Gerry Adams: I Rise

The Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, has delivered a big two fingers up to all of his media critics. I know on Slugger I get a lot of “we don’t read that thing” from Shinners but we like to think that every now and then he stops by to see how Mick is keeping.

Anyway, below is his latest blog post on the media, his twitter feed and a poem:

Certain media commentators have recently made an issue of the fact that some time ago, I tweeted Maya Angelou’s poem Still I Rise.

They seem not to have the slightest appreciation of the nature of social media, the role of literature in society or indeed the character of the author who has incited their censorial righteousness.

In an incredible leap of imagination they have deemed my tweet insensitive.

This, because in their own fevered minds they have contrived a link between my tweet and other unrelated issues.

In this case it is the fact that some political opponents of Sinn Féin have made spurious allegations of a ‘republican cover-up’ of rape.

But in their zeal to propagate a vile smear against me and against Sinn Fein, these modern-day McCarthyites in the media have merely exposed their own ignorance and frightening intolerance.

Maya Angelou, who died last May, was an award-winning feminist author and poet, best known for her acclaimed memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, which made literary history as the first non-fiction best-seller by an African-American woman

Another of Angelou’s most famous works, On the Pulse of Morning, was recited at US President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

Martin Luther King Jr., a close friend of Angelou’s, was assassinated on her birthday in 1968. Angelou stopped celebrating her birthday for years afterwards, and sent flowers to King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, for more than 30 years, until Coretta’s death in 2006.

US President Barack Obama called Maya Angelou “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend, and a truly phenomenal woman” adding that she “had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer”.

Maya Angelou experienced much hardship and suffering in her life.

Growing up as an African American woman in Arkansas, she experienced racial discrimination.

She was also the victim of rape at a very young age.

Deeply traumatised by this and the subsequent killing of the man responsible, Maya Angelou stopped talking and spent years as a virtual mute.

Still I Rise shares its title with a 1976 play by Maya Angelou, and refers to the indomitable spirit of Black people, despite the catalogue of injustices inflicted on them.

It is about hope and a belief that people can overcome injustice.

It was at the centre of an advertising campaign for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), a US philanthropic organisation that funds scholarships for black students.

As well as being a proud statement on behalf of Black people, Still I Rise, is a strong and positive representation of women.

Those who, in their ignorance, have criticised my tweeting of the poem have objected in particular to certain lines which are a defiant assertion by Maya Angelou of female sexuality.

That this powerful assertion comes from a woman whose feminism was born of her own experiences at the hands of a racist, patriarchal society is entirely lost on these witless commentators.

In recent years we have seen almost all of the major institutions of Irish life – the Church, politics, the banking system, the Gardai, subjected to intense re-evaluation.

This has generally followed scandals that exposed the previous overbearing power of these institutions

The Irish media has yet to be subjected to any serious public scrutiny.

With a few honourable exceptions they failed to seriously investigate or report on what was happening in the North during the years of conflict. In fact the Independent Group campaigned against the Peace Process and vilified John Hume for his role in it.

In relation to the economic crash, sections of the media at best failed to question the political and economic status quo which led to it.

At worst it was complicit in the problems which caused it, particularly in relation to inflating the property bubble.

Indeed, in light of the collapse of other institutions, the media’s role and influence has arguably increased.

The arrogance of certain media commentators certainly has.

They now dispense absolute bias disguised as moral truths and a deep intolerance of anyone who incurs their displeasure. Much like the Bishops of old.

For some time that has meant Sinn Féin and myself in particular.

However, like all authoritarians, their arrogance eventually gets the better of them.

Recent weeks have witnessed some journalists come as close as it is possible to be, to saying that when it comes to republicans, due process and the rule of law do not matter.

Journalists now trawling through my twitter account and seeking to dictate what poems I should or should not tweet brings us ever closer to the territory of book burnings.

For the nice little poem he quotes at the bottom you can read it here

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  • Michael-Henry Mcivor

    It’s sad that Republican have to watch sections of the media going against poems and poets- going against others work of art that journalists could not possibly have the imagination to write-nobody is forcing the media to like all poems- but just because they never wrote the words does not mean that they have to be so anti poems-

  • Gopher

    I think only the Archangel Gabriel missed a shout out in that piece.

  • Cahir O’Doherty

    I do (to an extent) agree with the assertion that there has been a lot of ‘Adams-bashing’ across certain sections of the media over this latest controversy (and many others before it), and that there is a certain belief that due process is not given to Sinn Finn.

