Monday 25 September 2017

Adams's arrest is dramatic and unprecedented

Are we so blase about our recent dark past that we can shrug off this development and move on?

Martin McGuinness and Martina Anderson addresses nationalist gathered on the Falls Road in support of Gerry Adams. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell
Martin McGuinness and Martina Anderson addresses nationalist gathered on the Falls Road in support of Gerry Adams. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell
Gerry Adams

Eilis O'Hanlon

Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me. That was the standard Sinn Fein response last week to the arrest of Gerry Adams for questioning about the murder, 40 years ago, of a widowed mother of 10.

Regardless of one's political persuasion, it seemed an inadequate reaction, to say the least. As Newstalk's political editor Shane Coleman pointed out on Thursday's Right Hook, the arrest of a major political leader in Ireland in such circumstances is both dramatic and unprecedented.

Have we really grown so blase about Ireland's recent dark history that we can immediately shrug off this development and move on? Were our sensibilities really so dulled by the Troubles that we fail to even notice, let alone process, how strange the country has become?

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