There aren't many, republican or otherwise, who can
boast of bringing together Protestant, Catholic and Dissenter on such a regular basis as The Blanket.
Maybe not often in perfect harmony, but then neither
did we come together in terrible enmity either.
And The Blanket was, after all, a genuine platform of
free expression. The very antithesis of the kind of"perfect harmony" that we have too often to endure on
our airways and in our newspapers. The antithesis of
the kind of harmony that many would like, and
sometimes have tried, to force upon us all. Whatever
coincidence in views there might have been amongst
contributors to The Blanket came naturally. Or as
result of open and honest discussion and debate - the
only way that genuine agreement can ever be reached.
Though the real strength lay not in the finding of or
even the searching for harmony, but in the agreeing to
differ with good grace.
Freedom of speech is a powerful, frightening thing.
Invariably far more dangerous to those who make full
use of it than to those who oppose it most. But it a
necessary thing. Without it, freedom of any kind does
The Blanket's editors stood for and fearlessly upheld
this most fundamental freedom during some very trying
times for them personally. Courage was never in short
The Blanket's finest hour, in my humble opinion, was
during the Danish cartoons controversy. The old maxim
"publish and be damned" never rang as true - well at
least according to some faiths.
Of course, talk of The Blanket is all abstraction,
when in reality I am really referring to my good
friends Carrie and Anthony.
Everything The Blanket stood for and became was down
A fearless writer, a power of critical analysis that
left the rest of us in awe, and (very importantly) a
good writer, Anthony has always led the charge upon
the page. Carrie, also a good writer when she gets the
time, was left to try to make sense of the rest of us
and pull the whole thing together, while raising a
young family as well.
Circumstances have changed, both for Anthony and
Carrie personally and on the wider political front,
and it is no longer feasible to devote the necessary
time and energy to The Blanket. It will be sorely
Thanks to both of them for The Blanket and, on a
personal level, for much, much more.
David Adams is a columnist for the Irish Times.