Monday 5 December 2016

Bertie Ahern: Can Adams beat Dev and Chairman Mao's record for clinging on at top?

Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30

Gerry Adams with Rose Conway Walsh, the SF candidate for Mayo, with Tom Hennigan at Hennigan’s Heritage Farm in Swinford, Co. Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan
Gerry Adams with Rose Conway Walsh, the SF candidate for Mayo, with Tom Hennigan at Hennigan’s Heritage Farm in Swinford, Co. Mayo. Photo: Keith Heneghan

I always believed that Gerry Adams would wait around until 2016, grabbing the green spotlight. But now I'm beginning to wonder if his real ambition is to stay on top for another year; by which time he will have beaten Dev's record as our most enduring party leader. This will give him a staggering 33 years and three months at the helm.

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It puts him ahead of Chairman Mao, who only managed 33 years; Stalin clocked up 30.

Should he hang on in there even longer, Adams will be on the coat-tails of Fidel Castro, who managed 52 years. Populism pays big dividends, especially when most of the time you don't have the responsibility of office. Sinn Féin excels at generating solutions for problems that have as yet to be discovered - and problems for every solution. In short, it is against everything, and for nothing.

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