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Scepticism over Ed Maloney book in Gerry Adams’ political heartland

On a damp and dreary day in west Belfast life went on as normal despite the explosive allegations against Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

In the shadow of the iconic Bobby Sands mural on the Falls Road in Adams’ republican heartland, constituents were divided as to whether claims made in Ed Maloney’s book will damage the local MP.

Mr Maloney’s book is based on interviews given by senior republican Brendan ‘Darkie’ Hughes, a former close friend of Mr Adams, before he died in February 2008.

Yesterday shoppers on the Falls Road painted a mixed picture of uncertainty and scepticism in light of the allegations. Some deemed the claims old news while others questioned the words from beyond the grave.

Brendan Laughlin (56), from west Belfast, said: “They are not revelations and I do not see what the problem is. It is part of the war and we can have a war mentality now or we can have one of peace.

“These things Mr Maloney says are to make money and good luck to him.”

Philip Crory (34), a hospital worker from Lagmore, said: “It has not changed my opinion of him. It was all said years ago and people already knew it. I do not think it will hurt him at all.”

Some of the shoppers, however, thought Mr Adams should admit to any involvement.

Colette Doyle (45), a health visitor from west Belfast, said: “I think what happened to Jean McConville was awful and if he did it he should be ashamed and the family should know. It has not changed my opinion of him though as it’s nothing we haven’t already heard.”

Verona McCavana (50), a teacher from Dunmurry, also said: “It has not changed what I think about him.”

Uncertainties over the truth of what is written in the book were made by people in the Falls Road area.

Mr Adams has consistently denied the allegations which have been put to him about his involvement in the IRA and the murder of Mrs McConville.

Criostoir Ohasaiad (25), a student from Ballynahinch, said: “You have to take it at face value. He is trying to sell books. We are all part of the peace process and he has written books before which have not all been completely true. But I do not think it will affect him, he is a strong leader.”

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