard journalism, especially if they are still part of the political process north or south, If loyalist paramiltaries had a few more intellectuals than drug dealers then maybe they would have ended up in a robust political party something like Sinn Fein, since Adams is still in the public eye and an elected representative it’s only right that Journalists should seek the truth about his past and the fact that he still denies it is further incentive

  • Zig70

    Mickish – rather Gerry is being built up from a West Belfast centric leader to epic proportions by media obsession and unionist dogs in the street feeding their fears. He certainly has a story but the truth is probably duller than this.

  • Mick Fealty


    That’s three comments you’ve made on this site. All of them anonymous, vaguely threatening or pejorative.

    As to your contention that we cannot talk about anything else, scroll down the front page for the Anna Lo stuff? I’m also interested in southern politics (that’ll be the kit and kaboodle effect kicking in), though it’s clear it’s not a passion many of our regular commenters share.

    When a real story breaks we try to give it the attention it deserves.

    As for Adams, well any senior politician in the US that lies about his past as routinely and as casually as Adams does would get the bum’s rush pretty quickly.

    Adams matters in Irish politics. And because he matters his actions and his words should be closely examined and tested. If you disagree, then say so, and argue your case.

    No one is trying to close you down via threat or inuendo. And no one is forcing you or anyone else to read the site.

  • sherdy

    Mick, – Have you forgotten Bill Clinton’s quote: ‘I did not have relations with this woman’?

    Bill is still regarded as an honourable elder statesman, not only on his home turf, but worldwide.

    Maybe if Gerry Adams could be proved to be telling porkie pies then he could reach such world acclaim.

  • SDLP supporter

    Mick, you have been more than patient with the foul-mouthed corner boy who goes under the name of ‘Mickish’.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Mickish asked, as they tend to do, ‘whos pay role are you on?’

    But Mickish seems to forget that the payroll of the majority of his so called ‘republican movement’ in the North comes from British funding….And the British most certainly aren’t pumping money into something unless it is useful to their interests.

    This old bullshite is the stuff of the deluded who seem to think that somehow Provisional Sinn Fein are a revolutionary party going places. The fact is that the only places your leadership are going entails 1st Class travel and takes them them past Cloud-Cuckoo-Land where it appears most of SF live out their lives these days…

  • redhugh78

    Well at least Ed is responding to someone or something because both he and his side kick Mr Mc Intyre seem to have went into hiding since their ill conceived ‘Oral History Project’ has led to the prosecution of one of its participants.

  • Mick Fealty

    Same might be said about Mr Adams, who has a knack of swerving out of any awkward questions…


  • Morpheus

    With respect I don’t think Slugger can say that it gives real stories the attention they deserve. The very serious turn of events at Twaddell and the bizarre recent behaviour of the UUP haven’t been touched in favour of a SF blow by blow. The charge that unionist politicians only see what they want can be equally applied here.

    And I don’t mean Mick, he has enough on his plate, where are the other contributers?

  • Dixie Elliott

    redhugh78 said (hiding behind a fake name unlike Ed or Mackers) ….

    “Well at least Ed is responding to someone or something because both he and his side kick Mr Mc Intyre seem to have went into hiding since their ill conceived ‘Oral History Project’ has led to the prosecution of one of its participants…”

    I think you’ll find that Mr Mc Intyre has responded in both the Belfast Telegraph and on his blog the Pensive Quill on which he posts daily….

    I know people like to use fake names and fair enough but these eejits who call people touts, this or that etc have brass necks given that the likes of Mackers, Ed etc don’t hide they are out in the open unlike those who, like Mickish, redhugh and that other boyo sean tracey, throw stones from dark lanes and run away.