Response to Boston Globe 1/7 Article “Adams’ Secret, Now His Shame”
January 8th, 2010
Boston, MA 02205-5819
Thomas Gagen’s “Adams’s secret, now his shame”(1/7) was an attempt at character assassination of Irish political leader Gerry Adams which misfires on several fronts.
The author strains to link Ireland’s clerical abuse scandal, the presumed allegations in a yet to be published book of a dead IRA commander ( a bitter opponent of the Belfast Agreement), and claims of sexual abuse against Adams brother, not Adams himself, more than 20 years ago to justify a call to “..leave politics..”. Does it surprise anyone that this ‘story’ emerges as Gerry Adams is demanding the British return policing and justice powers to the government in Northern Ireland as part of the peace pact? Some of Britain’s most strategic victories in the Irish conflict have been achieved in the U. S. media. Smearing politicians is just another tool in the arsenal of weapons.
But no one could deny the biggest victory for the British was their 80 year subjugation of the Catholic minority in carefully crafted ghettos like West Belfast with social ills like substance abuse, suicide, domestic violence, high unemployment, family disintegration and, yes, sexual abuse. Add to this volatile mixture an armed force of bigoted thugs (in and out of uniforms) who murdered over a 1000 Catholics including six of the Sinn Fein’s leaders elected colleagues and Mr. Gagen’s claims and demands seem farcical.
I worked with Mr. Adams here and in Ireland and his concern for the families of soldiers of the IRA, for the imprisoned, and for the many victims of British oppression was real, personal and apparent when he spoke. Whether in arms or in election campaigns, Adams sought to bring the peace that now is taking hold in the North. I view every senseless smear as further proof of his threat to ending the last vestiges of colonial rule in Ulster.
Michael J. Cummings
Member, National Board
Irish American Unity Conference