    But calling the media hounding a politician ‘McCarthyism’ and comparing it to book burning both denigrates that dark chapter in American history as well as many instances of book burning (though I suspect we all know which episode Adams is referring to) as well as missing the point of book burning and McCarthyism which was politicians seeking to censor/control/intimidate the media and cultural outlets.

    I think this latest round of Adams-bashing is typical and saddening of a contemporary media that is more intent on personalities and polls rather than politics and policies. Of course this forms a cyclical (and not necessarily causal) relationship with politics where the political classes then get too caught up in what the media is saying about those personalities and polls and then suddenly real issues like the bedroom tax, water charges, corruption, incompetence, ignorance etc. are no longer issues. The end result then is a society that is much poorer without real political debate and an engagement with those issues.

    Sorry for the rant, but I’d much rather have a pint and chat about actual societal, economic, and cultural challenges than what Robbo/Gerry/Marty/Cameron/Miliband/whoever did or didn’t do in that particular news cycle.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Meanwhile….

  • mickfealty

    It’s a lecture. As a leader of his party of 30 years standing (and permanent leader of the Provisionals for more before that) Mr A is not good at taking criticism or more pertinently, making himself accountable.

    By contrast last night his party is keen to make Ms Cahill accountable for two warm letters she sent to one of the people she alleges was involved in that IRA court of Inquiry (http://goo.gl/zj6IsG) long afterwards.

    Why? Because Mr Adams integrity has been questioned. The timing of that original tweet is what was provoked the criticism. He treats treatment of every screw up of his own making as an assault on his own ambition.

    The reason why it doesn’t go away is because Mr A is the man who would be Taoiseach. The press in Northern Ireland have little more interest in him, but the southern press will continue to run checks on him and his character because he’s a democratic challenger with some considerable baggage.

    It’s nothing to do with media ownership. It’s part and parcel of democracy.

    Finally, I’d have been more engaged by his blog if he’d chosen to address the really disturbing stuff he has put on Twitter during this crisis, as Anthony McIntrye notes:

    there is no mileage for the party to have Adams quizzed in the media over his sexual tweets, which reference fragrant penises and ‘Hey bby gurl, I got something LONG 4 ur BOTTOM.’

    When I’ve mentioned this to friends inside the party (whose judgement I generally trust), it’s a conversation stopper. On it’s own I’d buy the reasoned excuses. But there’s a whole bunch of disturbing stories about how this man handles himself in private.

    That he is the final arbiter inside the party must be inwardly disturbing to many insiders as it is to those of us watching helplessly on the outside. It’s a disturbing question to have to ask so late at this stage of the party’s political success, but: just how many Gerry Adams’ are there?

  • mickfealty

    And since Mr Adams conveniently neglects to reference what upset Ms Cahill at the time, Shaun Connelly in the Examiner:

    Ms Cahill, who alleges she was raped as a 16-year-old by a senior IRA figure and then forced to confront her attacker in an IRA “kangaroo court”, has questioned the tone of many of Mr Adams’ comments on social media.

    Mr Adams defended the posting of a poem on Twitter by Maya Angelou called Still I Rise which included the verse: “Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise? That I dance like I have diamonds at the meeting of my thighs.”

    When pressed by TV3 journalist Ursula Halligan about the appropriateness of the tweet given the sexual abuse controversy Sinn Féin has been embroiled in, Mr Adams said: “It’s a wonderful poem and I’m sure you would appreciate it.

    “You picked out a particular section of it. I tweet a lot about poetry, I tweet a lot about books. I think you’re being, if you don’t mind, provocative. So, take that up with the poet — those aren’t my words, they are hers.”[emphasis added]

  • chrisjones2

    How many do you want? I have got lots

  • chrisjones2

    Thank you for that sage and profound comment

  • Dan

    I was looking out for a mention of Mandela.
    Anyhow, it’s time the DPP (deputy) completed the review of his file…..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Not, as far as I can see, against the poem, Michael, but against the cynical use of a poem, which he points out is that of a rape survivor, by a man who favoured his abuser brother Liam over Áine. Of course he grew up with Liam, shared an abuse father with him and outing him at the time it occurred would have seriously damaged SF and, ahem, GAs status on the world stage.

    And even the blind could see the glee with which his enemies, some with their own secrets, are leaping to use the weapon he has gifted them with, and with no sincere concern for the abused they deploy in this. But this abuse of the abused does not change the actual facts of the situation.

