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Adams comments on Dolours Price Interview

18 February, 2010 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams answering questions today at the unveiling of a mural in Beechmount Avenue in west Belfast on this morning’s interview with Dolours Price in the Irish News said:

“There are lots of citizens who served in the IRA and they did so diligently and to the best of their ability.

When they had finished that they went back into civilian life, and got on with their lives, and some continue to be involved in politics through community organisations or Sinn Féin or other organisations.

Many of them suffered imprisonment injury or the loss of friends and comrades. All can look back on their IRA involvement with pride.

Some disagree profoundly with the Sinn Fein leadership, for reasons of vanity and ego; others because they disagreed with the direction the struggle has gone, and it is clear also that some people have been traumatised as part of their experience in the IRA. And by her own admission Dolours appears to be one of those.

I think we have a duty of solidarity to all former combatants, as we would with anyone coming out of conflict.

It is also important that we don’t lose sight of the people who were killed and buried by the IRA – and there has been an ongoing effort to get those remains back. I think we have to be very measured about how we deal with all of these events.

Dolours has set her self against the Sinn Féin leadership on many occasions. But I was very moved by her admission that she is suffering from trauma.

There obviously are issues that she has to find closure on for herself and there’s no point anyone in these situations blaming anyone else - it’s up to her and she needs support to come to terms with all of this.

However, she is not alone. There are other former vulnerable republican activists who have or are suffering trauma and who have been cynically exploited by some elements of the media.”

Responding to a question about the role of the smaller parties following on from the agreement at Hillsborough Gerry Adams said:

“The Agreement at Hillsborough is quite significantly different from the other big agreements that have been made, in that for example, the Democratic Unionist Party refused to support the Good Friday Agreement, they have cherry picked the St. Andrews agreement, but the agreement at Hillsborough is a home bred, indigenous agreement and all the parties need to come in behind it.

You will always find something to disagree with in any accord. There are aspects of this agreement which I would have preferred were more republican proofed but this agreement is to satisfy everybody. The other parties I think are playing politics with aspects of this and just need to get in behind what the vast majority of people want. They know that what was agreed at Hillsborough was a bit of a watershed in recent years

I can’t believe, given the UUP’s role in brokering the Good Friday Agreement, the UUP were the trail blazers within unionism at that time, I can’t believe the UUP will not agree to disagree on some issue but, agree to the thrust of what is on offer. We can all have reservations but let’s sign on for the big picture.” CRÍOCH

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