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Sinn Fein need to leave sinister threats in past

THERE was something buffoonish about Bobby Storey's boast on a platform in west Belfast with Martin McGuinness that, "they haven't gone away, you know".

It was at once sinister – in the sense that it was an attempt to be sinister – and yet it was also quite amusing, in that Storey sounded like a punch-drunk boxer trying to convince a crowd who once looked up to him that he was fit for another fight. Whether sinister, or amusing, he was restating one of the few quotes that Gerry Adams has given to the political sphere. John Hume used to be criticised for his 'single transferable speech', yet his words have been enshrined in the political process.

He will be remembered by the Irish people for ever, while Gerry Adams will be remembered for the threats he issued.

The threats can only be regarded as an empty promise from Sinn Fein leaders, in view of the toll their struggle exerted on the nationalist people.

In fact, during the Troubles, there were 15,000 republican prisoners serving 120,000 years in total in jail. That is a tremendously sad statistic.

There can never be a return to 'armed struggle', or 'the tactical use of human suffering', for the simple reason that it achieved nothing. Sinn Fein is not being rewarded by voters for their armed struggle, but for their movement away from it.

Like other parties, Sinn Fein is trapped in the political process. They need to forget about threats.

JOHN O'CONNELL

Derry

Belfast Telegraph

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