Friday 23 August 2019

A simple remedy for Mr Adams: the truth

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Sinn Féin has once again donned the mantle of victimhood and begun telling a cruel world that things are just so unfair to a party which is trying to do the right thing.

The party's leading lights have taken all media opportunities and strained to tell us that Fine Gael, and more especially Fianna Fáil, are "playing politics" with the case of Brian Stack, and using the Stack family's distress to undermine them.

Beyond that, they accuse the media, and especially this news organisation, of having a set against Sinn Féin.

Let's deal with the latter charge briefly.

We do not have a set against Sinn Féin. And we have been at least as harsh in our commentary on other political organisations as and when the need has arisen. We are, however, always concerned about murder, and especially the unsolved murder of a security officer in this State.

Mr Adams and his colleagues are at pains to draw comparisons between the murder of Brian Stack and many of the 3,600 victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles over 30 years. The parallels of grief and loss are all too apparent.

But there is one thing which distinguishes Mr Stack's case from many others. It is that Gerry Adams has some information concerning the matter which he will not divulge.

We need to know the identity of the trusted IRA man with whom Mr Adams set up a meeting for Austin Stack in summer 2013. We need answers to other questions to help a bereaved family.

In sum, we require the simplest remedy from Mr Adams: the truth. In a surreal interview on RTÉ yesterday, Mr Adams spoke of his wilful ignorance surrounding the facts of the case. "If you don't ask, you can't tell," he said.

It's about time 'blazers' moved into 21st century

It is appropriate that the news of female gender quotas in the key sporting bodies comes to us at a time when our 2012 Olympic gold medallist, Katie Taylor, recorded her second professional boxing win.

Time and again in recent years, our women athletes have brought honour to their country.

In soccer, GAA and rugby, they have shown themselves as skilled and committed as their male counterparts. They deserve full recognition for their work and efforts.

So, Sports Minister Patrick O'Donovan is to be congratulated for tabling plans for 30pc female membership of all key decision-making sports bodies.

Linking this stipulation to taxpayer funding for those sports means there should be compliance.

From 2019, organisations with more than 10 employees will have to ensure that one-third of their boards are made up of women. The rule will come into force a year later, in 2020, for smaller bodies with fewer than 10 employees.

The days of women confined to making sandwiches and washing the jerseys must become a relic of times past.

The "blazers" who jealously guard their male hegemony in sports administration had better change their tune - or else they had better call it a day. It is time sports administration, where already many women are doing sterling work, moved into the 21st century.

We need fairness and gender equality in sport just as we need it in all walks of life. After all, "fair play" is a fundamental principle of all sports.

Irish Independent

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