For the foreseeable future, almost whatever comes, it’s Gerry’s party to build or destroy…

Malachi O’Doherty in the BelTel wonders if Gerry is losing his touch

He says “mea culpa”, accepting the failing, but it would help if we knew who the “b******s” are. Is Gregory Campbell one of them? That seems fairly likely. In the juvenile world he relishes he surely gets called worse.

But is Peter Robinson a b*****d? Is the average unionist voter?

 The ones he specifically absolves are those who don’t vote at all because they are “scundered” by the likes of Gregory. Maybe Orangemen are b******s and the few secular unionists aren’t.

Given that the obstacle for Sinn Fein in advancing its agenda is not a minority of surly, inflexible rednecks, but the actual DUP, then it is hard to suppose that the jibe is meant for any but the whole lot of them.

So, if he intended it that way and then retracted with an apology fit for an altar boy, then, that suggests incompetence. He wasn’t doing himself any favours by putting himself in that position. And he certainly wasn’t doing any favours for the party.

Not doing any favours for the party because contrary to Jude’s take on this matter, Malachi does not believe this was either strategic, clever or directioned. Rather he makes the case that Gerry’s underlying problem is that he has…

…pledged himself to a lie, that he was never in the IRA. In the last month both Bertie Ahern, a former Taoiseach, and Michael McDowell, a former Irish Justice Minister, have said plainly that Gerry was in the IRA. Blair’s emissary Jonathan Powell has said it.

He practically said it himself in a Channel Four documentary in which he went looking for the real Jesus. At the end he said only generals can make peace, and then he raised an eyebrow as if to say: “Did you notice what I just said there; have you worked it out?”

He goes on…

…the question of abuse and how he responds to the abused keeps coming back, as it did through the trial of his brother Liam and the complaints of Mairia Cahill. In both cases he blundered appallingly.

You would not believe, reading the transcript of his cross-examination by Liam Adams’s defence counsel, that this is a man capable of standing for election to anything, let alone being the president of a major political party for 30 years.

It was just rambling and weird. Over and over again he wanted to tell the court about his “process” of healing his family and helping Liam with his demons.

Over and over again the court tried to remind him that that was all irrelevant to the case in front of them.

He did not anticipate the questions he would get and had not even worked out a timeline of events that he could stand over.

As with Mairia Cahill – he has known the details of her case for about 15 years and he knew four years ago that she was going to the police. This was inevitably going to blow up in his face. What is nearly more shocking even than the allegation of cover-up is that he was so unprepared for this.

Who first disclosed that sex offenders had been shuffled south by the IRA? He did. In his blog.

And he failed to see that that would become the central part of the case against his party in the south and he has had to resile from his insistence that no information could be provided to now quite handily getting files through his letterbox that he can pass to the Guards.

As I said, this all suggests incompetence.

Is Gerry going to step down and should Gerry step down are two different matters. Five years ago (ie, before the rape allegations emerged), I made a much gentler argument in that respect

…now might be a good time for Adams to call it a day, or at the very least announce he would like his post as president to become contestable. It could open the field to younger candidates perhaps more energetic and politically fluent with the southern polity, and signal the party’s determination to follow a path of genuine restructuring and renewal.

It lost me, if not friends, then some senior internal advocates within the party. As it happens, the party’s subsequent success at the polls have proven that analysis to be at the very least pre-mature. Adams and Sinn Fein have ridden out storms that would kill another party.

It’s his position as the unassailable general which has allowed them to breast each media wave that them and plough on through. Without him, I doubt they would have survived never mind prospered in the way they have.

Their very attraction is that they don’t play politics the way everyone else does. Adams is the man at the helm, and for the foreseeable future, almost whatever comes it’s his party to build or destroy…



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  • Watched Gerry and Mary Lou at leaders’ questions in the Dail yesterday. The interaction between the two is interesting.

  • Dan

    I wonder if he’ll go ranting at the wall of mopery on the Lower Falls on behalf of Storey….or will Storey find that he just isn’t that important when it comes to it.

    “How durrrr they, how duuuuuurrrr they…”

  • Zeno3

    With all that has happened it makes you wonder if Sinn Fein could do anything that would lose them support? There are die hard supporters in all groups. ISIS don’t seem to have lost support even by stealing people’s children and beheading anyone who oppose them. How far can SF go? What are the common decency levels or their supporters? Is there no line in the sand?

  • Cue Bono

    How very duuuuuuuurrrrr they (rapid chewing motions of jaw).

  • Cue Bono

    It’s hard to imagine what they could do that would cost them support amongst the faithful. The Dear Leader could stroll through Dundalk bollock naked, but for a top hat, with a child in each hand and smeared in the blood of their parents and would probably still top the poll.

