Thursday 4 February 2016

History Repeating

With an election looming, this is an appropriate time to revisit a Sunday Independent article from December 23, 2001 by John A. Murphy, Emeritus Professor of Irish History at University College Cork. Professor Murphy wrote the article following a visit to Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, by Gerry Adams and his party's attempts to gain maximum publicity in this country and across the Irish Sea.

The following is a brief extract:
...With the imminent prospect here of a general election in which Sinn Fein is expected to do well, nobody should be under any illusions about that party. Its members are still ambivalent about their commitment to parliamentary democracy. For the foreseeable future, they are likely to have a military wing, with all that implies for exercising extra-parliamentary clout and muscle. 
The President of Sinn Fein has referred to the illegal and anti-constitutional IRA as "a people's army...responsive to their needs and enjoying their genuine allegiance". Sinn Fein is in government in the North, but nevertheless orchestrated violent protest in South Armagh against the new police service a fortnight ago. In North Kerry, vigilante activity has once again reared its ugly head. 
The lesson is clear. In a tight parliamentary situation after the general election, any prospective government must rule out Sinn Fein not only as a component of coalition, but also as a supporting extra-coalition "independent" group. 
I want to avail of the opportunity to add my own rider: when voters go to the polls in the forthcoming General Election, not alone should they take the sentiments expressed in the above article on board but they should also refrain from having the country held to ransom by Bolshevik-loving and other anarchic-type candidates who are offering themselves for election.

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