Decommission your tongue, Mr Adams
Published 20/09/2015 | 02:30
Gerry Adams was never a member of the IRA - he told us so. Several times. Therefore, he was never required to take part in any act of decommissioning. But as an admirer and apologist for the terrorists and all their works, he could yet do it a final service by decommissioning his own tongue.
He need not bury it, just put it beyond use, say for a millennium or two. He would be doing the State a great service. Yesterday, the Sinn Féin leader soared to new heights in self-delusion, claiming some Irish political leaders should "hang their heads in shame" over their "inconsistent approach to Irish patriotism".
Equating the IRA campaign over 30 years in the North to that of 1916, he said both eras witnessed the same courage and sacrifice for Irish freedom.
One wonders what the men of 1916 would have made of the heroics of the unit that planted the bomb in Warrington on March 20, 1993. On that day the lives of 12-year-old Tim Parry and three-year-old Johnathan Ball were lost for ever to IRA terrorists.
One also wonders if the men of 1916 would have slept easily after blowing up 11 civilians in Enniskillen in 1987 at a Poppy Day ceremony.
The litany of atrocity and needless death is too long to chronicle; but for Mr Adams to equate what happened in Easter Week 1916 with the casual carnage perpetrated by the terrorists during the Troubles enters the very heart of darkness. Yet speaking of those three blood-soaked decades, he said: "In terms of their unselfishness, in terms of their generosity and in terms of their commitment (to Irish freedom), yes, I do (see both in the same light)."
To brand a campaign that endorsed the planting of bombs in crowded pubs, knee-cappings, torture, extortion and a catalogue of cold-blooded murders as "generous and unselfish" shows why so many distrust Mr Adams.
Legitimacy was conferred on 1916 when Sinn Féin received its mandate in the 1918 general election. It was retrospective, but it was real. The election was the first democratic plebiscite to pass judgment on those events.
The armed rebellion of 1916 was formally and massively endorsed. Had Mr Adams been an IRA man and put himself forward as a car-bombing murderer, does he really believe he would have been handed a mandate? You can rewrite history, but the truth is always the truth.
A truly mouth-watering weekend for sports fans
The true sportsman or woman will tell you the greatest part of the game is the opportunity to play. But the rest of us must settle for the opportunity to watch. Whether you're lucky enough to be in Cardiff today to see Joe Schmidt's team tear into Canada as the curtain goes up on Ireland's World Cup campaign, or you're in Croke Park tomorrow to see the Dubs take on Kerry, you're guaranteed mouth-watering fare.
Since their first ever meeting in the 1892 final, when Dublin won their second All-Ireland title with a 1-4 to 0-3 victory over the Kingdom, no quarter has been given.
Should you follow the oval or round ball, you will probably still be bilingual in the two languages of sport, English and profanity. The thrill of seeing a full year sacrificed to training - or in the case of the rugby players four years of dreaming - reduced to one kick, or one bounce of an unreliable ball is there to be savoured.
Nick Hornby believed sport represents the consummate defeat of misery. Whether it's victory or defeat, it will still be enjoyed, cursed, celebrated, desecrated and defiled with a passion. And the only guarantee is that we'll still be back for more. Dublin or Kerry, Kerry or Dublin, it grabs us all. They don't call it the All-Ireland for nothing.