It matters not if Adams is a member of the IRA

I WAS completely underwhelmed by Matt Cooper’s piece on December 17.

Neither all the queen’s horses nor all the queen’s men, exhausting what Gladstone called “the resources of civilisation” could prove Gerry Adams’s membership of the IRA.

So who am I, or Mr Cooper, to doubt his word? I don’t think it matters now, nor ever has, to those who vote Sinn Féin.

It’s not as if Sinn Féin is particularly irregular. From 1912 onwards various Unionist parties had their own Ulster Freikorps.

And Garret Fitzgerald, as a senator, could serve on the Fine Gael Front Bench without joining the party. But if that was a misfortune, consider the carelessness of John A Costello, who remarked to Garret: “Forty years in politics, twice Taoiseach, never joined Fine Gael.”

If Gerry Adams’s remarks on the IRA scandalise your polite readers, they should look away before considering these of Mr Costello in the Dáil in 1934- “the Backshirts were victorious in Italy, the Hitler Shirts were victorious in Germany ... as assuredly the Blueshirts will be victorious in the Irish Free State.”

Nior thainig a la for 14 years, and then only with the “kiss of life” from Sean McBride, an IRA man when Costello made that speech.

It would be a shame if future leaders were as oblivious of the past that they couldn’t laugh at Cooper’s fastidious pretensions.

Donal Kennedy

London N13


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