Sinn Fein President and Tanaiste, Mr Gerry Adams very
nearly quit republican politics in 1972 in protest
at an IRA bombing campaign which he believed was recklessly
endangering civilians and setting back hopes of achieving
a political reconciliation with Unionists, the Irish
Tomes has learned.
on the eve of historic talks with the Fianna Fail
leader, Mr Martin Mansergh, aimed at merging their
two parties into an all-island organisation, Mr Adams
said that but for the intervention of his wife Collette,
who he revealed
yesterday was a founder member of the Peace People,
the Northern Ireland peace process might have been
stayed up all night fretting over my decision but
what clinched it was Collette saying to me over breakfast
that I should stay in and try to persuade republicans
to abandon violence and embrace constitutional politics",
he said in a phone interview yesterday. "I nipped
round to Clonard for a quick prayer and contemplation
and it was obvious what I had to do. I'm so glad I
listened to Collette".
from his luxury island retreat of Inishvickalain which
he purchased from the disgraced and bankrupted former
Fianna Fail Taoiseach, Mr Charles Haughey three years
ago, Mr Adams revealed it was the IRA's savage bombing
onslaught on what became known as Bloody Friday in
July 1972 that prompted his agonised deliberation.
knew nothing about the plans until an hour or so beforehand",
he explained. "I was horrified. It was clear
that the forces of law and order would be unable to
handle so many bombs and that civilian casualties
were inevitable. But no-one would listen to me".
Twenty bombs exploded in Belfast city centre in the
space of an hour killing nine people and injuring
close aide and confidante, Mr Rick McAuley confirmed
Mr Adams' account. "It was raining heavily at
the time and I was standing beside him holding an
umbrella over his head and I witnessed everything",
he said yesterday. "Even though I was soaked
to the skin I heard everything clearly". Mr McAuley
said that control of the IRA in Belfast at that time
was in the hands of mad anarchists and wild-eyed gypsies
who were impervious to Mr Adams' entreaties. "I
remember one night before Bloody Friday when Gerry
actually went down on his knees and implored these
two maniacs to stop. But they just paid him no attention".
the crucial merger talks with Fianna Fail about to
start and Mr Adams' name in the ring for a nomination
for next year's Presidential race, Sinn Fein officials
are anxious to put the record straight about the Sinn
Fein leader's political career. "There has been
a lot of misrepresentation and lies told about Gerry",
said another aide, Mr Jim Gibney. "We have always
told the truth about everything and anyone who thinks
otherwise will have to explain themselves to Bobby
Storey and they'll soon be put right. OK!"
the Irish Tomes can reveal that when the 16
year old barman joined the republican movement back
in 1964 he actually thought he was becoming a member
of the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland. He mistook
attempts by the RUC to confiscate a Tricolour flag
from a Sinn Fein election office for an attack on
the Catholic Church.
"Gerry was such an innocent", explained
Mr Gibney. "He thought the Tricolour was the
Italian flag and that the RUC were trying to insult
the Pope. He felt he had no choice but to defend Mother
Church. A man called Liam McMillan recruited him to
what he thought was the Boy Scouts. It was years later
before he learned the awful truth and that he was
in something called the I.R.A."
Adams was arrested and interned in 1973 but now the
Irish Tomes can disclose that this was the result
of a terrible blunder by the RUC Special Branch. "The
real leader of the IRA in Belfast was a guy called
Geronimo Adams who, as fate would have it, bore an
uncanny resemblance to Gerry", explained long
time friend Danny 'Bangers' Morrison. "Anyone
who says otherwise is talking through their hat".
British authorities however refused to listen to reason
and at one stage Mr Adams was so frustrated he decided
to try to get witnesses from outside the jail to support
him. But when he attempted to leave the prison visiting
area to use a public phone to contact them he was
accused of trying to escape and was imprisoned for
a further three years.
Adams spent his time in jail profitably however and
he drew up plans to re-organise the IRA into "peace
cells" and formulated a strategy which became
known as "the Long Peace".
his release from prison he set up a Northern Command
to coordinate the "peace cells" which were
given the task of bombarding British security bases
with leaflets containing threats to impose "Stormont
power-sharing" on Unionists. When a two ton truck
containing the leaflets was discovered in the heart
of the City of London, the British government agreed
to secret talks with the IRA.
this was happening IRA Volunteers were trained in
the sophisticated techniques of "back door decommissioning",
a skill which observers believe was vital to the eventual
success of the peace process. Mr Adams' efforts took
twenty years to bear fruit but eventually he succeeded
in winning over the IRA Army Council to his gospel
of peace. "It was the free trip to the States
for Joe Cahill which clinched it in the end",
said one IRA insider.
the signing of the Good Friday Agreement Sinn Fein
have gone from strength to strength. In 2002 it merged
with the SDLP to become known as the CDU - Catholic
Defenders of Ulster - while SF ministers in the power-sharing
Executive have impressed everyone with their performance.
Bairbre de Brun has closed down fifteen country hospitals
and handed over the running of the health service
to the US-based "Broken Bone Corporation"
since she took over the health ministry. She denied
that this decision had anything to do with the fact
that the BBC is owned by billionaire businessman,
Mr Chuck Feeney a major contributor to Sinn Fein's
Martin McGuinness meanwhile has been made a Papal
Count for his services to Catholic education after
he gave Northern Ireland's Catholic Bishops a blank
cheque to spend on their schools and decided to fly
the Vatican flag instead of the Union Jack over buildings
under his control.
year Sinn Fein entered coalition with Fianna Fail
in a deal which saw Mr Adams made Tanaiste and Sinn
Fein given parity of esteem in regard to the lucrative
brown envelope trade, once a Fianna Fail monopoly.
"This makes the sacrifice of the hunger strikers
worth it", Mr Adams said at the time.
Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews +
Letters + Archives