    The simple fact remains, GA fronting the stated policy “Women in an Ireland of Equals”? is such clear unmistakable hypocrisy that only the most committed would argue his case without blushing:

    “All forms of violence against women must be challenged and the services put in place to ensure that women who have been raped or have experienced violence are given the support they need.

    “There is an urgent need for rape crisis centres and counsellors trained in the area of sexual abuse to be available to women and children no matter what part of the North they live in.

    “There needs to be a strategic approach to this issue by government where all departments are working in a joined up way to deliver services and to ensure that groups and organisations are adequately resourced and financed to do so.

    “Tackling violence against women must be given the priority by Government that it deserves.

    “Women and children are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in society and must be protected from rape from violent sexual crime.”

    If you cannot address these matters within your own family, how can you even begin to suggest that you will be able to address them for strangers?

    But after all that, Maya Angelou’s poem is in one way safe enough for him to use as a shield. Áine and Maíria cannot bring Maya on camera to offer her opinion of what someone with a record of shielding a sexual abuser is doing with her work. But it takes very little imagination to put together what she would say, “saeva indignatio”, where she alive.

  • mickfealty

    Dixe, if you weren’t so permanently camped on Gerry’s lawn, I’d ‘book’ ya for permanent gig!

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s sad that Republican have to watch sections of the media going against poems and poet

    Not as sad as watching republicans go against a young woman who was raped by one of their number, but hey, I just have a weird idea of priorities.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Yes, Mick, “a whole bunch of disturbing stories about how this man handles himself in private.” That’s exactly why I’ve been wasting good work time commenting so often on these threads. I’ve met at least one partner for certain whom I would trust over what was told me.

    Few political careers would take close scrutiny, but then I’ve always been a “Fiat justitia ruat caelum” sort of guy, I’m told its my most charming feature.

  • Bryan Magee

    He seems to willfully dismiss the serious rape and child abuse cover up, questioning the motives rather than the facts behind the charges against him.

  • Concubhar O Liathain

    All I can say is that I’m glad to be blocked from Mr Adam’s Twitter feed….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Me, too, Concubhar! Something I remember seeing in SFs window in the Ormeau Road a while back:

    “We all deserve better.”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    It would be good to see the contents of the Standards and Privileges report on Iris and Peader too! Four years in the making, when some reports just take two shakes of the proverbial lamb’s tail……..

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Do tell!

  • Dan

    I quite agree

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thanks Dan. I remember the wee girl in “Strictly Ballroom” saying “a little musicality!” at one point.

    A bit of transparency would be a help too!

  • $33309652

    Chris there are other voodoo dolls available..for you

  • $33309652

    Since when would that stop you?

  • Sliothar

    ‘Dixe (sic), if you weren’t so permanently camped on Gerry’s lawn, I’d ‘book’ ya for permanent gig!’

    I didn’t think there was any space left as Slugger O’Toole appears to have a long-term lease on it.

  • delphindelphin

    Q. What’s the difference between New Zealand and Ireland?

    A. Well they’re both countries with 4 million people and 3 million sheep, but in Ireland they let the sheep vote.

  • Robin Keogh

    I would imagine GA is quite thick skinned at this stage when it comes to criticisms, given that he is the recpient of them on a daily basis. I was sceptical of his tweets myself but I fell into a common trap – which he so rightly points out – of forming an opinion without taking time to do the necessary homework. The Author he quotes is indeed all the things he has listed and then some. She is a heroine withi the feminist movement and a legend in termes of civil and human rights.

    But if GA doesnt like to be criticised it is clear from your contribution that commentators and journalists do not take too kindly to it either. Similarly in as much as the shinners are accused of closing ranks around their leader to protect GA, it pales in comparison to the aggressive mobilisation of media personel when one of their own is in the firing line. Simply put; many in the media believe that they are simply untouchable, that the media industry is answerable to nobody except themselves and ‘freedom of the press’ is really a ticket to create as much chaos and mayhem as possible.
    The two letters are important documents that shed some light on the relationship between Mairia and one of the accused interrogators. Whatever which way they might be helpful or not, I doubt you are seriously suggesting they should be kept out of the public spotlight? Particularly when any scrap of mud available can be thrown at GA and SF at will. It would seem then that this saga has become a very cold house for opposing points of view and a perfectly intolerable place for the principle of self defence.

  • tmitch57

    “As a leader of his party of 30 years standing (and permanent leader of
    the Provisionals for more before that) Mr A is not good at taking
    criticism or more pertinently, making himself accountable.”

