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A strange sort of feminism from followers of the SF bandwagon

Mairia Cahill


There is no wriggle room for feminists when it comes to confronting the past conduct of Sinn Fein, writes Mairia Cahill

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Response: Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Response: Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

Response: Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

'It is never pleasant to watch human decency sacrificed on the altar of a political party's internal discipline… Harm was done to a girl of 16 on Gerry Adams's watch and his party is woefully incapable of dealing with the implications of the injustice done to her - not just in 1997 when it happened, but now... All of them are damaged by their unswerving support for Adams. But the most blemished is Mary Lou McDonald." The words of Martina Devlin, writing in 2014 for the Irish Independent, what Una Mullally contemporaneously referred to on Twitter as a "bang on" piece about my case.

Devlin described McDonald as having a "compassionate vacuum towards a woman who underwent the two ordeals of sexual abuse and speaking publicly about it. That's not going to be forgotten about anytime soon", she said.

Fast-forward to February 2020, where Mullally was quoted in Reuters as saying that McDonald had positioned herself as a "progressive feminist, female leader who is very much chiming with the times".