'BBC documentary on the Disappeared and Gerry Adams reminds us of Sinn Fein's unfitness for government'
"They were brave IRA Volunteers who like thousands of other men and women took up arms to defend their families and community, and to resist British oppression and injustice."
So said Gerry Adams at an IRA commemoration event in 2006.
The idea that the Provos were the gallant defenders of an oppressed nationalist minority is a cherished article of faith for republicans.
That is why Monday night’s documentary must have been particularly uncomfortable viewing for Sinn Feiners and their supporters.
The people abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA were not agents of British oppression. They weren’t even, like the nine innocent people murdered in the Shankill Bombing, Protestants.
I don't think we will see Sinn Fein MLAs ever attend events marking the contribution which “active service” IRA men made to the cause when they abducted and murdered Kevin McKee.
We are unlikely to hear them laud the "volunteers" who went out to abduct Charlie Armstrong while he made his way to Mass.
They won't hold any commutations on the anniversary of the abduction of Jean McConville, which left 10 children orphans.
There won’t be any republicans writing books about the day they took Jean McConville’s 11-year-old son and beat him up because he dared to suggest he would go to the police about the disappearance of his mother.
Sinn Fein would have us believe that they are genuine about wanting a "truth commission". The documentary reminded us that republicans are strangers to the concept.
Monday night forced all of us to face up to the heart of darkness in the politics of Northern Ireland. It reminded us of Sinn Fein’s total unfitness for government and exposed the utter absurdity of public servants like the Victims’ Commissioner refusing to say that the IRA were terrorists.