There’s a scene in The Sopranos where Carmella goes to see a therapist. After all, being married to a crime boss isn’t easy when you know your lifestyle is fueled by violence and crime. The therapist was blunt. He told her to leave their marriage without taking a single dime as all the money was spoiled. He would not pay for the session. If she didn’t, he would never see her again.
Armella was outraged. He did not care. The point, he told her, was that she could never say she wasn’t told.
It has become a creed of mine. No one can say they haven’t been told. Sinn Féin is high in the polls. Government seems inevitable. The younger generation has all signed up.
But I agree with Fintan O’Toole, I will never vote for them because I remember what they did.
And if some have forgotten or don’t care, or “contextualize” murder, or “reinvent” republicanism; and if the young women on the soccer team thought it was just a song; and if half the country votes for Sinn Féin anyway, that’s fair enough.
Just as the people have every right to vote for Trump and the Tories and the extreme right in Italy, they have every right to vote for Sinn Féin. Electing bad governments is not a threat to democracy. It’s democracy. But no one can say they haven’t been told. It was the same with Haughey. They were warned and did it anyway.
So let’s look at this week’s events.
There’s Jonathan Dowdall, former Sinn Féin councilman photographed with Mary Lou McDonald. Already convicted and jailed for torturing a man, he appeared as key witness against Gerry “The Monk” Hutch in the 2016 Regency Hotel gang killing.
At a normal party, calling Dowdall a bad apple would be easy enough. But in February, Claire Byrne asked Matt Carthy on her RTÉ1 show if Sinn Féin would rule out appointing people with criminal convictions as advisers once they came to power.
He flatly refused. Could we all stop for just a second and take this in?
When new governments come into power, the media make a huge fuss when someone’s sister or cousin gets a job as a secretary. Nevertheless, Sinn Féin does not rule out using criminals for these jobs.
Why do they want the right – why do they need the right – to give criminals jobs?
Then there is the new book by Shane Ross. In it, he asks how Mary Lou McDonald financed the renovation of her half-million-euro home in Cabra.
It’s a pretty simple question and I would be really stunned if it didn’t have a simple answer.
It is inconceivable that a prospective Taoiseach could not explain how his house was financed, especially someone as savvy as McDonald.
But when Ross asks the question, what’s the reaction? RTÉ Radio 1 organizes a taped interview in which he claims the subject is completely banned and then drops the interview anyway. That’s crazy. I’ve been bullied by Sinn Féin trolls from Twitter, but when every other broadcaster has happily interviewed Ross with no preconditions, what possible excuse can RTÉ have for refusing to air an interview where they didn’t even talk about the house ?
Then there is “Up the Ra”.
In a stream of non-sequiturs said Una Mullally The Irish Time it is condescending to accuse women footballers of not knowing what they are doing; They didn’t think deeply about what they sang, but that doesn’t mean they were superficial. She says we must not “patronize” young people for their “commitment to republicanism.”
Is it too condescending to explain to women footballers that the horrific scenes at Creeslough were a daily occurrence in this country this week? But they weren’t accidents. They were planned. Would it be too patronizing to enumerate the atrocities from Enniskillen to Warrington, when people, including children, were blown to pieces and thousands still live with horrific injuries and trauma?
Would that be too much “engagement” for the non-deep, non-shallow young people who may or may not know what they are doing as they sing songs celebrating terrorists blowing up children?
Of course, Michelle O’Neill says there’s no alternative to the hell they’ve inflicted on people, and Mary Lou McDonald said it’s all justified.
You are both wrong.
In every poll and election, up until the Belfast Accords, the overwhelming majority of people in the north, including nationalists, rejected republican violence and voted for the SDLP peace party over Sinn Féin. The people who experienced it knew there was an alternative and there was no justification for it.
O’Neill’s and McDonald’s insistence on justification exposes a grotesque moral framework. How is this implemented in government?
In summary: Sinn Féin refuses to appoint criminals to government positions. State broadcaster refuses to air an interview about McDonald and Sinn Féin leaders telling us terrorism is justified.
A third of people don’t seem to care because they think Sinn Féin will build more houses, although I bet they won’t, and even if they do, I don’t think selfishness trumps murder.
But Carmella went back to Tony and people will vote for Sinn Féin. When the price has to be paid – because a price is always paid – no one can say they haven’t been told.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/if-half-the-country-votes-for-sinn-fein-fair-enough-but-no-one-gets-to-say-they-werent-told-42068072.html If half the country votes for Sinn Féin, that’s fair enough. But no one can say they haven’t been told