Sunday 30 April 2017

Safer to debate state of the nation than its birth

LAST week, Gerry Adams challenged his Dail critics to debate the difference between the Provo IRA and the Old IRA. Enda Kenny would be wise to evade any such engagement. Far safer to debate the state of the nation than the birth of the nation.

Adams would "win" any such debate for two reasons. Because of what I call a "leaky consensus" against the IRA's actions. And because the border between the Old IRA and the Provo IRA is not as clear as southern politicians claim -- a point proved by Ursula Halligan's second programme on Sinn Fein for TV3.

Denis Bradley, a former priest, and a respected intermediary with the IRA, convincingly castigated what he saw as a southern double standard whereby the Republic defends Old IRA atrocities but denounces Provo IRA terror. And the holes in southern hypocrisy were not filled convincingly by the contributions of either Ruairi Quinn or David Andrews.

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