Another one of those folksy, fantastical Adams interviews to the US media. This time it comes from the unputdownable Madison Eagle!
What a great intro!
After Adams “described a lifetime struggle to end deadly persecution and bring freedom to Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland”, someone asked him what if was like to get shot.
“The first shot really hurt,” Adams said. “I was blessed with very incompetent assassins.”
(And, erm, some very special friends in Special Forces?)
This interview represents another one of those groovy, mind-bending journeys through history which Ger reserves for North American audiences. In fact it’s one of the best. The Madison Eagle is a long, long way from the Washington Times, so who could really take a pop at the newspaper. The problems in Ireland are a complex area so it’s natural to be led by your interviewee. And how!
There’s a lot of background to this piece – I wonder where it came from?
He (Adams) is credited with having worked closely with the British government in ending two decades of violence in Northern Ireland, commonly known as “The Troubles,” and with crafting a plan to extend freedoms in the north.
Could that have come from Gerry himself? Surely not!
Or what about this?
Spurred on by the American civil rights movement, he (Adams) became involved in a peaceful movement to end the subjugation of Catholics in Northern Ireland. But the peaceful campaign ended in January 1972 when the British Army opened fire… etc
Elsewhere the RUC are accused of carrying out “a campaign of violence against the IRA”.
By 1976, the peace process had started, but it would not bear fruit for two more decades, largely because the British demanded the IRA give up its arms before talks could begin.
Okay. Maybe SF may look at this as a successful interview, but isn’t Gerry trading too hard on, erm, the asymmetry of information about The Troubles? He’s really stretching the truth beyond its elasticity. How will a SF narrative ever regain its shape if Gerry’s going to allow interviews like this? Shouldn’t Richard McAuley try to rein in the imagination of Gerry The Fabulist?
Some republicans here must surely be elbowing each other in the ribs and stifling guffaws when they read stuff like this. Good on ya Ger! Others must look at this and wonder how much trust can they invest in a person who can knowingly peddle such a misshapen and bent form of truth.
Perhaps during conflict anything goes – but when in the peace-building phase, personal credibility and reputation for fair-dealing among participants is important. Doesn’t Gerry’s credibility suffer when he repeats the same ol’ Fantasy Ireland guff from the 70s? Shouldn’t he develop a more nuanced and circumspect line of thinking?
PS. In the above, I conflated The Washington Post and The NYT and came up with the less well-respected, in-house rag for the Moonies – The Washington Times. Apologies for any distress this may have caused. (Thanks Jason Walsh for the heads up!)