Gulf between Mandela and Provos
Sinn Fein is shamelessly using the late African leader for propaganda purposes, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
Published 15/12/2013 | 22:11
Gerry Adams tweets from South Africa: "Visit 2 Madiba lying in state is pilgrimage 4 scores of 1000s waiting in hot sun. Honoured 2 b here. Mo laoch. Mo ghile mhear. Amandla! Xox". To those who struggle with text-speak, Irish or Xhosa, here's a translation: "Visit to Madiba (Nelson Mandela's clan name) is a pilgrimage for scores of thousands waiting in hot sun. Honoured to be here. He is my hero, my impetuous love. Power! Kisses hugs kisses".
"Se mo laoch mo Ghile Mear" is the first line of Mo Ghile Mear -- an 18th-Century lament by the goddess Eire for the exiled Bonnie Prince Charlie. "Amandla" is a rallying cry at protest meetings: the crowd response completes a phrase meaning "Power to the people".
Adams is ubiquitous in the expression of his grief and loss. On twitter there are three photos of him with Mandela, one of which is with Martin McGuinness, who tweets photos of himself from the memorial service with Bill Clinton and with Archbishop Tutu, whom he appeared to be pinning down in his seat. (He was in the same row as President Mugabe, but he resisted the temptation to suggest a selfie.)