Under Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein amounts to a malignant growth on the whole island
Is the party being damaged by revelations of a vicious bullying culture
I don’t like pussyfooting, so let me — as Gerry Adams is wont to say — be very clear. Sinn Fein/IRA is a cancer, a malignant growth on the island of Ireland. The republican movement is still run by the remnants of those who controlled the IRA during those decades of murder, torture and destruction and it remains brutal and anti-democratic to its core.
Its leaders have so brainwashed and corrupted later generations that they help spread the cancer that is worship of past political violence, and display contempt for truth, integrity and morality.
I was encouraged during and since the Easter 1916 centenary commemorations in the Republic of Ireland that so many Irish people were looking back on their history and questioning if political violence should be celebrated.
Indeed, in the official ceremonies there was a serious attempt to express sadness at the loss of all lives involved and to recognise also the suffering and heroism of the 200,000 or so Irishmen who fought in the First World War, including the enormous number who were spurned when they came back home because they were on “the wrong side of history”.
While the 76 rebels who died at the time of the Easter Rising were heroes whose memorials were lavishly scattered all over Ireland, the 30,000 killed fighting the Kaiser were an embarrassment to nationalist families.
There is, of course, no doubt or self-questioning about the past among devout followers of the Sinn Fein cult who are still revelling in a gory past.
On September 24 they will bring children to Strabane to commemorate 59 members of the IRA’s Tyrone Brigade and three Sinn Fein activists who were killed during what they euphemistically call “the conflict” and are listed on the national republican roll of honour.
In other words, they were people who murdered or condoned the murder of their neighbours in pursuit of power.
Sinn Fein is encouraging republicans “from near and afar” to come along to “honour the memory of the patriot republican dead of Tyrone with pride”.
The main speaker will be Mary Lou McDonald, who hopes to lead Sinn Fein in the Republic if Gerry Adams ever steps down.
Middle class, clever, university-educated Mary Lou is required frequently to compensate for never having killed anyone by eulogising those who did.
She was blooded in 2003 when she passed a loyalty test with flying colours by speaking at a rally honouring Sean Russell, the IRA chief of staff who in 1940 died on a German U-boat taking him home from explosives training in Nazi Germany.
Since then she has climbed the Sinn Fein ladder through obsequious endorsement of terrorists.
She is an enthusiastic participant in the suppression of truth, the demonisation of political opponents and the fomenting of the chaos and crisis on which Sinn Fein thrives.
“I believe Gerry,” she cries as he denies, denies, denies and talks peace in theory, as in practice he encourages division, resentment, anger, rage, hatred and fear.
Michelle O’Neill, Adams’ other senior — but much less bright — female puppet seems never happier than when celebrating murderers.
There are decent local politicians in Sinn Fein who don’t realise what they’re part of. Recently, several disillusioned members have had the courage to go public about the widespread and vicious bullying they say they’ve experienced for expressing unwanted opinions.
But what else would you expect of a movement that has only recently given up disciplining its people with the help of bullets and iron bars?
Or a party whose leader can dismiss the murder of Tom Oliver, a farmer whose crime was to tell the Garda about a barrel on his land, as a “politically motivated” killing for which no one should be jailed.
Should Sinn Fein get into coalition in the Republic it will be a dark, dark day for the whole island. We have to hope that the flood of evidence about the party’s undemocratic and brutal core is waking up southern voters. They need to realise that the best thing to do with a cancer is to cut it out.
Ruth Dudley Edwards is the author of The Seven: The Lives And Legacies Of The Founding Fathers Of The Irish Republic