Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

'Sinn Fein supporters must now be questioning if Gerry Adams can continue as leader'

'There must be Sinn Fein supporters now questioning Gerry Adams' position as leader'
'There must be Sinn Fein supporters now questioning Gerry Adams' position as leader'

When I watched 'The Disappeared', like so many others what stuck me most was the emotional distress still experienced by the families of those who were abducted, murdered and buried in unmarked graves by the IRA. 

‘The Disappeared’ made difficult viewing, but it was very important to see the grief of the families and to hear the detail of their stories.

The programme made clear that some of those who suffered the most have been forgotten and their voices have not been heard.

The emotional distress expressed in such a dignified way by the families was in stark contrast to the lack of information from Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and his lack of emotion when confronted with the disturbing truth.

For Gerry Adams to dismiss those disappeared by the IRA saying ‘do you not live in the real world…people go off. People disappear’, is unbelievable and must surely compound the distress felt by the brave families who told their stories.

During the documentary, Gerry Adams excused his lack of knowledge about the plight of the disappeared, including some from his own community saying that ‘if you don’t ask, you can’t tell.’

Well, Gerry Adams may not have asked, but he no longer has the excuse that he has not been told. Mr Adams now has the testimony of the families so it is time for Mr Adams and the republican movement to tell.

Sinn Féin may call for a truth process, but their calls are weakened by their unwillingness to tell the truth themselves. Mr Adams was involved in the republican movement when these terrible atrocities happened and he is in a leadership position now.

Yet, there must be a lot of people who are members and supporters of Sinn Féin now questioning whether Gerry Adams, in the light of the revelations in ‘The Disappeared’, can continue in this leadership role.

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