Friday 20 April 2018

'Gerrypicking' the victims of the Troubles

Gerry Adams is selective in his calls for justice for victims of sectarian violence, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards

Selective amnesia: Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Selective amnesia: Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Three recent events and a film left me thinking about what members of Sinn Fein frequently complain is being done to their party: demonisation.

There was Gerry Adams's tweet on the 42nd anniversary of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings, the plea from Shauna Moreland for the record to be set straight about her mother's murder in 1994 and the opposition from the former British Lion, the anti-sectarian campaigner Trevor Ringland, to inviting Sinn Fein to Somme commemorations. The film was Son of Saul, set in Auschwitz.

That day in 1974, as soon as I heard about the Dublin bombings, I rang my mother for mutual hand-wringing and to check that she and my father were all right. A lover of the Irish language and its literature, she was a life-long opponent of violent nationalism "This is terrible," she said,. "but it's no more terrible to have it happen here than in Northern Ireland. In fact, it will be less if it brings IRA supporters to their senses seeing on their own doorstep what happens when bombs go off."

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