Let this be a warning to you all. You should always read what Danny Morrison writes, even though, as those who have perused the pages of ‘West Belfast’ know to their cost, it might seem like an awful lot to ask.
Thanks to C.D.C. Armstrong writing in today’s News Letter for pointing out something which passed by everyone else, buried not too deeply in a piece Danny Morrison wrote in The Irish Times on February 9th to coincide with Gerry Adams’ ‘retirement’ as leader of Sinn Fein.
Here it is:
I have known Gerry Adams 46 years. In 1975, as editor of Republican News, I asked him would he write a weekly column from Long Kesh, which he did under the pen man (sic) Brownie.
The significance of this lies in an article written by ‘Brownie’ and published in the Danny Morrison-edited Republican News back in May 1976, part of which reads as follows:
Rightly or wrongly, I’m an IRA volunteer and rightly or wrongly, I take a course of action as a means of bringing about a situation in which I believe the people of my country will prosper.
To put it mildly Morrison’s Irish Times’ article flies in the face of all the denials emanating from Adams and Morrison back in the 1990’s that Brownie was Adams and that this quote in particular amounted to an admission of IRA membership by the SF padrone.
When that quote emerged publicly in the 1990’s there was a furious counter offensive by the Provos, the highlight of which was the appearance of Adams’ faithful umbrella stand, Richard McAuley to admit responsibility. He had written those words that week, not Gerry, he claimed.
This was awful nonsense, which most Provos immediately knew, although they mostly kept silent. At that time, May 1976, Long Kesh was bitterly divided. One camp was led by the OC, David Morley who gave his support to Ruairi O Bradaigh and Daithi O Conaill in Dublin. Ranged against Morley were the militant, and militarist, Cage Eleven dissidents led by Adams/Bell/Hughes.
Richard McAuley was in the Morley camp in those days, although he may not care to be reminded of that, and there was no way he would have volunteered or have been asked to substitute for Adams that week or indeed any week.
Which leaves just Adams as the sole candidate for the Brownie job, just as Danny suggested in The Irish Times.
But what, one wonders, was Danny thinking of when he wrote this?