Moments after Mary Lou McDonald ended her absurd four-hour Dail sit-in, a stunt that critics says was a cynical attempt to divert attention away from the Sinn Fein shame of the Mairia Cahill controversy, leader Gerry Adams was on Twitter lauding his Deputy President.
“Leinster House One Released. ML Freed,” Adams tweeted triumphantly, apparently oblivious to the charge that the sit-in had brought democratic politics into disrepute, demeaned the Dail and wasted taxpayers’ money.
Mr Adams is an inveterate tweeter, the content of his tweets ranging from relatively straightforward political rhetoric, to bizarre non sequiturs, pidgin Irish, and folksy, some might say slightly creepy, messages about dreams, long soaks in the bath, getting ready for the “Leaba,” and the adventures of his teddy bear “Ted”
On Wednesday morning, just before he faced a sustained,
hard- hitting and shaming denunciation in Leinster House from the Taoiseach and Tanaiste, Adams tweeted to followers: “If this was a duvet day I Wudnt have 2 get up. But it isn’t & I am. An Orange weather alert. That shud please Jim Allastir.” (sic) .
On Tuesday he tweeted: “Tom & Ted [his teddy bears] sick of the rain. Me? I don’t mind the rain. Not when Im in the leaba. Codladh samh xoxozzzzzz” (sic).
But strange tweets, often infantile and odd, have been part of Mr Adams’ social media armoury for a long time. It means that this lifelong, unrepentant hardline republican, the man who denies being in charge of the IRA but who has been nevertheless accused by the Taoiseach and many others of not only being a member but a key figure on the Provo Army Council, can be found tweeting the following: “Dreamt I was eating Cream Eggs. Woke up this morn. Pillow & beard covered in chocolate & cream thingymebob.”
How about this one from earlier this year? “Standing @the corner (in the rain) watching
all the girls go by.Standing @ the corner (in Dundalk in the rain)giving all the girls the Eye.” (sic).
Half-remembered lines from popular songs and late “nighty night” tweets are another Adams Twitter staple.
“Each night I ask the stars up above. Why must I b a teenager in love?” he tweeted last year.
Photos of children’s teddy bears and rubber ducks abound.
Beneath a photo of a rubber duck Mr Adams tweeted: “My bestest pressie! The Queen of all rubber ducks. A high class act. Kinda ducky ar lá dee dah! Epsom Salts go deo!”
In this newspaper Eilis O’Hanlon pinpointed Adams’s unsettling propensity for “favouriting” tweets that some might find offensive.
Ms O’Hanlon wrote:”There’s a Twitter account with the name ‘Horry Putter’ which posts grammatically challenged jokes and puns to do with JK Rowling’s boy wizard. In January of this year, it put up a picture of Neville Longbottom, a character in the Harry Potter series, with the caption: “Hey bby gurl, I got something LONG 4 ur BOTTOM.”
“The picture was retweeted and favourited a large number of times by other users. No surprises there. Puerile, adolescent toilet humour will always find an audience. What was curious is that, amongst those who favourited it, was Gerry Adams.
It’s difficult to think of another political leader who would have considered that an appropriate thing to do. Much less one whose party was involved at the time in an ongoing controversy around its treatment of sexual abuse victims.”