Sunday 20 January 2019

Delusions of grandeur for Adams as SF choose to forget their past US favours

Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris. Photo: Tom Burke
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris. Photo: Tom Burke
Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger in ‘Black Mass’
Whitey Bulger. Photo: AP
Martin Ferris after his arrest in the 1980s

Fionnán Sheahan

A former (unsuccessful) gun smuggler was passing through an airport in the city where a notorious gangster, from whom his terrorist organisation procured weapons, was based.

The gun smuggler was delayed for several hours by immigration officials - albeit it's unclear if the authorities knew of the past connection with the city.

Nonetheless, some would call that karma.

Sinn Féin try to claim it is some sort of diplomatic incident when former IRA gun smuggler Martin Ferris got delayed at Boston Airport after arriving on a later than expected flight.

Fresh from comparing himself to civil rights heroine Rosa Parks because he was delayed by the Secret Service entering a White House reception, Gerry Adams now regally pronounces he wants "the full normalisation of relations between Sinn Féin and the White House".

Talk about delusions of grandeur.

Adams needs to realise he is merely the leader of an opposition party in a small European country.

He's not the Dalai Lama.

Besides, the White House has done plenty for Adams and Sinn Féin over the years. How quickly Adams forgets the risks taken by a previous US President, Bill Clinton, in granting him a 48-hour visa back in 1994, when the Provos were still active.

The controversial move was a key development in the peace process. But in the post-9/11 climate, it would be unthinkable for the political leader of a terrorist movement to be afforded such treatment.

Now Adams wants the red carpet rolled out for him when he sets foot in the States, even though he holds no office other than member of parliament.

Anyway, back to Boston. Whitey Bulger was one of the most ruthless gangsters in America. He was a central figure in organised crime in the Boston scene from the 1970s to the 1990s.

His reign of terror is depicted at present in the film 'Black Mass', starring Johnny Depp (below). After several years as a fugitive, he was captured in 2011. He was found guilty of federal racketeering, extortion, conspiracy and 11 murders.

Bulger was given two life sentences plus five years in prison in 2013. During sentencing, US District Judge Denise Casper said directly to Bulger: "The scope, the callousness, the depravity of your crimes are almost unfathomable."

When the IRA sought to import arms in the 1980s, it was to Bulger it turned. The shipment from Boston made it as far as Fenit, when the 'Marita Ann' trawler, with Ferris on board, was intercepted by the Irish navy.

Ferris hilariously claimed these days the IRA wouldn't have dealt with Bulger, had they known his background: "No, absolutely not, because he was a gangster."

The IRA also accepted a weapons cache from Colonel Gaddafi. Clearly, the Provos didn't realise he was a despotic dictator in Libya who murdered innocent people.

Sinn Féin fail to see why the US authorities would be concerned about individuals with terrorism records and past criminal associations.

Irish Independent

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