I think people are being a little previous in assuming that because he has handed over the keys of the castle to Mary Lou, Gerry Adams will retire quietly to his hideaway in Donegal to prune trees.
He’s not that sort of guy. And when you’ve been living in the spotlight for decades, it’s difficult to give it up. Human beings like the attention and it can become addictive. In Adams’ case there also that uncompleted journey thing, in his case a journey to recognition (of his achievement in ending the IRA) and for want of a better word, respectability.
I think he would have been happier retiring from the SF leadership having got his party into government in both parts of the island. But that ain’t going to happen now.
We don’t yet know whether Michael D will stand again but I do wonder if there is a contest that he will relish the idea of a long and tiring campaign. All of which add a certain piquancy to Mary Lou’s call yesterday at the special SF ard-fheis that crowned her queen, for a contest this year for the Irish presidency.
Could she mean Gerry Adams should stand? He would need to do a makeover on his image, of course, which might prove difficult, what with outstanding issues connected to the disappeared still unresolved and a Gardai investigation underway into the killing of Tom Oliver, which will focus not least on the identity of the IRA leader who turned down an appeal for clemency from the people who actually killed him.
On the bright side, possibly, Adams plans to sue the BBC in a Dublin court this autumn for libel over the killing of IRA double agent, Denis Donaldson. His lawyer is Paul Tweed, who apparently strikes fear wherever he steps. Should he win that case, the media will be a little more careful about linking him so clearly with the IRA during the hustings.
He might though be better advised waiting till the 2025 presidential election because by then it is possible that the Irish diaspora will have won the right to vote in Irish presidential elections. A referendum has been promised for this year and if successful could come into play in the election after the next. Irish-America could come out as one for Adams.
He will be well into his seventies by then but around the same age as Michael D is now.
If I am right then Gerry Adams most definitely will not go away.
Watch this space. Like the Skibbereen Eagle, this blog will continue to keep an eye on him!