And after all those brickbats the current chair of the RNU is… Ms Sinead Adams

One of the features I noted so called Cahill controversy yesterday, is the effect partition continues to have on Irish political discourse. A tongue-in-cheek aside, but the point holds.

I suspect that Senator David Norris’s critical comments in the Seanad the other day were as motivated by Ms Cahill’s direct style of lobbying as any clear or forensic sense of their being ‘something nasty in the Nordie woodshed‘…

But as Ed Moloney points out, there has been little direct engagement by any official representative Sinn Fein with this matter:

It now seems there may have been a reason for that silence and it lies in the fact that six weeks or so ago Gerry Adams’ niece, Sinead Adams was elected Belfast chairperson of RNU.

Sinead is another daughter of Liam Adams, Gerry’s brother who was convicted and jailed for sexually assaulting his other daughter, Aine Dahlstrom.

The news that the party’s president’s niece was elected to a position of leadership in a group that the party was attempting to link to and smear Mairia Cahill with, was not, one presumes, something that Sinn Fein was all that keen to circulate, or even risk emerging in print.

Quite. Perhaps Ms Cahill would have been as well launching into what was in places a nasty cyber attack on her credibility far sooner rather than later. My take from this morning on RTE’s Morning Ireland…

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

  • Robin Keogh

    Mairia has been under pressure from catherime mc cartney and independent seanate candidate beades amongst others. I am baffled as to how you manage to weave SF into this when the party clearly has done or said nothing of offense ever since she was nominated by labour. Gerry Adams family is massive, what his relatives choose to do and who theyassociate with has nothing to do with him or indeed SF unless they are acting against the law, then it is a matter fir the authorities. Mairia’s current woes have nothing to do with SF.

  • Absolus

    It would appear SF are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, at least in the eyes of the government’s cronies in the media. If SF question Cahill’s bona fides (as a lot of people do) they are accused of attacking her. If they say nothing, some government hack attempts to ascribe a sinister reason to that too.
    Ms Adams isn’t running for election to the Oireachtas so her personal choices are her own. Why does Ed Moloney think Gerry Adams or Sinn Féin are responsible for the actions of Mr Adam’s niece, an adult with a mind of her own ?
    Ms Cahill, on the other hand, is determined to get her snout in the trough and will say whatever her backers in FG/LAB want her to in pursuit of a salary of over €65k from the taxpayer’s purse. She therefore is certainly accountable for her actions past, present and into the future as long as she’s on the gravy train.

  • Ulick

    It wasn’t Mairia Cahill’s membership of RNU that damaged her credibility but her lies on the matter. She told us in her article on this site that she was only National Secretary for a matter of hours, which was plainly incredible. Subsequently turned out she was National Secretary for over a year and helped draft their manifesto outlining the “illegitimacy” of police north and south. Then emails turned up which showed she was in very close communication to RNU and dissident IRA Tony Catney. Then the pictures from her sisters wedding which proved she was lying about the timeline of the original abuse case. Etc. etc.

    The problem with Mairia Cahill is that she expected to be able to throw unsubstantiated claims around and expect that no one should question her interpretation of events. She damaged her own credibility because her own story was full of holes (and still is).

    As for Ed Maloney’s claim that SF are staying quiet because of Sinead Adams appointment 6 weeks ago – fantasy. His theory doesn’t explain why SF have been quiet for the prior 6 months to that. Maloney is just a bitter old man still smarting from not getting a promised tip off on the ceasefires 20 years ago ffs. Any credibility he had disappeared with the politically motivated anti-SF Boston College fiasco. For proof it’s nonsense one only has to see the SF circular which was send out to members last year advising members not to engage with either Cahill or the allegations she was making. Long before Sinead Adams elevation in RNU.

  • mickfealty

    Revisionism, how are ya?

  • mickfealty

    That’s called implausible deniability…

  • chrisjones2

    Absolutely right Robin.

    If you recall for 4 years Gerry was even totally unaware that Liam was back in Belfast and running his local SF Cumman. Poor man cant be expected to know everything and anyway SF is a big friendly family where dissent and membership of other movements is openly welcomed and supported

  • submariner

    No Mick it’s called guilt by association. You are embarrassing yourself

  • chrisjones2

    “with the politically motivated anti-SF Boston College fiasco”

    I know. Shocking that all those Provos should give interviews telling about who ordered what murders And it seems that every single one of them was a lying, deranged, mentally ill alcoholic who was anti peace process. What an organisation Sf / PIRA must have been in its hayday

  • chrisjones2

    “as a lot of people do”

    Who are these ‘lot of’ people then?

    “She therefore is certainly accountable for her actions past, present and into the future as long as she’s on the gravy train.”

    Do you apply that to SF as well then as there are a lot of unanswered questions from various families re Enniskillen, La Mon, Claudy, Quinn, McGuigan, McCartney ………the list is near endless.

    So will they all fess up (once their handlers on the Army Council allow it of course)?

  • mickfealty

    Precisely sub. Which is exactly what the RNU controversy over the last week has been about: guilt by association. On Slugger we call it ‘playing the man and not the ball’.

    The epicentre of this whole episode was an ex pat member of the US Friends of SF. That’s why I’m suggesting that Robin is making an implausible claim here.

    BTW, the reason I blog, tweet and comment in my own name is that I prefer to own my own embarrassments. By contrast this story has been largely carried (and enlarged) by nameless bots on Twitter.

