Amid all the hoopla surrounding Mary Lou McDonald becoming President of Sinn Féin (is she the second woman to hold the office?), few are pointing out that this kinda thing rarely ends well.
Contrary to popular belief, Gerry Adams has not been there “forever”. In fact his immediate predecessor Ruaraí O’Bradaigh left Sinn Féin to become leader of Republican Sinn Féin and the leader before that was Tomás McGiolla who left to become the top man in “Official Sinn Féin” later Workers Party.
Some might say that Sinn Féin left O’Bradaigh and MacGiolla.
But Sinn Féin has the curious ability to re-write its own history. Purporting that Womens Suffrage was their idea in 1918 belies the fact that most of its candidates in the 1918 Election were in other parties within a few years and Sinn Féin was meaningless from the 1930s right thru to the early 1970s when as Brian Feeney observes it was little more than the parents and wives…the non-combatants who had relatives interned or imprisoned.
And the current campaign to show Sinn Féin as the party of Civil Rights seems a bit far-fetched even by their own standards of hypocrisy.
Indeed the relationship between IRA and Sinn Féin has not always been so close. Notably in the 1930s, there was a disconnect. A curious history in itself…the Crown Entry Raid, Spain for example. Christy Moore gets all eloquent about “Viva La Quinta Brigada”…but not so eloquent about the IRA in the Second World War.
Didn’t the great and good of Sinn Féin…including self-deluding lefties march from Parnell Square to Fairview to dedicate a statue to Sean Russell. The name may not be as familiar to you as Sean South and other post-war martyrs but he was Officer Commanding the IRA who died aboard a German U Boat during the Second World War.
Don’t mention it too loudly at the Felons Club but the IRA supported the Nazis. And don’t mention those bombers or alleged bombers who were hanged for the Coventry bombs.
That Sean Russell…much vandalised…is still in Fairview Park. Is that in Mary Lou McDonalds constituency. Maybe she should do something about it.
So the Jury is out. Is Mary Lou a “visionary, statesman and peacemaker” (no don’t laugh) like Gerry Adams or is she a defector like Ruairí O’Bradaigh and Tomás MacGiolla.