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Adams' flippant comment comparing treatment of blacks in US to Catholics here totally inappropriate

Published 05/05/2016

Everybody has complaints - Catholics and Protestants. There is always something you can complain about. But to try and make Northern Ireland Catholics look like black people in the United States (News, May 3) is completely absurd.

I'm absolutely horrified at Gerry Adams' comments. It's an insult to black people.

If black people were treated in the United States the way Catholics were treated in Northern Ireland, black people would think they'd won the Lottery.

Black people had to walk on the other side of the street; they had to move to the back of the bus.

If the bus pulled up to a bus-stop and there were whites standing there and the bus was full, they threw the black people off the bus.

When I came to the United States they were hanging black people from lampposts and trees in the centres of cities and towns on a regular basis. Black people had no voting rights.

I don't ever believe, when I lived in Northern Ireland, that any of that happened to Catholics.

The problem with Gerry Adams (and the same with the Rev Ian Paisley) was that neither of them understood what happened in the United States.

The people of Northern Ireland have no idea - even today - what happens in the United States, so they play this fear and race card.

Americans had no idea - absolutely no idea, then or today - what happens in Northern Ireland, so it was easy to come out with these outrageous statements to get people all amped up.

They used to say Catholics weren't allowed to work in Northern Ireland in post offices and the police. I knew and played golf with lots of Catholics who were in the police force. I worked with lots of Catholics who worked in the post office.

I don't see anybody in Northern Ireland commenting on, or referring to, what really happened to black people. And none of it happened to the Catholics of Northern Ireland - not even close.

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