    Mick,
    In 2001 I interviewed Oliver Napier, the first long-term leader of Alliance. He said that he retired as party leader when he did because he was afraid of becoming stale as a leader and he specifically cited Adams, Hume and Paisley as examples of this. One could probably also add several leaders of the UUP such as Molyneaux and West. But I guess in Northern Ireland the party faithful likes their leaders to be stale and predictable.

  • Dixie Elliott

    Marty: “What are you doing this morning Gerry?”

    Gerry: “I’m having a lie in Martin.”

    Marty: “You’re staying in bed?”

    Gerry: “No Martin, I’m doing an interview on TV.”

  • Dixie Elliott

    Does Bobby Storey know you’re online? He sent a message round the membership last week urging caution, especially online.

    Eyes are upon you.

  • Dixie Elliott

    “Mr Adams said these were the words of the poet Maya Angelou.

    He said: “(The poem) was sent to me by a young family member, it’s a wonderful poem….”

    “Does my sexiness upset you?
    Does it come as a surprise?
    That I dance like I have diamonds
    at the meeting of the thighs”

    A young family member sent him that?

  • Sliothar

    So, if you make a casual observation on the current state of play on SO’T, you’re a card carrying member of the IRA??
    Amazing, though it explains a lot about you.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, I’m entirely with you on the issue of those playing this issue for their own ends but this does not in any way answer the central issue of firm ungoing party support for so compromised a leader. As Mick says above

    “That he is the final arbiter inside the party must be inwardly disturbing to many insiders as it is to those of us watching helplessly on the outside.”

    I for one am not trying to “bash the shinners”, rather I would wish that the unanswerable issue of GAs record on woman’s issues would be addressed by those in the party who care about these things in such a way as to meet with the generally accepted standards of accountability supported those of us who do not only fear his key role in SF continuing to blight the true potential of the party but the possibility of Ireland itself being fronted by a man with his record.

  • Robin Keogh

    The final arbiter does not mean he has the final crucial vote in what happens at the layer of the party. Quite the opposite, the party have very open internal discussions and final decisions are made collectively. Years ago when i was at a pretty innocuous meeting with my local cumann in Dublin, sin and hair flew over a particular issue. Ultimately a majority vote carried the day and everything settled down. SF simply dont publicise their internal wrangles much to the chagrin of the media. Moreover, Shinners are far less likely than other party members to individually rub shoulders with local journalists for back handers. The media knows this and it scares them. They have becone accustomed to getting quick and easy scoops from insiders happy to provide a sensation in return for favourable treatment.

    On the issue of support for GA. Despite the obvious mistakes ha has made in the past which he has noted and apologised for, there dimply is no solid evidence of gross misconduct independently verified. However he still enjoys widespread support within the republican community, he is a poll topper in louth, greatly respected internationally, excellent strategist, brilliant negotiator and still a very valuable asset to SF. His views on abuse and rape are clearly known and he has called for people with info to come forward. It would be a huge mistake for SF to off load him.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you for a careful and reasoned reply. I have every respect for your problem here, Robin, and agree with quite a sizeable portion of what you say. I have no desire to see SF suffer unnecessarily from this.

    While some of what you say about public support for GA is only too true, “there simply is no solid evidence of gross misconduct independently verified” is one too far for me.

    Have you actually absorbed how he acted over Áine? There is no ambiguity, he did not act against Liam and simply told Áine to effectively shut up. No one anywhere else in politics across Europe would have even attempted to stiff neck that one out. The experiences of the abused do count, and I know from friends within SF that they count to them. I doubt if any of this would have been mades o public if it had been acted on when it occurred. I have other serious issues with GAs leadership, but that one thing, his arrogant behaviour towards rape survivors, should be un-negotable to anyone or any party who have woman’s issues as a main plank of stated policy. Adams continuing presence as the world face of SF makes a mockery of these policies.

    Saying that he is “greatly respected internationally” is very much yesterdays assessment. Previously SF sympathetic friends in the US, certainly women friends, bombard me with questions about when he will go, why he is still getting any support. In the broader world his ongoing presence is a canker on perception of the entire party. I honestly do not think of myself as an enemy of SF, but as one who demands a reasonably clean bill of health on such issues from anyone seeking my support. No one is ever perfect, but Adams record with Áine is an injustice too far, as anyone looking honestly at the record must admit.

