As John O’Dowd pretty much took a hammering from everyone on BBC’s The View last night, it was not a great deal better on RTE’s Prime Time. Here’s some extract Fran McNulty’s film at the beginning of the programme:
Just hold up their hands and say this happened it shouldn’t have happened this was the context, it shouldn’t have happened. And therefore we accept responsibility for that.
Most of these actions just can’t be defended. And Sinn Fein would be the first to blame the Catholic Church or to blame a school or to blame other organisations, or to blame the British Government. But if you are going to blame people like that, if you’re going to put this in a context then you are going to have accept your own responsibility.
They say they believe they believe the allegations in their totality, but once it comes to after the fact to the actual process that was engaged in by the IRA to find out the truth or otherwise of the allegations Sinn Fein are casting doubt on those who are making the allegations for the second time in a row after the Mairia Cahill case and now after the Paudie McGahon case we are seeing those denials coming out, and there is a credibility question which emerges from that.
They fall in love with their own narrative and therefore what they do is protect their own organisation, they protect their own authority, they protect their own history. This stuff keeps resurrecting and it’s not going away. And Sinn Fein know that as well as anybody else, that you cannot just walk away from the past. I think for a time they thought they could, but they have no realised that they can’t, so they are much more responsive to it, but they are dragged to this one, particularly around sexual issues as if you it was you know, bad apples rather than bad decisions taken by the organisation itself.
People don’t trust them to tell the truth, and if you are not trusted to tell the truth and if you are not trusted to tell the truth then you are damaged to some great degree. And it’s not just about this one, it’s about his whole involvement with the IRA, so they actually to make decisions around this. Do they just face it down, or be responsible and perhaps take the leadership on this.
But the whole thing is worth watching, not least for the Collins on Collins contact re the question of the politics of the whole thing (on which, more later)…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty