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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Man With the Planter Name

 

Liam O Comain • 18 August 2006

The person whom I have in mind is Mr. Gerry Adams of Belfast (the birthplace of Irish Republicanism) who is the President of Provisional Sinn Fein. Now I am of half planter stock and many of that ethnic reality like myself became Irish Revolutionary Republicans so there is nothing wrong with having a planter name. Even our subject may at one time have been a revolutionary republican. But if he was to be asked if he once was would he acknowledge it or deny it just as he denies ever being a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

Whatever we may think of him however Mr Adams has wrought a place in Irish history. A place to be proud of as some declare especially his Bogside ally Mr. Martin McGuinness who is there at Mr. Adams beck and call. History of course will confirm whether Gerry Adams warrants to be spoken of in the same vein as Michael Collins or Cathal Brugha. The latter of course are miles apart for Brugha died bravely in defence of the Republic established in the early years of the last century and Collins helped to drive that Republic underground. Not alone a crime against the will of Irish Democracy but a bloody crime against Irish National Self- Determination! For as I have expressed in past writings the fruit of national self- determination is authentic democracy. The tree of national self- determination was blowing at the beginning of the last century in the wind that also shakes the barley and in the turbulence democracy came forth but unfortunately defeat came because some leaders sought a step forward rather than the final step which they had made. Of course there were the usual shrieks from Britain's leaders and war lords at the time of threats of terrible bloodshed and perhaps national genocide but that should not of warranted surrender via a republican split. The people had spoken- they had delivered the Republic proclaimed in 1916 and it should have been defended. For no group of representatives however powerful had the right to declare the will of the Irish people as expressed in the 1918 all Ireland election null and void. Alas this was done by the Irish representatives during the then Anglo- Irish Treaty negotiations.

Interestingly history has since revealed that Michael Collins was apparently in touch with the British invader and occupier some time before the coming republican split materialized. So is, what has happened in recent years, a case of history repeating itself. Bobby Sands defending the Republic and Gerry Adams declaring perhaps the greatest struggle in our history for Irish freedom null and void. For as modern history also reveals Mr. Adams via John Hume was in consultation in the early years of the 1980s with the present day representatives of our invader and occupier.

Now although I have some knowledge of the science of psychology I would not be adept enough to even try and understand the mentality of Mr. Adams. An opening of the door so to speak into the reason for the greatest act of surrender in the history of Irish republicanism. Perhaps revealing the existence of 2 or many more Mr. Adams for inspite of the verification of those in the same guerilla cell as himself our subject denies ever being a para- military. Yes, that could be the answer but if so it would be interesting to discover for historical reasons what Gerry Adams met the Brits prior to surrender, a surrender confirmed by weapon decommissioning.

However it is interesting to be aware when one considers the mentality of Mr. Adams that mystery still surrounds the mentality of Michael Collins. Yes, there are historians of that period of our history who finds the general's behaviour mystifying. Now admittedly as human beings we are all a bit of a mystery, a complexity of forces, a complex of reasoning and unreasoning. In fact that's what makes us so interesting and is the basis of Freud's system of psychoanalysis. For what a mystery is man! For example, at the 2006 Casement Park Hunger Strike Memorial gathering our man with the planter surname sincerely expressed the opinion that we would experience a united Ireland in our lifetime. Now I'm in my mid 60s and I don't see any sign of it. Partly because Gerry's Provos have become part of the Brit Machine and reinforced partition. But then our subject maybe a Methuselah type and he is talking in terms of his life span not ours. The Bible character is said to have lived to 969 years.

Of course on that occasion the faithful accepted everything Mr. Adams expressed- lock, stock and barrel. Which leads me to see the mentalities of the Provo movement's membership and their supporters as a more intriguing mystery than the mentality of their leader or that of Michael Collins. But I'll not go down that road, better leave it to Ed Moloney to try and psyche them out. For after all Mr. Moloney, although not a psychologist, did a pretty good job on the West Belfast member of the British Parliament in his book on the Provisional IRA. Of course I do not believe psychoanalysis to be an exact science but like all aspects of the mystery of life there exists insights into that which we label the truth. And there is a contemporary truth which I subscribe to and that is the need for all sincere republicans to come together into a revolutionary movement. We owe that at least to Bobby Sands and his brave comrades. But still since the Provo betrayal we have this group and that group instead of unity for the purpose of achieving national unity. Which, to conclude, perhaps implies that there is some of the man with the planter name in each of us... Oh for a Cathal Brugha or a Mickey, or a Patsy!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Index: Current Articles



21 August 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Throwing the Book at Gerry
John Kennedy

The Man With the Planter Name
Liam O Comain

Diplock Delay Equals Justice Denied
Martin Galvin

Kevin Lynch, INLA Volunteer
Ray Collins

1981 Hunger Strike Commemoration in Chicago
Richard Wallace

The Question of Paisley's Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Turf War
John Kennedy

Eoin O’Duffy’s biography by Fearghal McGarry
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Proclamation to Me
Mick Hall

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 3
Michael Gillespie

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 4
Michael Gillespie

House on Notting Hill
Dr John Coulter

Courage, Muslim Leaders
David Adams

Middle East Conflict Has Abandoned Rules of War
Anthony McIntyre

A Warning From History
John Kennedy

Cartoon Commissar
Anthony McIntyre

The Letters page has been updated.


13 August 2006

Hunger Strike Anniversary
Martin Galvin

"Let the Fight Go On"
Willie Gallagher

Apology Owed
The Family of Volunteer Patsy O'Hara, INLA

Right the Wrong
Harry Boland

It's Who You Talk To
Dr John Coulter

As They Were Made They Were Matched
Liam O Comain

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper
John Kennedy

Criminality Figures Do Not Add Up
David Adams

The Siege of Derry
Anthony McIntyre

Repeat After Me: No Gods, No Masters
Mick Hall

Dual Presidency More Realistic
Nathan Dowds

Federal Unionism—Early Sinn Fein: Article 2
Michael Gillespie

Santa Coming Early
Dr John Coulter

Media Matters
Anthony McIntyre

Light, Freedom & Song: A Cultural History of Modern Irish Writing
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Pass the Gravy
John Kennedy

ILIR is Blowing the Green Card Game for the Irish
Patrick Hurley

From Belfast to the Middle East
Davy Carlin

Manifesto of the Third Camp
Anthony McIntyre

 

 

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