Friday 15 December 2017

Sinn Féin's relentless denials must alert us to the dangers

Like Paudie McGahon, Mairia Cahill has been a compelling witness about sexual abuse by IRA men
Like Paudie McGahon, Mairia Cahill has been a compelling witness about sexual abuse by IRA men
Paudie McGahon
John Downing

John Downing

Tánaiste Joan Burton chose an apt and important word when she spoke of an "insidious threat" from a residual Provisional IRA to democracy on this island.

"Insidious," the dictionary tells us, is a 16th-century Latin word. These days, it is mainly used as an adjective describing something which proceeds in a gradual and subtle way - but often with very harmful effects.

The almost 30 years of shocking war which mainly, but not exclusively, afflicted the north-east of this island, claimed the lives of over 3,500 human beings and blighted the lives of many in their extended families. Its impact on language was more than a clue to the attendant series of rolling horrors we still struggle to shake off.

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