In defence of… Gerry Adams

The rape of Maria Cahill was a horrific crime. This writer cannot even begin to think of the suffering and torment that she has endured because of the actions of a depraved individual. There is no sane person who doubts Cahill’s version of events.

Sadly, this horrific event has been seized upon by Sinn Fein’s political opponents.

It is clear from the words and action of politicians North and South that Maria Cahill comes second in their thoughts. Maria Cahill should be their focus. Catching those responsible should be their focus. Bringing IRA volunteers who are abusers and rapists to justice should be the goal. Yes, they are horrified by her rape as any right thinking person would be but first in their thoughts is Gerry Adams.

Gerry Adams is an extraordinary politician. If you journey into inner city Dublin or any area of forgotten Ireland they know Adams. They can identify with him. Indeed, they can identify him which is more than can be said for the faceless political elite.

There is a school of thought that Adams must be ditched if Sinn Fein is to soar in the south. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nobody connects with the politically disengaged like Adams. He attracts voters to Sinn Fein and motivates activists to work for the party.

Adams’ political opponents know this hence their glee at the Cahill story. They long not to get justice for Maria but to take Gerry Adams out. They ignore Adams speaking out against the IRA’s method of policing nationalist communities. This included condemnation of punishment shootings.

They ignore the central reason behind the IRA’s policing of these communities. The Northern Ireland of the 1970’s was an orange state. The justice, police and social services of a normal state were not open to many nationalists. This vacuum was filled by the IRA. They ignore these facts because it suits their politically motivated agenda to do so.

This writer is no fan of Sinn Fein. The push for a border poll so soon after the divisive referendum in Scotland will only weaken the push for a united Ireland. The gulf between their actions in the six counties and the south is scarcely credible. Ironically, Sinn Fein is the ultimate partitionist party.

Political difference is not a legitimate reason to use the rape of a young girl as a political football. Adams has questions to answer but to try and place him at the centre of a widespread abuse cover up is stretching the bounds of reality.

Gerry Adams co-operated with the police investigation into Maria’s rape. He also advised her to go to the RUC. These are not the actions of a man seeking to cover up a culture of abuse and rape. It is high time Maria Cahill got justice but the political posturing will only help those who wish delay the process and obfuscate the truth.