    “Fiat justitia ruat caelum”

  • Robin Keogh

    To be perfectly honest, the case around his niece confuses me as there seems to be a number of different claims around what he did or did not say. The other problem i have here is the fact that it was and is a family tragedy in the trauma contagion context that i mentioned to you a while back. My own experience is that families tend to deal with abuse very awkwardly and clumsily due to the nature of the effects of the issue and when u add into the mix a family with such ties to the republican royal tier you have the added problem of hungry investigators be it police and media ready to exploit the issue for what in their eyes is a much bigger prize; that being info on various people. If i correctly remember, aine herself stated that the RUC seemed more interested in her family connections to the IRA than about her abuser. This would imply that republicans would have had to be pretty cautiius when it came to dealing with the authorities on all levels. Ultimately, for now at least, it boils down to whether or not one believes that GA and SF are capable of representing and protecting all potential victims of these awful crimes and more importantly if they are serious about it, i believe they can and they are, even if it has taken Aine and Mairia to get them there.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Again, thank you for a thoughtful and clear summary of your position. Of course the media leapt on the stories, and I remember the times well enough to understand the reluctance of anyone to look for help from those in authority, when, as Yeats says

    “What if the Church and the State
    Are the mobs who howl at the door”

    But I’ve been around a number of survivors of rape (in the media and in politics) in England while I was making films there. One family were Liberal supporters and the activities of Cyril Smith (and others) were well known, the way GAs actions here are well known. Such things are seldom brought out into the open as there are good political reasons to support the status quo in a party and any one of “importance” involved. Its all too clear to me that GA behaved in a way that I’ve encountered all too often in these cases where powerful people supported close family and friends against “inconvenient” survivors.

    I simply cannot believe that “GA and SF are capable of representing and protecting all potential victims of these awful crimes and more importantly if they are serious about it” but if it helps the thought of those other important political figures ‘supporting’ Maíria doing any better is equally incredible to me.

    Some day I hope that a younger generation in SF may be able to honestly fill the role you claim for them, but not as long as GAs arrogance on these issues dominates the scene. I know that I’m not going to offer acceptable comfort or support to any “side” (except I hope, Áine and Maíria) with this but its what I sincerely think.

  • Robin Keogh

    Do we have to know how he handles himself in private? I mean, what does it matter as long as he is doing the job, at least as far as SF supporters are concerned. And his job at the moment is focused on climbing up the ass of the government and trying to get them to feel the pain the public are feeling regarding austerity and water charges etc… and he is doing a mighty fine job.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, “Do we have to know how he handles himself in private? I mean, what does it matter as long as he is doing the job, at least as far as SF supporters are concerned.”

    You could have said the same about, for example, Cyril Smith, who I was once told, before the recent revelations were made public, was “indispensable” to his party. Incidentally, I knew one of his survivors through family, and was well aware of what he was doing twenty years before activities became public. Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, I am not comparing GAs own private life to that of Smith, simply using Smith as someone whose actions has seriously discredited the Liberal party in the eyes of survivors. And if GA is discrediting one of the significant policies of SF through his record with Áine and Maíria, then he is not “doing his job” which s to credibly present policy as the most public face of SF.

    I have broader issues over his general credibility on other issues, something that has been growing as an important issue in the U.S. recently. I’ve always felt that no-one is owed a place for life if they have had a conflicted record, and the war on Terror is certainly bringing firm )West Coast) supporters of SF, people who contributed seriously in the past, to feel revulsion at the parties continued backing of GA during the outing of his actions over Áine’s abuse. In the end its up to SF whether they want a name locally and internationally as a party that shields rapists and abusers. As I’ve said before, continued support of GA since Áine is covert support for the enemies of SF and of an eventual united Ireland, no matter how many arguments are written in his favour. This is form someone who would usually look at SF policy and feel that this was something they would stand behind, not from a jeering DUPer or FF/FGer.

    And yes, we have to know if someone is reliable in power, the for the same reason as people working in finance should be free from charges of fraud, etc, and for the same reason police checks are done on those working with young people and for the same reason.

    GA is far from indispensable, SF north and south can probably deploy more credible young talent than any other party in my estimation, an deserve far better than to be dragged down by someone with an indefensible record.

  • Robin Keogh

    But thats the point. Its up to people to make their own minds up whether or not Adams has damaged SF credibility regarding its policies around the issue of abuse and the evidence suggest (most recent poll) that he has not. I certainly dont think he has and the only two survivors of abuse I know personally also hold the same view. I have just returned from a year studying in California and I can assure you that Adams standing is pretty firm in that part of the world. In fact, even I was pretty shocked at how well he was known and how admired he was as a peacemaker and statesman. There is not a shred of evidence to prove GA was involved in actively and deliberatly protecting molestors, while the charges widespread cover-up by SF are now pretty much seen as ridiculous. Nobody can credibly claim that SF and GA operate a policy of shielding abusers. GA support is drawn from a constituency that believes he is a fallable but talented, effective and intelligent politician. It would be a huge mistake for SF to move against him especially now that the meida have become bored with the Cahill saga.

