Tuesday 12 December 2017

Eoghan Harris: Adams must finish voyage round the sins of our fathers

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

To believe or not to believe? Like Hamlet, haunted by the ghost of his father, Gerry Adams's motives are mysterious, maybe even to himself. Here I hope to show that Shakespeare -- whose genius was to grasp that characters can be both good and bad -- can shed light, not only on Adams, but on all who call themselves Irish nationalists.

First, however, I do not want to be taken for a fool. Adams's revelations about his abusive father have played well in the Irish Republic. Down south, we are too soft to believe a man may smile and smile and be a villain. Northern nationalists are a bit more sceptical. With good reason.

Given Adams's frugal attitude to the truth in the past, why should we accept his spin on the abuse story? Was he not aware his revelations would divert attention from the alleged victim to himself? Could he be piggybacking a bit on southern sympathy for abuse victims?

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