Silence of SF on abuse must end
Ecclesiastes tells us that 'to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens'. Some, like the time of birth, laughter and dancing are occasions of celebration.
Others such as that season where it is right to 'pluck up that which is planted' and 'to cast away' that which has passed its useful purpose are of a darker hue. Mr Adams, after a long career which knew much of war before a contended peace was secured, has reached that critical juncture. It is, despite all of the hagiography about hope and history, time for us, or more accurately Sinn Fein, to pluck up and cast away a figure who has nothing good, outside of his departure, to give this state.
The Sinn Fein leader will cling on, for he knows no other way. But he has reached the point where no amount of apologists or bleating political appeasers can rescue him. Ironically, if any worth is now attached to Mr Adams's presence within the Irish body politic, it applies to his status as a whetstone by which we can measure the political courage of the new generation of Sinn Fein TDs.
Sadly, the moral fibre displayed by this grouping to date has possessed the weight of a feather balanced upon a scales. The failure of the Frappuccino friends of Gerry is illuminating. For all their skills they obviously do not yet realise one of the tariffs of entry to democratic politics is that, unlike the SF West Belfast Stalingrad, the citizen is entitled to judge your true worth.
Sinn Fein can whimper all they want, but their gimlet-eyed generals are merely going through the same trial by fire that Fianna Fail experienced in tribunals and the Church underwent after the Murphy Report. In fairness, the failure of SF/IRA to understand the nature and appropriate consequences of their actions and non actions is entirely understandable. It is a feature of all such organisations that they are informed by an inflated level of self- esteem, where they believe they are not bound by the normal rules of accountability.
The bad news for Mr Adams is that we are almost fatally beyond the point of safe return now. Our biblical friend Ecclesiastes warns that there is always a 'time to keep silence and a time to speak'. Mr Adams has, on so many things, gone so far past that time, were he to now break his code of Omerta, the actual worth of such a gesture has diminished to such an extent it now possesses the value of an Anglo Irish bank share.
It has been noted before that Sinn Fein stands for nothing better than the reinvention of the recurrent Haughey gene in Irish politics. In fairness, Mr Haughey's Gatsby style exploits did at least enliven our dull provincial state. But, its central culture of deceit, silence and stealth also contained the toxins that poisoned the wells of the Republic beyond redemption until a Troika was required to take us in charge.
SF are far more of a throw-back to a failed past than a sign-post towards a better future. The politics of collusion with their Provo fellow travellers are fatally tainted by the dry rot of political self-interest crossed with moral cowardice. We are entitled to a better future than that offered by a Sinn Fein party that cannot rise beyond the stink of its inglorious past.
Mr Adams, meanwhile might consider the warning in Retribution that 'Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly small'.