Hard truths for Adams and SF
For a political party which espouses the need to tackle disadvantage, unemployment and inequality and to improve the quality of life and standards of living for people across Ireland, Sinn Fein is doing a remarkable job in refusing to take the opportunity to do just that, on two fronts: its immediate rejection of Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster's proposals to recommence Stormont negotiations and its continued insistence that it will not take its Westminster seats at a time when such electoral influence could temper the worst excesses of Brexit.
One of the conclusions which can be drawn from this intransigence is that Sinn Fein is more interested in advancing its own political 'project' that in delivering on real issues such as housing, health and jobs, as was so grandly set out by its leader Gerry Adams in a 'new republic' "vision" at an annual address at the Wolfe Tone Commemoration at Bodenstown, Co Kildare three years ago.
Instead of delivering on - and worse - even seeking to deliver on, a republican vision for this country, North and South, Mr Adams finds himself again calling for people to go to gardai in relation to the actions of the Provisional IRA, in this instance, in relation to the murder of a thoroughly decent Louth man, Tom Oliver, in 1991. In doing so, Mr Adams has again resorted to what is by now his effectively 'throwing the gauntlet down to get himself off a hook' trick. In an interview on his local radio station last week, Mr Adams also said he did not think anybody should be jailed in relation to the murder of his constituent Mr Oliver. So, in effect, he thinks people should report crime, but if it is IRA crime, then there should be no consequences. This is another example of the Sinn Fein leader's warped definition of democracy.