  • Robin Keogh

    “If you cannot address these matters within your own family, how can you even begin to suggest that you will be able to address them for strangers?”

    It is far easier for people to deal with issues outside of their own emotional zone. I would have thought that was perfectly obvious to anybody who has even the slightest experience of dealing with family crises. Simply put, it is much easier to dob in a stranger for breaking the law than it is to shop someone you love.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    “There is not a shred of evidence to prove GA was involved in actively and deliberatly protecting molestors.”

    Robin, Gerry knew about Liam, and did nothing to stop him from having access to children. He clearly tried to silence Áine, and well after he knew about Liam’s abuse, mentioned him positivly in the introduction to a book. How much evidence do you need?

    The time I spent in California, I would have mixed with what are called “movers and shakers” people who need to know about those they publically support in case their support for someone backfires. And of those I’m still in contact with, no one fails to question Adams behaviour. The tropps out there may close their eyes, their elders cannot be seen to do so.

    So he has ridden out the “Cahill saga”. And all over England and Ireland others who have activly abused are hoping, protected as they are by circles of support amongst the powerful, that the enquireys into abuse will not get to them. This is an issue that does not simply apply to Gerry, but is a canker running across all classes of our society. I could write many thousands of words about those compromised among successful and famous in media and politics, even before I’d begin to run into the inevitable defamation actions with which the actions of abusers are ringed.

    Simple truth, Gerry is entirely compromised over Áine, and the ability of my fellow countrtymen to cynically ignore his record for political advantage is simply an other echo of the social culture of blind eyeing these things that has permitted abuse to florish unchecked since the 1950s.

    You can trade off “your” abuse survivors support him against the fact that “mine” do not as much as you like, the plain truth is that SF is failing to call him to account on issues it claims as a major item of their declared policy. And you yourself have said on another post that society has got to simply move on and leave the abused behind, rather than face this issue. I cannot agree.

  • Robin Keogh

    I need a lot more proof than u are offering. U keep repeating yourselt regarding Aine and i equally keep repeating myself too. Its getting silly. So, finally …in MY view based on MY personal experiences, close families can often make big mistakes when dealing with abuse issues, as such it is reasonable to allow some leeway before judgement. GA did not abuse anyone but he and dozens of others handled it incorrectly for which he has apologized and given evidence against his own flesh and blood, leading to Liam Adams sentencing. …..u misqouted me Sean.

  • delphindelphin

    … ”given evidence against his own flesh and blood, leading to Liam Adams sentencing.”
    And there’s me thinking he took no part in the trial.

    http://sluggerotoole.com/2013/10/03/in-his-brothers-child-rape-case-gerry-adams-faces-his-own-appalling-vista/

  • Robin Keogh

    I never said anything about the trial

  • delphindelphin

    Really?!!

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, I just took some time in getting back to you in order to check what you had said about the survivors being left behind, in order to apologise if I had seriously misquoted you. I now find that you have deleted those words I am referring to from the post I was so shocked by three days ago. I will have to quote my response, where I cut and pasted your exact (now-deleated) words towards the middle of the quote:

    “But thank you for your total honesty about where anyone unwilling to face up to the implications of Adams record must stand, “life will continue as normal for most of us while the victims are left behind.” Have you actually thought of how utterly incompatable such an attitude is to stated policy in “Women in an Ireland of Equals”?”

    Neither of us are likely to change one jot of our opinions on this broader issue of the silencing of the abused. While I respect your long and careful attempts to answer my points and to set out your opinions, this revision of an important part of the sense of a posting, as you have so obviously done over on the “Because that’s the way you should really help children, Sinn Féin”, simply because its shows you in a poor light, is all too reminiscent of those issues of manipulating the past that I’m concerned about in GAs behaviour in this matter.

    [No wonder you refuse to criticise GA for his own failure to admit culpability! This is no way to conduct an intelligent debate, going back and revising your opinions to make yourself seem correct against criticism!] Having now carefully checked that the sentence stands in full in Robin’s posting I take this comment about Robin’s probity back entirely. Mea culpa mea magna culpa.

