Tim McGarry: Thanks to the amnesty wheeze, Gerry Adams can admit he was in the Ra
I used to do a joke about Gerry Adams where Gerry would say “I was never in the IRA ... so why they made their leader, I’ve no idea.” (Editor- You had to be there)
To be fair to Gerry if there was an Olympic event called ‘spoofing’ he’d have won gold every four years since 1972. He has stuck to his denial guns without leaving any fingerprints. But he’s convincing no-one.
Was Gerry really in the IRA? It’s very much a case of ‘he says/ she says’.
Gerry says he wasn’t in the IRA.
On the other hand, historians, security sources, the police, the army, the Garda Siochana, journalists, documentary makers, politicians, republicans, his friends and acquaintances, informers, numerous ex-IRA people, anyone who is vaguely aware of him, and indeed the fabled urban canines, say that he definitely was.
So it’s a tough call.
But now thanks to Brandon and Boris’s great amnesty wheeze, in a few months Gerry will be completely freed from the threat of prosecution and so can finally unburden himself, tell the truth and admit that he was in the Ra.
I’m sure it will be a great weight off his shoulders, as denying the undeniable must be mentally exhausting.
When Gerry does finally cough up, it will come as a huge shock to absolutely no-one.
Finding out that Sam McBride heats his house with an RHI boiler. That would be a shock.
(Editor — I’m pretty sure Sam doesn’t, but please check this. I don’t want Sam suing me)
Finding out that Gerry was in the Ra, well it’s a bit like finding out that Robin Swann didn’t get picked for his school basketball team.
• Despite writing for the News Letter for several months now I have not been head hunted and given my own show on GB News.
But best wishes and God speed to Arlene Foster who has now joined the likes of Nigel Farage on the self-proclaimed anti-woke news channel.
She’s doing a show with Nigel.
The Farage and Foster Show.
They should definitely shorten that to FFS.
Arlene is still an MLA.
We always suspected that being an MLA was a part-time job but really Arlene, there’s no need to rub it in.
• At the risk of being accused of virtue-signalling I must tell you that I made a donation to Unicef this week for their Give the World A Shot Campaign (@unicef.org).
They are aiming to deliver two billion Covid vaccines to poorer countries. I did this partly because it is a great cause, partly to feel good about myself but mainly to annoy those anti-vax numpties who were protesting on Saturday.
While billions of people across the globe are crying out for vaccinations we had people in Belfast chanting “You can shove your vaccine up your ... (the place where that England fan lit his flare)”.
Anti-vaxxers were out on the streets all over the world on Saturday in depressingly large numbers.
I accept that some of the protestors have legitimate concerns about vaccine passports and civil liberties and some may have genuine fears, but, Jesus wept, some of the speakers at the London rally, were clearly off the scale dangerously deluded dingbats.
One of the speakers compared our doctors and nurses to Nazis.
Let’s face it, if you’re on the same side of David Icke — the man who thinks the Queen is a lizard — you’re on the wrong side.
So please — annoy a dingbat. Get the vaccine!
And if you’ve a few quid to spare, donate to Unicef.
• You say Northern Ireland, I say occupied six-county statelet
In an increasingly desperate attempt to get myself an OBE I am going on the road with Dr David Hume with our cross-community Centenary history show The Long and the Short of Partition.
David will be celebrating 100 years of Northern Ireland with a birthday cake and I’ll be gate-crashing the party and trying to burst his balloons.
David and I have now done seven series of our Irish history programme the Long and the Short Of it on BBC Radio Ulster. The most recent series is still available on the BBC Sounds App.
We have now mastered the art of respectful disagreement. So in the live show there will be history, debate, argument and a lot of humour. There will be fireworks, but they’ll be mainly metaphorical.
David and I come from slightly different perspectives and have minor disagreements. Well I say minor, they’re usually over stupid things like names. For instance I have to report that David Hume often uses the ‘N word’ — Northern Ireland.
David calls this place Northern Ireland or ‘the province’ whereas as I prefer the more nuanced ‘occupied six-county gerrymandered sectarian orange statelet’. It’s a mouthful, but in my view, more historically accurate.
To be perfectly honest, I never call it the ‘Occupied Six-County Gerrymandered Sectarian Orange Statelet’ but I just want to see those words printed in the News Letter.
This week David said the phrase I use was not only completely inaccurate but unnecessarily long. And then he told me “We’ve got a show in Londonderry.”
We’re in the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall in Derry on Saturday 31st as part of the New Gate Festival and then in the Stormont Hotel on 6th August as part of the East Side Arts Festival.
And to celebrate the centenary the drinks are on David — diluted orange juice only.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers — and consequently the revenue we receive — we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.