  • Superfluous

    I’ve stopped reading anything about Sinn Fein from the Independent group – Malachi could be spot on in everything he writes here, but how can I tell if it’s a genuine opinion piece or simply more of the same thing every other one of his colleagues have been pressured to write?

  • puffen

    Adams ambition is to be standing at the GPO in 1916, then he will go, he is as shallow and superficial, as that, a political commissar, without the gold braid,

  • kensei

    Moving from the bustard comments to the USA membership to child abuse in the most tenuous fashion. I’m not suggesting Malachi has an age da, but…

    On the more sensible bits, I’m not sure you’re not committing a category error. Much of SF’s fortunes are down to circumstances and they may have been better exploited with a new broom. Certainly in the North the old guard is now a break on expanding to more middle class catholics and obviously remains toxic to unionists.

    Against that Adams is tactically astute, understands strategy if imperfectly and acts as a flack magnet to the point people become immune to it and opponents make fools of themselves. I also find it hard to believe everything he doesn’t isn’t deliberate in some sense, Twitter included. Maybe it’s a wash.

    It’s very likely the next election will be a high point for SF. That’s a good time for him to hand off the reins and go to some elder statesman role. Maybe not right away, but next term. Lots of leaders hand onto long and make life difficult to impossible for their successors. Leaving at the right time is an art.

  • NMS

    The “B**st**ds” have disrupted the Dáil again today, because Joan Burton mentioned the word “republican” when talking about Dónal ÓLubhlaí.

    They again have interfered with the Technical Group’s time, which may suggest their interest is as much in limiting speaking time of that group as annoying the Ceann Comhairle.

    Some info at (Barn owls only/Scréachóga reilige amháin)

    For those who don’t know about this horrible man, he was recruited into the IRA in Mullingar in the 1950s. A quick search will give you lots of background, but I thought his later links were with the so called dissidents.

  • Glenn Clare

    I hope Adams stays leader of the shinners/provos for as long as possible, he is the leader who just keeps on giving. Especially when the other sexual abuse victims start come out after the alleged handing over of files detailing their names activities and locations.

  • Glenn Clare

    The rant from Storey at Gerry’s mural was pure pantomime. Storey, McGuinness and Anderson were hardly of their pantomime rant scaffolding, on Divis St and the paint was hardly dry on Gerry the Trojan’s the face of equality when he was painted over.

  • patrick23

    Mick, what are these “advocates” doing on your behalf in SF? Encouraging engagement with your site?

  • NMS

    Between Bobby being picked up in Belfast, Cllr. Tony McCaul in Dungiven in relation to ongoing paramilitary activity & another Tantrum Thursday in Dublin, the week is ending badly for Gerry & gang.

    I wonder who will Niall ÓDonnghaile blame this time? The well paid members of the PSNI doing their job, perhaps?

  • Dixie Elliott

    What no mural?

  • Dixie Elliott

    In the South the electorate desperately need to punish the established parties but they’ve only got the Adamsites to use as a stick with which to beat them. The problem for that electorate is that they are relying on a corrupt party to bring about an end to corruption. If anything that party will legalise it if they can.

    They’ll find out to their cost what they’ve elected after the next election then Adamsism will pay dearly in the coming years.

    Up here they have the so called peace process as a means of hoodwinking people who fear a return to violence. In fact O’Dowd was using it again this morning when being questioned about the expenses corruption….

    He put it all down to ‘opponents of the political process’ something the interviewer should have pressed him on by asking was he claiming that the makers of the Spotlight program were attempting to undermine the peace process.

    Another problem in the North is the ingrained sectarian mentality which is clearly being played upon by both sides, to such an extent you’d be excused for believing it was rehearsed.

  • Tacapall

    Ach all that means fk all, the PSNI would arrest a dog if they thought they could get it to bark in the right direction but throwing mud and hoping it sticks isn’t new to them either, just lately they tried to arrest a man who was five years old, yes five years old when Jean McConville was murdered, they aren’t even scrapping the barrel nowdays they are licking the bottom of it.

  • Cue Bono

    I agree. Everything that the Sinners have is currently focused on the elections in the south, and at the minute they are enjoying the same sort of bounce that UKIP is enjoying in England and the SNP is enjoying in Scotland. It is not about resounding support for their policies, but rather a revolt against the establlished parties. The problem the Sinners have is that they are utterly incompetent when given the levers of power. You only have to look to Stormont to see that. If they get into power as a minority partner in a coalition then they will have one stab at it followed by electoral wipeout. God knows how much damage they will do to the ROI economy in the process though.

    Who though would share power with them in the south with Adams at the helm?

  • NMS

    Tacapall Sorry but he was 16 when she was murdered and per An Phoblacht/Ridiculous News he was already a member of the IRA at that stage.

  • NMS

    I wonder which firm of “Human Rights” solicitors are representing “Big Bobby”?

