Monday 24 October 2016

Adams is either naive or grossly irresponsible

Published 22/12/2015 | 02:30

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin's determination to build a political foundation on victimhood is already getting old. Its mission to present its newest candidate for martyrdom, in the form of Thomas 'Slab' Murphy, would be laughable were it not for the fact that it could be seen as a ploy to distract from a more cynical intent.

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Plenty of republicans have made genuine and true sacrifices towards the foundation of this State, and next year they will be remembered in the 1916 commemorations. But the insistence by both Mr Adams, and Mary Lou McDonald, that the tax-dodging suspected Provo leader Murphy - who built a multi-million euro empire out of criminality - is a good republican, are disturbing. Their blind admiration for him raises interesting questions about the kind of republic they nurture in their hearts, if he is a paragon of its virtues.

Could it be that, before fashioning a republic of their own, they must first attack the foundations of the one the rest of us reside in - so they may seek to undermine it by raising a whole number of doubts about how justice is done.

Mr Adams's attack on the country's judicial system, and his insistence that Mr Murphy's rights were somehow suppressed, is self-serving and shallow. His petulance and disregard for the law suggests that he is either wildly naive or grossly irresponsible - traits most political leaders would shy away from revealing. "Do I have to swallow the entire baggage of a State that is dependent on draconian legislation, the Offences Against the State Act or the Special Criminal Court? No, I don't," he declared. As a matter of fact Mr Adams, both as a citizen of this State and, more importantly, as a member of the Dáil, you most certainly do.

The reason Mr Murphy was not tried before a jury of his peers was because there were security fears for potential jurors. Yesterday, Communications Minister Alex White said Mr Adams appears to have a persecution complex. Or perhaps he has developed a messianic one. The rule of law holds for all Mr Adams, and one ought not to seek exceptions for friends.

Precisely how he can square jumping to the defence of a multi-millionaire tax cheat with the grassroots will be instructive in days to come.

Returning simplicity to the heart of Christmas

Leadership in the Catholic Church is not something we have seen a lot of in recent years. So the call today from Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to reintroduce and reassert integrity in all our lives is refreshing and apposite. He is right, Christmas brings out the best of us but it also affords an opportunity to do something for others.  

He cautions that while we are in recovery we mustn't be tempted to go back to the ways we celebrated before and the hardship that followed.

He asks us to remember the sense of simplicity, which is the hallmark of every aspect of the Christmas story.

The joy of receiving a gift is not necessarily proportionate to its cost.

He also reminds us that Christmas is a terrible time to be lonely. Ireland may be improving, but we can do better.

By rediscovering integrity he advocates that we can build a sense of common purpose. Something to cherish long after the last parcel has been opened and the tinsel taken down.

Irish Independent

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