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After Adams (et al)… October 12, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

IEL had a very thought-provoking point recently in regard to Sinn Féin, how matters might change for them in the period after Gerry Adams leaves the leadership of SF.

He argues that:

I wonder too would it make sense for Adams, Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris to retire at the next election and leave a future SF Parliamentary Party , for want of a better expression, clean of the troubles.

Of course this has to be hedged with caveats. For a start SF without Adams et al is still going to be SF. Those who are still involved are those who have been attached to the project for years.

But there are aspects of this that work many different ways. For some Adams et al are tokens of the project, the credibility of it as it were. You may laugh, but well myself and Joe who comments on here remember being in the WP in, what was it, 1986 when one P. de Rossa was despatched from head office to assure us that our local candidate would stay on the straight and narrow.Now, I’m not suggesting that the trajectory of Adams is going to be one that follows that of that other luminary but you cannot buy that sort of authority and credibility. And it essential in maintaining coherence and cohesiveness.

Sure, all this is largely cosmetic. None of what I mention is impossible with Adams outside the Dáíl, but Adams inside the Dáil has been of enormous assistance in so many different ways. That point about being a token of the project has many different aspects – for example it ensure Belfast has a figure actually in the Dáil and visibly so, and so on.

So, a big question is how to retain that sort of a link, perhaps after Adams someone else from the North will be brought in as candidate for his seat.

And beyond that what is the cost benefit analysis?


1. EWI - October 12, 2016

I wonder too would it make sense for Adams, Dessie Ellis and Martin Ferris to retire at the next election and leave a future SF Parliamentary Party , for want of a better expression, clean of the troubles.

Has he ever actually studied the tactics of the modern Irish media? Absent Adams, they’ll shift to a concern-trolling narrative about PSF ‘abandoning’ its core constituencies.

Liked by 1 person

WorldbyStorm - October 12, 2016

In fairness IEL was just musing about the possible effects – I don’t think he was suggesting it one way or another. I do agree though that there would be a shift to another concern. That’s the nature of them.


2. Mick Hall - October 12, 2016

This should be a very good thread if others post to it, what always surprised me about Adams critics, especially the republican ones, is they believe Gerry presence at the top of Sinn Féin damages the party. Within the media Ed Moloney falls into this group, AM within the republicans although in a different way. I do not see it myself but I would be very interested in what others think.

One of the problems for him if he retires is the media and security forces may target him like vultures, as one former UDA chief said, ‘there is no redundancy in my job,” having said that when he did go he seems to have lived a life untouched. But given all senior members of that organisation had a ‘relationship’ with the police or Mi5 things may be different for Gerry.

As a man who is of the same generation as Gerry I cannot but marvel at the man’s stamina year after year.


3. Joe - October 12, 2016

Would it be true to say that Gerry/Gerry’s leadership group has retained control of off-the-pitch PIRA, even though Gerry himself is not in person part of the leadership of off-the-pitch PIRA?
So the same will probably be the case whenever Gerry steps down from the presidency of SF?


4. roddy - October 12, 2016

As far as I am concerned Adams should stay for decades more.Only ill health caused Fidel to step down and he was doing a good job when much older than Adams.Those “outsiders” calling for Gerry to go secretly hate the fact that he is held in high regard by anti imperialist governments and movements worldwide.In fact the other party leaders are barely known on the world stage while Adams is instantly recognizable.

Liked by 1 person

5. benmadigan - October 12, 2016

does anyone ever ask why there’s such long-term clamour north and south about Adams’ resignation? What’s he doing that so many people want rid of him? is the fact of his existence simply a major irritation?


6. Dr.Nightdub - October 13, 2016

I think in recent years (since the GFA), Adams’ role has been that of figurehead as much as anything. Being TD for Louth seems such a comedown from being head of a widespread popular revolt against British imperialism, but it’s like his management of the peace process has somehow earned him the right to his pipe and slippers as he grows old.
I’m not that exercised over whether the O/C of the Ballymurphy ‘RA became Chief of Staff of the whole thing, more so the impression that he’s simply stopped trying the last few years.
At this stage, he reminds me of the tired old Fenians that were run out of the IRB in the run up to 1916.


EWI - October 13, 2016

He reminds me strongly of de Valera at this point, actually. In more ways than one.


7. roddy - October 13, 2016

Aye , that dancing at the crossroads with Rose Conway Walsh during the last election campaign was straight out of the Dev handbook!


EWI - October 13, 2016

Cool. Is there Youtube video?


Michael Carley - October 13, 2016
8. Jim Monaghan - October 13, 2016

If Adams was an RTE star, there would be no talk of him retiring. Oh I forget, a media star as Pat Kenny is no longer with RTE. Oh and the sub text of distancing SF from the troubles. The reason we have minimum troubles could be said because of the lack of distance.Most of us hope that the dissidents do not gain traction. If SF fades in teh 6 counties, I hope they will be replaced by PbP, but it could easily be some variant of the dissident spectrum. I would guess that for many in SF, the danger is the party and movement drifting to becoming a new FF.For many in the media the people who defended the ghettos and took on the drug kingpins in Dublin are a bit too raw.The Concerned Parents were considered the “real” problem by respectable opinion. They have left the scene and we have open warfare between drug gangs. But not to worry. Poor people need respectable people with degrees and good table manners to represent them.

Oh I think Adams should go. But that is up to SF and himself.


9. Joe - October 13, 2016

I don’t really buy the argument that if Adams went and was replaced by, say, McDonald or Doherty, that SF support in the south would rise further. The idea that Adams has the whiff of cordite and that stops some people in the south voting for SF. I don’t think so.
I think SF have reached their peak in the south now and can stay there or thereabouts for a while but won’t go a lot higher, with or without Adams in charge.


10. roddy - October 13, 2016

EWI – Google “strictly Mayo-Broadsheet ie”.I would put the video on this site only I don’t know how to!


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