  • Dixie Elliott

    He’s Free….

  • Dixie Elliott

    They were battering ahead with the Leaders on Tour tour when he walked in.

  • aor26

    Yea and they also arrested a former Sinn Fein councillor only to realise when they got him to the police station that they arrested the wrong person – they were supposed to go for another guy who had the same name. Al points to an investigation going nowhere.

  • aor26

    mopery wall?? you sound a little bitter.

  • Dixie Elliott

    The SF Leadership (Comeback) Tour

  • Kevin Breslin

    Actually it’s not Gerry’s party to build or destroy, it’s not Gerry’s property at all. Let’s remember how Gerry got the job in the first place, by A coup d’état. If any one within Sinn Féin wants to challenge him, let’s not pretend they didn’t have the chance.

  • Robin Keogh

    Its all about optics….to be seen to be doing something

  • Robin Keogh

    SF operate as part of a consociational arrangement in the north. They dont impliment policy unilaterally so pinning the blame on them for the deep freeze at stormont is a bit prejudicial. Your crystal ball tell u they will mess up in Dublin ? We’ll see

  • Robin Keogh

    If you are right then he is about 100 years too late

  • Cue Bono

    When everyone knows that pro Adams republicans are untouchable.

  • Cue Bono

    I’m not talking about the deep freeze at Stormont. I’m talking about specifically the departments they have been put in charge of which they have made, in Gildernew’s charming phraseology, a bollocks of.

  • Robin Keogh

    If u say so

  • Cue Bono

    Can you name any pro Adams republicans who have been jailed for Troubles era crimes?

  • Cue Bono

    My previous reply was binned for using the Gildernew word. I wasn’t talking about the freeze at Stormont. I was talking about the hash individual Sinner ministers have made of their departments.

  • Robin Keogh

    I couldnt name any any republicans at all who have been jailed post GFA

  • Cue Bono

    McGeough and Kearney will be very disappointed to hear that.

  • kalista63

    Funny you should mention UKIP. It’s not for me to project but I wonder if Gerry is seen as a Farage, a Dubya, possibly a Major type, someone simple and easy to identify with.

    There were so many attacks on Adams that it made itself clear that the interest wasn’t in Jean McConville or her family nor, in recent times, Mairia Cahill but just in attacking him. That’s gotta kick off a basic instinct in people, a sympathetic one.

    Most certainly, the attack stance that began under Margaret Ritchie was and is counter productive leading to people either voting SF or not at all.

    Although my family ae staunch rublicans, going way back before the founding of the statelet, they were always staunch SDLP. That was until Joe Hendron’s ‘master stroke’. Well, we all know how that worked out. The same is now extrapolated throughout this island. The MSM and the parties they support are asking the electorate to condemn SF by throwing corpses on the fire whilst ignoring the Anglo exposure, the betrayal of the nation to the troika and the banks.

    Almost month by month, the history book of the conflict grows greyer, smellier and even fustier till the point, now, when it’s like chucking a sheet of dry kitchen towel at Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams.

  • Cue Bono

    Jean McConville was kidnapped, tortured, murdered and disappeared. Her ten children orphaned and thrown to the wolves with at least one suffering horrendous sexual abuse from paedophiles.

    Aine was raped as a small child by her paedophile brother. When her Uncle Gerry was made aware of it he reported Aine’s mother to the social services for keeping a dirty house as Aine had nits. He then kept his paedophile brother in his house while he worked in a youth club in Clonard, dedicated a book to him and sent a copy of that book to Aine.

    Mairia was raped by a paedophile Provo. When she reported it to her uncle’s friend Gerry she was subjected to a Provo kangaroo court where she was forced to confront the man who allegedly raped her. Since going public the Provo movement have made repeated attempts to destroy her character whilst pretending to fully support her.

    And you think that people should feel sorry for Gerry Adams?

    Only in the bizarre world of the Sinner.

  • Robin Keogh

    I am sure they will get over it

  • Cue Bono

    I think they already have a healthy hatred of people like you, so you’re probably right.

  • Robin Keogh

    Lol, people like me? I’m intrigued. Tell me about me

  • Cue Bono

    What they would regard as a sell out. A pro Adams drone bot.

  • Robin Keogh

    Well i am glad u have cleared all that up for us, who’d a thunk it eh?

  • Cue Bono

    Thunk what?

  • Robin Keogh

    What u said

  • MainlandUlsterman

    I think he’s reached that Sollozzo / Michael Corleone moment: “Could I have got to your father 10 years ago?” His powers are fading and he’s making mistakes.

    Time soon for a play in the vines with orange rind in his mouth. Wouldn’t that be ironic. In several ways.

  • kalista63

    Sounds like he’d have made an ideal Tory.