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Gerry Adams’ arrest politics of the dead

By Finian Cunningham | Press TV | May 1, 2014

There seems little doubt that the arrest of Irish republican leader Gerry Adams this week over alleged involvement in a tragic murder 44 years ago is politically motivated.

The political interests pushing this agenda have no respect for victims of Ireland’s recent 30-year conflict. These interests are being selective in their focus on victims, cynically vying for political gain, and in particular to damage the rise of Sinn Fein, the Irish republican party.

Later this month, Ireland is heading into European Parliamentary elections, which up to now was promising to see major electoral gains for Sinn Fein, the party of which Adams has been president of since 1983.

In recent years, Sinn Fein has emerged has the fastest growing political party in both the British-occupied north and the independent southern state. It has become the second biggest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, while in the southern legislative chamber, Dail Eireann, Sinn Fein has seen its number of parliamentarians expand three-fold over the past three elections to become an increasingly pivotal force there.

Sinn Fein can rightly claim to be the only all-Ireland party with representatives and organizational structure that transcend the British-imposed border, which partitions the island into northern and southern jurisdictions. Sinn Fein is distinguished from all other political parties by its manifesto calling for a united, independent country.

That manifesto not only threatens the British interest of maintaining its political presence in the North of Ireland; the so-called Irish political parties in the South of Ireland also see their establishment interests challenged by the growing popular support for Sinn Fein and its calls to shake-up the stagnant status quo on both sides of the border.

This is the important context in which the Sinn Fein leader was taken into custody this week by police in Northern Ireland. Adams has not been charged but his arrest over the murder took many observers by surprise, coming seemingly out of the blue. The allegations will revive memories of a dark episode in Ireland’s 30-year conflict.

The murder in question is that of a Belfast woman, Jean McConville, who was abducted and killed by the Provisional IRA in 1972. McConville was a widow and mother of 10 children, aged 38 when she died. The IRA claimed that the woman was an informer to the British army during the conflict that saw Belfast plunged into chaos and violence for nearly three decades. The McConville family always vehemently denied their mother was an informer, and a police investigation conducted years later cleared the deceased woman of any such activity.

Sinn Fein is the political wing of the IRA, and Gerry Adams has long been alleged to be a senior member of the guerrilla organization, which laid down its arms as part of the Irish peace settlement signed in 1998. As an alleged commander of the IRA during the 1970s in Belfast, Adams is accused of overseeing the assassination of Jean McConville.

The Sinn Fein president denies any involvement in the abduction and murder. This week, before his arrest, Adams described the allegations as “malicious” and aimed at damaging his party politically, especially on the eve of European-wide elections.

Certainly, the accusations against Adams are not new. In recent years, two former senior IRA members, Brendan Hughes and Dolores Price, made separate claims that Adams ordered the execution of Jean McConville. Female IRA member Dolores Price said before her own death last year that she abducted McConville on direct orders from Adams and drove the mother to the place of her execution.

McConville’s body was found in August 2003, nearly 31 years after her murder. Her remains had been buried on a beach in Shelling Hill, County Louth, across the border in the South of Ireland. The IRA had already admitted to the murder in 1999, while still maintaining that McConville was an informer. It offered an apology to the family and provided information to locate her burial site.

The grief of the McConville family is surely poignant. Ten young children were left without a mother and the family was subsequently split up and taken into social care.

But there are thousands of other such family tragedies during the conflict that engulfed Northern Ireland between 1968-1998. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters were shot dead by British army soldiers and pro-British paramilitaries who were directed by London’s military intelligence to instil terror in the civilian population and to deter its right to Irish freedom. Thousands of lives were ruined and traumatized by a conflict that the British government bears a heavy responsibility for but for which it has always evaded.

The southern Irish political establishment has a lot to answer for too. It largely turned its back on the plight of many citizens in the north when they were being subjected to ruthless British militarism.

Indeed, the southern Irish ruling class collaborated with Britain to suppress the freedom movement that re-emerged in the British-occupied northern state during the 1960s.

Today, the South of Ireland jurisdiction – which pompously and fraudulently refers to itself as “the Republic of Ireland” – is the apotheosis of the Irish republic that generations of Irish people have fought and died for.

It is a bankrupt state of huge social inequality and poverty, overseen by crony political parties who made their peace with British imperialism when the island was partitioned in 1920 – thus betraying the cause of Irish republicanism that sought to set up a unified, independent state free from British domination.

Sinn Fein, the original party that led Irish independence more than a century ago, is again in the ascendancy, both north and south. It is this political threat that most probably explains the sudden rekindling of interest in the tragic murder of Jean McConville more four decades ago. The place where her remains were found 10 years ago, County Louth, is the electoral constituency that Gerry Adams represents today in the southern parliament, having been elected to the seat in 2011.

Jean McConville’s family deserve the truth and justice. So do thousands of other Irish families. But for these other families, the British and Dublin governments and their lickspittle media show little interest towards. Both the London and Dublin governments continue to refuse the setting up an independent truth commission into all conflict-related deaths. The selective focus on one victim strongly suggests manipulation of a single family’s grief for cynical political purposes. That’s not justice. It’s grubby politicking.

May 1, 2014 - Posted by | Aletho News | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Had not looked into Irish politics, makes sense, the British establishment do not want another separation here referring to Scotland, not so surprising the MI5, want to frame Gerry, as those who know the British Government will go to any ends to achieve their goals, what to me is surprising the Elite of Britain will murder with impunity, whosoever is in their way of political power, having got away with murder for centuries as a system they have found this expedient answer to the evil of what their goals are, all systems that work seem to come to a end, will Britain collapse, and become a burning ember of a sun that once shone for the few?

    Like

    Comment by donwreford | May 2, 2014 | Reply


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