  • Absolus

    “Who are these people ” Really ? You want names and addresses ??
    I will attempt to answer your post with a respect such an asinine question hardly deserves but if you are genuinely unaware of the public disquiet about Labour’s little GE stunt, I suggest you try reading something other than the Endapendent or maybe try listening to the public discourse on social media and other non government outlets.
    As for your second question, yes I do expect all public representatives to be open to questions about their behaviour. Whether that is Enda Kenny embarrassing the nation by repeatedly telling lies, Micheál Martin hiding his part in the destruction of our nation by his FF led government , Joan Burton abandoning her supporters and reneging on electoral promises and of course as you seem most interested, in any links between politicians and illegal activity north or south of the border.
    It’s called “accountability” and contrary to what you might like to believe, it should apply to ALL politicians, not just your particular bogeymen .

  • Robin Keogh

    No thats called challenging you to put upor tait toi !

  • Robin Keogh

    Sarcasm and loser is often connected, now i understand why.

  • kalista63

    2 of the 3 peope who’ve been pushing this use their own names and photos, the third is known, she’s also an abuse survivor, not that you’d know by the way Cahill attacks her.

  • Granni Trixie

    But what are her ” current woes”? She got in despite people going over old ground?

  • Granni Trixie

    By your reasonng everyone who takes up a public job is motivated by money (I wil not repeat your uncalled for rude words). I believe more of people.
    And so far all the evidence points to MC as being her own woman. Good luck to her in her new role.

  • Granni Trixie

    Let’s be clear about this – are you claiming that MC was not raped and that SF and/or the IRA dealt badly with the allegation and attempted cover- up?

    If so, I say you are wrong as wrong as you are in the attitude you are taking to the Boston tapes. It doesn’t matter what Maloneys motivation is the narratives ring true.

    Keep on digging.

  • Robin Keogh

    What i meant was her hassle regarding ms mccartney and the pressure she was under regarding her republican kinks. Yes she got in and I am personally delighted for her. Hopefully she will shake the place up a bit.

  • Neil

    Precisely sub. Which is exactly what the RNU controversy over the last week has been about: guilt by association.

    guilt by association

    phrase of guilt


    guilt ascribed to someone not because of any evidence but because of their association with an offender.

    In what way has the “RNU controversy” been about someone associating with someone else who did something wrong? I thought the problem was Mairia herself joining RNU, not her being blamed for an association with someone else who had joined RNU? Perhaps Gerry has a problem with “guilt by association” with the IRA, ya know because everyone thinks he associated with it.

    As to Gerry’s niece, another cack handed attempt to blame Mr Adams for the behaviour of someone in his family. Ironically enough, actual guilt by association. It didn’t make any difference last time we went down this road, and it won’t now. People tend not to blame people for the actions of their close relatives.

  • Absolus

    Certainly I believe that most if not all the members of the Oireachtas are there for their own betterment. I admire your belief in the altruism of politicians but I doubt you’d find too many that agree with you.
    As for Ms Cahill being her own woman, she was certainly her own woman when she joined with dissident republicans although she now wants us to believe this was done in some sort of fugue state. If you believe her rise to prominence from being “penniless and homeless” hasn’t been orchestrated by political backers, I presume you also believe a certain rotund gentleman will be visiting on December 25th.

  • Absolus

    Let’s also be clear about this … while it may be generally accepted that Ms Cahill was abused, there is no proof . Likewise there is no proof of any cover up by Sinn Féin or the IRA. If you wish to deal in facts those are incontrovertible facts . If you wish to deal in perceptions, innuendo and personal opinions that’s your prerogative, but perhaps you shouldn’t then be so dismissive of other people’s opinions .

  • Granni Trixie

    You are really sayng that you do not believe the detailed story she told in a TV programme and subsequently – on her rape and how she was dealt with.
    Well like countless others I not only believe her but admire her courage In going against the grain of her upbringing. Maybe breaking the code of silence is precisely what you have against her?
    We are not going to agree on MC that’s for sure.

  • Absolus

    Of course we won’t agree on Ms Cahill. We’re coming at it from two different perspectives. I from a factual viewpoint and you from an emotional one. Remember, what distinguishes fact from opinion is that facts are verifiable, i.e. can be objectively proven to have occurred.
    As for her courage in “going against the grain of her upbringing” one could reasonably say Ms Cahill went against her upbringing when she rejected the SF peace initiative and sided with anti agreement elements. Your assertion that there are “countless others” who believe her tales is only your opinion, which of course is as valid as any other, but I would imagine if Joan Burton was as sure as you are of such support she would have added her to the Labour GE ticket, instead of handing her a cosy sinecure in the Seanad.
    Happily, people don’t need to agree they just need to respect the right of others to hold opposing views.

  • Jack Stone

    I don’t understand. Does Sinead Adams have a history with Sinn Fein? Has Sinead Adams ever been a candidate for Sinn Fein? I do think Sinead Adams’ relationship with the RNU invalidates her for office and I wouldn’t vote for her but I do not believe she is running for anything. Did I miss something?

    Doesn’t it just make more sense that Sinn Fein didn’t want to attack Ms. Cahill directly because it would be seen as another attempt to discredit her rape accusations? I thought Catherine McCartney was much more effective than any attacks that Sinn Fein could have put out there.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Frankly being a member of RNU a legal dissident Irish republican political organisation is not a criminal offence. Rape and disrupting criminal investigations are.

  • mickfealty

    Whose blaming here?

  • steve white

    I suspect that Senator David Norris’s critical comments in the Seanad the other day were as motivated by Ms Cahill’s direct style of lobbying as any clear or forensic sense of their being ‘something nasty in the Nordie woodshed‘…

    “direct style of lobbying”? why would he of all people have a problem with an outspoken person?

    perhaps it was that he nominated a competitor of hers, Beades