  • Robin Keogh

    Sean, as I pointed out earlier you misquoted me, I believe that was done in error. I am not so sure about this claim that I have deleted comments. I have done nothing of the sort. And you can quite easily check this out with the moderator who I assume can see where and when a poster has amended something. I give them full permission to search into my account etc if needs be. I will not remove a comment even if it is rash, hurfful or turns out to be offensive. What I will do, quite readlity is apologize if and when I cause offense to anyone. Only a coward would delete comments under the circumstances you describe. I await your apology.

  • Robin Keogh

    Really what?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    But Robin, the sort of strength of character that real leader should display would at the very least demand consistency on issues such as these. While some of us will be unable to face the pressures of divided loyalty, we do not then present policies such as “Women in an Ireland of Equals”?” with every pretence of moral authority.

    And it remains true that how one behaves in private will always give a clear indication of what one truly believes. Actions, not words…..

  • Robin Keogh

    The full post is still there from 4 days ago.

    “Ultimately there is only one way to resolve all of this. And it is throuh the courts. If that is not possible then I honestly do not know what the result wll be accept to say that life will continue as normal for most of us while the victims are left behind. But it seems from the murky tragic history of the North that everything becomes so politicised that nothing tends to unravel to the satisfaction of all. There are always losers on one side and for now at least GA and SF are not on the losing side, how long that will continue depends on hard evidence and the wilingness of people affected to open up about their esperiences. But while selfish media and political interests insist on sensationalising every claim and counter cllaim we are unlikely to see anything change and sadly many vistims will be denied the closure they so rightly deserve.”

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, I too appeal to the moderator. One of the few things I can rely on is a close memory of such things. I have carefully checked your other postings on the thread One of the few things I can rely on is a close memory of such things. I have carefully checked your other postings on that thread, and on other current threads, and the short sentence is no longer present in any other posting, as far as I can see. I cut and pasted it from “Because that’s the way you should really help children, Sinn Féin”

    The particular comment you made that I replied to was comment was:

    “Ultimately there is only one way to resolve all of this. And it is throuh the courts. If that is not possible then I honestly do not know what the result wll be accept to say that life will continue as normal for most of us while the victims are left behind. But it seems from the murky tragic history of the North that everything becomes so politicised that nothing tends to unravel to the satisfaction of all. There are always losers on one side and for now at least GA and SF are not on the losing side, how long that will continue depends on hard evidence and the wilingness of people affected to open up about their esperiences. But while selfish media and political interests insist on sensationalising every claim and counter cllaim we are unlikely to see anything change and sadly many vistims will be denied the closure they so rightly deserve.”

    The phrase I quote:

    “life will continue as normal for most of us while the victims are left behind.”

    was in the last paragraph of your posting when I replied and is no longer present.

    My answer, in which I indignantly quote your words as they stood when I wrote was:

    “Robin, the authorities, the police and the court system has singularly failed the abused over the past forty years. An example, I know of people simply sacked from a major TV company when they mentioned sexual pressure on them, or actual rape, who were advised to just get over it too when they spoke to solicitors! The law is notoriously weak on these issues.

    But thank you for your total honesty about where anyone unwilling to face up to the implications of Adams record must stand, “life will continue as normal for most of us while the victims are left behind.” Have you actually thought of how utterly incompatable such an attitude is to stated policy in “Women in an Ireland of Equals”?

    “All forms of violence against women must be challenged and the services put in place to ensure that women who have been raped or have experienced violence are given the support they need.”There is an urgent need for rape crisis centres and counsellors trained in the area of sexual abuse to be available to women and children no matter what part of the North they live in.

    “There needs to be a strategic approach to this issue by government where all departments are working in a joined up way to deliver services and to ensure that groups and organisations are adequately resourced and financed to do so.

    “Tackling violence against women must be given the priority by Government that it deserves.

    “Women and children are entitled to the same human rights as anyone else in society and must be protected from rape from violent sexual crime.”

    The attitude you take (“the weak can go to the wall”) is, I know, entirely realistic, but it is not stated policy. It runs along similar lines to the covert approach of those in the UK who are equally realistic. They just know that quite different mores applied in the 1960s to 1980s, you cannot judge actions then by current standards of behaviour, and so they describe the situation as “historical” (weasel word!) in order to obscure the fact that this is a daily corrosive experience for the survivors.

    What this echos for me is the way similar sentiments were used against those of us who were not staunch Unionists in the 1950s and 60s.

