Fiach Kelly: Preaching transparency – for all but themselves
Published 28/12/2012 | 17:00
A party which preaches transparency and accountability in public life now faces a claim that one of its TDs is linked to 50 – yes, 50 – murders in British state papers.
The same party which angrily demands answers from Cabinet ministers and other politicians.
And the response of the TD when asked to comment on his name being linked to a bloody past?
"No, I won't be saying anything. I don't want to comment on anything said by the Brits. I wouldn't be bothered."
Imagine a cabinet minister stopping Pearse Doherty, Mary-Lou McDonald or any other member of the new, presentable wing of Sinn Fein mid-thunder by saying: "I wouldn't be bothered."
But that's what Dessie Ellis said last night when asked about his name appearing in British state papers.
Welcome to the paradox of modern Sinn Fein – accountability and transparency for all but itself.
This is not the Sinn Fein the party wants the electorate to see. Socialism with a youthful smile and angry denunciations of Government is what Pearse, Mary-Lou and others are selling.
Murders, gun-running and The Disappeared is what they're not.
But that's what comes up when Old Sinn Fein – Gerry Adams, Martin Ferris and now Dessie Ellis – take to their feet in the Dail chamber.
Sinn Fein would rather people didn't dwell on this subject, but pasts as bloody as the IRA's have an annoying habit of tumbling out of dark cupboards now and again.
Mr Ellis recently told journalist and author Samantha Libreri he wouldn't reveal the exact position he held in the IRA.
"I'm waiting to be finished with politics but then I'll be writing about it," he said.
He's waiting on finishing with politics before being transparent, the TD from the party looking for transparency and accountability.
A suggestion that a member of Dail Eireann is linked to 50 murders needs to be addressed urgently.
It can't wait for the memoirs.