Wednesday 21 March 2018

Fionnan Sheahan: SF outcast can't break away from party control

Peadar Toibin,Sinn Fein deputy for Meath West. Photo: Tom Burke
Peadar Toibin,Sinn Fein deputy for Meath West. Photo: Tom Burke
Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

"Nobody believes you." Taoiseach Enda Kenny's accusation to Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams about the veracity of his claim he wasn't a member of the IRA isn't quite accurate.

Peadar Toibin seems to believe Mr Adams when he says he wasn't in the IRA.

After all, the Sinn Fein outcast regards Mr Adams as "one of finest political leaders in Ireland" and his views are "at one with the party".

Mr Toibin's falling out with the Sinn Fein leadership was over its position on the abortion legislation -- not its stance on the justification of IRA atrocities.

The Meath West TD does adopt a more sensitive approach to the attempt to rewrite the history of the Troubles.

Not for him the pointing of the finger of blame at RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan for adopting a "laissez faire disregard" for their own security or saying the IRA were "doing their duty" by shooting them dead.

"I don't believe it's ever correct to say that two police officers were murdered because of their own actions. These men's deaths were not determined by their own actions but the actions of the IRA. The IRA is responsible for the murder of these two men, not the officers themselves," he told the Irish Independent earlier this week.

"As I said at the beginning of the conversation -- the responsibility for the deaths lies with the people who kill them. It doesn't lie with the officers," he added.

Yet Mr Toibin claims his views are "at one with the party". Not quite, as the rest of the party has been busy weighing in behind Mr Adams in placing part of the blame for the murders at the hands of the RUC officers.

Mr Toibin stayed away from the language of rationalisation of the murder of a police officer holding up a handkerchief as a sign of surrender to his assailants.

After poking his head out into the world of shaping his own opinion, he soon scuttled back in under the cloak of Sinn Fein propaganda.

Regardless of what anyone says in Sinn Fein, don't disagree with the leader.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section