Tuesday 28 March 2017

Dail fruits of victory

Sir -- Not wishing to appear critical of Eilis O'Hanlon's article (Sunday Independent, May 29, 2011), but she seems to misunderstand "Sinn Fein speak". For instance, the Republic of Ireland is known as the "Twenty Six Counties", and Northern Ireland as the "Six Counties". Murder becomes "legitimate targeting", for this was a war situation, a "Thirty Years War", Irish style. Thus Mary McArdle, an activist, is entitled to the fruits of victory.

Eilis refers to Gerry Kelly's statement "that half of Sinn Fein's Assembly team were former prisoners". Among the other half, I would surmise, were some activists who managed to avoid incarceration.

What interests me is what role the parliamentary non-activists played, if any, during the "war". I doubt if Caoimhghin ever donned a balaclava, and I've yet to see a picture of Mary Lou, with black beret and dark glasses, leading a platoon of fellow travellers, of both sexes, and no doubt, the inevitable band waggoners. It must be rather disconcerting for ex-activists, having "done their bit" for the cause, seeing the latter now comfortably ensconced in their parliamentary seats.

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