that the St. Patricks Day anti-Sinn Fein feeding
frenzy is over, where do things go from here?
doubt, the enemies of Sinn Fein and the enemies
of the Irish peace-process have had a grand few
days, and have landed some blows. And some politicians,
being politicians, ran for the tall grass, while
Senator John Mc Cain disgraced himself in a Paisley-like
outburst of bigotry and ignorance. What gives Mc
Cain who participated in the totally unjust
and indefensible Vietnam War, in which hundreds
of thousands of innocent Vietnamese civilians were
slaughtered the right to hypocritically lecture
the Irish on violence?
what really is the end result? Has Sinn Fein been
who knows anything about the history of Irish-American
nationalism will know that its when the Irish
Cause is under the most severe attack that Irish-American
rally the strongest. They get their Irish
up when they see the rich and the powerful,
both in Ireland and the United States, through unjust
and deceitful means attempt to demonize the man
who has become the very symbol of the Irish Cause,
but not Damaged
has Sinn Fein been seriously damaged? No, I do not
believe they have. They have been obstructed. And
they certainly need to overcome those obstructions
if they are to keep advancing the Irish peace-process.
One of the ironies of all of this is that it has
become clearer and clearer to all Americans that
it is The Irish Republican Movement that has kept
the peace-process alive and that without them there
would never have been a peace-process in the first
place surely not the outcome their enemies
had hoped for.
Republicans are now seen not just as one of many
players, but as the standard-bearers of the peace-
if they fail, the peace-process fails
if they do not move first, nobody moves
Gerry Adams gives up on the peace-process all is
lost. Its an awesome burden, and maybe an
unfair one, but thats the way it actually
is and, indeed, has been since John Hume
and Adams launched the peace-process.
One Indispensable Leader
in all their attacks, in all their shameful attempts
to demonize Gerry Adams, the enemies of the peace-process
have in actual fact helped to establish Adams as
the one indispensable leader. That is why they now
must try to destroy the peace-process because they
know the most direct way to destroy Sinn Fein is
to destroy Sinn Feins greatest asset, and
greatest accomplishment, the Irish peace-process.
was, again unfairly, said about Caesars wife
she must not only be chaste but seen to be
chaste. So too Irish Republicans must go out
of their way to show they are not involved in any
wrongdoing. (Obviously Sinn Fein cannot be responsible
for the action of every Republican no more
than Teddy Kennedy can be responsible for the action
of every Democrat in Massachusetts).
they must move in a major way to remove the obstructions
placed on them by others and they cannot
wait for others to do that. That would be like waiting
for Minister of Justice Michael Mc Dowell to do
something to help Sinn Fein increase their vote
in the Irish Republic.
must be Done
Fein must somehow get things back to where they
were before Christmas when the IRA were, quite extraordinarily,
Sinn Fein must do this and they must not
give a veto on their actions to Ian Paisley, Michael
McDowell or John Mc Cain. They must act as free
agents whose top priority is to advance the peace-process.
Sinn Fein must somehow come to terms with the policing
issue, which I knew was always going to be the most
difficult of all. How can Gerry Adams look the family
of Pat Finucane in the eye and tell them that all
the bad old days are truly over, that all bad attitudes
and bad individuals, bad laws and bad systems, have
been removed and that a young Finucane could with
honor and pride now join the police and protect
the rights of all the people in Northern Ireland?
yet if Sinn Fein remains aloof from the police,
there will never be an acceptable police service
in Northern Ireland, because the police will never
fully change until Sinn Fein forces that change
by its active participation.
dont know how Gerry Adams does all that has
to be done. But I do know there is not another man
or woman on the island of Ireland who can do it.
Instead of being demonized Adams should be prayed
for and wished Godspeed in his work to bring justice,
equality, nonviolence and peace to Ireland. And
in saying this I know I echo the opinion of the
vast majority of Irish-Americans.