    There is a perfectly decent way to address the problem, to admit that ugly things were done and that no redress was given then, but to actually act on what SF claims they will do about the rights of women and children in their policies and expel, at least, GA whose record on supporting his abuser brother against his niece is clear to all and openly contradicts the spirit and letter of the policy. If SF cannot display honesty on a clear issue such as this, how can anyone trust them on anything else? This is not to say I trust (or in any way support) any other party in both parts of Ireland (perhaps the Green Party, just a bit).

    I am not insensitive to the difficulty of this, both for the party and for individuals, but real political credibility in presenting policy is only bought by credible public effort. It is not in any way acceptable to say one thing as policy while simply telling those who have actually suffered that their abuse will go unrecognised by those with the power to act, and the rest of the community has a life to get on with that they can have no share in.”

    If you can find the words I have quoted in another of your postings, please let me know, and I will sincerely apologise for suggesting that you have deleted them on the posting I clearly remember them from.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, still there, but without the sentence I quote in replying!!!!!!!!!!!

    It was there when I replied……. I cut and posted directly from your posting, and did not create or paraphrase. My indignation was that you could say such a dismissive thing about the abused.

  • Robin Keogh

    Sean, check with the moderator. I have not deleted any comments I have made. You are quite wrong in your accusation, and your attack on me and my integrity is unwarranted and decidedly unfair. And anybody who read that post in context can clearly see that I was merely pointing out what can and often happens to victims when the justice system fails them and the media screws up their situation through bandwagoning.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Robin, the words were certainly there three days back, since that date they have been edited out. If you did not make the comments I quoted from your last paragraph, then my posting was certainly an unfair slur, so why did you not call me on this three days ago?

    You have carefully called me on a series of postings since that date on any number of things, so why did you let such a damaging quote stand unchallenged until today?

    I find the kind of discourtesy that goes on with the sort of “you did”, “I did not” exchanges helps no-one. But I am incandescent with rage that you should now attempt to deny this comment, simply because it puts you in a bad light.

  • Robin Keogh

    Sean, now I genuinely do not know what you are talking about. The only slur I am concerned about is what you have accused me on today on this thread. I picked up no other slur on any other threads directed towards me. Your comments always seem reasoned and well thought out. I would have no reason to ‘pull you up’ on anything. Ultimately you are off the scale plain wrong……The original comment over on the other thread is still there and intact. I never touched it, I do not know why you cannot see it??

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I unreservedly apologise for suggesting that you’d cut the sentence Robin. Yes, off the scale! But for a usually flippant flâneur, the issue of abuse, and the callus dismissal of the survivors, is perhaps the one thing that drives me to distration. As I said now over on the other thread, old age and poor eyesight, and the fault in this is all mine! I think however, the original sentence clearly it show that I’ve not misquoted you!

  • delphindelphin

    How could he ”give(n) evidence against his own flesh and blood, leading to Liam Adams sentencing.” when he did not give evidence at the trial where his brother was convicted and sentanced? Simple really!

  • Robin Keogh

    He gave evidence to the psni which helped convict his brother xx

  • delphindelphin

    To quote Mr Fealty

    The unvarnished truth is that the testimony of the leader of one of the largest political parties in Ireland was so strewn with contradictions and lies that neither side would take the risk of having Mr Adams appear in order to put their case.

  • chrisjones2

    Most of SFs art was spattered in blood painted with a brush of lies

  • chrisjones2

    “allegedly” abusive father who wasn’t mentioned as abusive until the old image was a bit tarnished and needed a buffing

    And strange that many of Gerrys defenders point to his childhood abuse (poor Gerry and Liam) while denying that anyone else can be labelled with anything (except Crown Forces who are automatically guilty) without a full trial and appeal

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Chrisjones2, I am entirely in agreement that all illegal and abusive actions should be outed, especially when it relates to the actions of the state or anyone who may be empowered by the state in any way. But this is not a theme any “side” can seriously use against any other in the province. Both communities are mired in such things. A is a case where the failure of SF to require better leadership shows moral failing, in my estimation, but since the early 1920s Unionism has been itself compromised on moral issues also, with the McMahon murders coming at the very inception of the state.

    Often “alleged” is used simply to mark the fact that no court decision has “officially” confirmed that an offence occurred. But sometimes it is used when speaking of abuse and rape to avoid a defamation action against the unwarranted attributing of an offence to a party who has not had these issues clarified through the legal system. A great deal of abuse information in the UK at the moment is not being acted on because the evidence could be refuted on points of law, and abusers widely use the issue of defamation to silence those accusing them.