Gerry Adams.

Richard Bos Richard.Bos at
Fri Oct 11 05:58:21 MDT 1996

Matt D. wrote:
> I wonder if the comrades in Britain would be so kind to reflect a bit on
> Adam's role in the whole situation over there.  If someone could clarify
> what exactly -- or speculatively -- Adam's role is vis-a-vis the armed
> wing of the IRA/Sinn Fein, I'd sure appreciate it.
> -- Matt D.

If you want to know more about the role of Gerry Adams; I would highly
recommend his new book. It should not be forgotten that the IRA and Sinn
Fein are different organisations with different leaderships, and
members. Do not confuse the policies, and practise, of one with the

This is from last week's New Worker for those who haven't read it

Gerry Adams puts peace process top of the agenda

by Caroline Colebrook

SINN Fein Ieader Gerry Adams last week gave journalists a run down on
his efforts since last February to save the peace process in the
occupied six counties of the north of Ireland.

 "I and John Hume (the leader of the SDLP) met IRA representatives in
February and we have had regular meetings since. We are trying to create
the conditions where the peace process can go forward.

 "What is required is all-party round table talks. And what is needed
>from Major are measures to build confidence.

 "Throughout the 18 months cease-fire, he did not respond in the way
people had hoped." And he added that he wanted to play a positive role
in renewing  the peace process.

 He was speaking to journalists at the Irish Centre in Camden, north
London at a press conference called to launch his latest autobiography
Before the Dawn.

 But he also hoped to use his visit to Britain to continue his work to
revive the peace process.

And it was in this context that he planned to meet Labour MPs Jeremy
Corbyn and Tony Benn for talks at the House of Commons.

 The meeting was to have been on Thursday 26 September but a few days
before, police raided several addresses in and around London, shot one
unarmed IRA suspect and arrested four others and claimed to have found
large quantities of explosives and bomb-making equipment.

 The consequent media focus on IRA activity led to objections to the
planned Gerry Adams meeting from right-wing Tory MPs and pressure on
Labour leader Tony Blair to stop it. He bowed to the pressure and
threatened to expel Corbyn and Benn from the Parliamentary Labour Party
if the meeting went ahead.

 Gerry Adams then pulled out of the House of Commons meeting because the
media controversy over it was proving a distraction from the main
purpose of his visit -- to promote the peace process.

 At the Camden press conference, he said: "It is clear that the Labour
Party leadership had placed Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn in an untenable
position. I came here as a guest. I have no wish to create difficulties,
especially for Jeremy or Tony, or those others, who have taken a
progressive position on Ireland.

 "The internal Labour Party dispute -- which is in effect a
McCarthy-style witch hunt -has been a major distraction from the real

 "However, in deference to Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Benn, I have asked
them to postpone our planned meeting this morning.

 "The real shadow hanging over this meeting is the vacuum -- the very
fragile, dangerous situation -- which exists at this moment. It is this
crisis, over the absence of a real peace process in Ireland, which we
should all be focusing on now with urgency and which the two
governments, but especially Mr Major needs to tackle.

 "The onus is on the British government to rebuild a peace process which
its attitude undermined and which eventually collapsed."

 The meeting with the two Labour MPs did go ahead at a different venue.
Gerry Adams described it as "very useful and informative"

 And he pointed out that over recent years he has met in the House of
Commons and the House of Lords, leading members of all the main British
political parties. "I will expect to do so again," he said.

And it is because prospects for the peace process will be raised under a
Labour government-which will not be in thrall to Unionist MPs for its
majority in the House of Commons- that Gerry Adams refused to be drawn
into attackng the Labour leadership.

 On the shooting of unarmed IRA suspect Diarmuid O'Neill, Gerry Adams
warned not to accept the police version of events "At first, they merely
said, when asked by the media, that there had been a gunfight.

 "Now we know all the shots were fired by those who killed him. He
didn't even have a gun. What other lies are they telling us?"

 Describing his book, Gerry Adams said it was about a community in
struggle and the way in which different members of that community react
to their situation.

 Journalists questioned him aggressively on one passage which showed the
struggle through the eyes of an IRA sniper. He denied it was based on
personal experience or that he had ever been a member of the IRA.

 "It could just as easily have been a scene through the eyes of an SAS
man" he said.


      New Worker Online

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