Giving evidence at the Ballymurphy inquest in Belfast yesterday, Gerry Adams took the opportunity to take a swipe at myself.
To quote The Irish Times:
Mr Adams also denied an allegation in writer and journalist Ed Moloney’s book, A Secret History of the IRA, that he joined the IRA in 1966 and that he took charge in Ballymurphy three years later.
He said he never read Mr Moloney’s book. ‘I don’t judge him to be an academic or indeed a journalist who is objective in his attitude to the peace process, Sinn Fein or myself’, he said.
As Mr Adams and most people who know me well can attest, such attacks are like water off a duck’s back. And most people who know my work will also know that the real reason for Mr Adams’ animosity is that many of the stories concerning him that I have written have been too close to the truth for his comfort.
Telling the truth, or doing my best to do so have, I hope, been the hallmarks of my journalism as others, such as the late Ian Paisley, can bear witness to.
But powerful figures like Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley do not like close scrutiny by the media, especially if, like both those gentlemen, they have or had many skeletons rattling about in their wardrobes.
And so, the real purpose of Gerry Adams’ attack on myself is to demonstrate to other journalists that this is what is likely to happen to them if they probe too deeply into his past.
What he did at the Ballymurphy inquest yesterday was an exercise in media intimidation, using Ed Moloney as a weapon against other journalists.
Well done, Ed. Tell the truth and shame the Devil,’ as they used to say. That’s journalism. Anything else is public relations.
Thank you Lauren. As always you are on the button…….
Was he still the commander of Ballymurphy in 1971?
By the time of internment, Aug 1971, he would have been in the leadership of the 2nd Batt, i.e. most of lower west Belfast. I don’t have the relevant literature to hand but I think he may have been commander of 2nd Batt by then. He had certainly been arguing earlier in the year to intensify IRA operations, especially bombing, so as to force the British into premature use of the internment weapon. The difference between this sort of truth and the nonsense he served up at the B’murphy inquest is startling. The willingness of the media not to challenge it is deeply depressing and is matched only by the readiness of his supporters to accept his lying as an acceptable tactic. He was arrested and interned and was in Long Kesh until the July truce when his release was part of the ceasefire deal with the British. He then assumed command of Belfast. The rest is history.
There is no doubt at all that this is an exercise in media intimidation, in much the same way as the state is using the Official Secrets Act against Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey in a similar chilling exercise. At a time when attacks on journalists worldwide are on the increase, it is disappointing to see yet more callous and sinister attempts to shoot the messenger.
Thanks for the answer, Ed. I understand the reasoning behind his denials, and I’m sure they are carefully calculated. But how can he put himself at the head of a campaign for truth and justice inquiry for Ballymurphy, when he had to know that he would eventually have to go before that inquiry and lie?
Only one of many contradictions but as long as his supporters give him licence to lie, he will continue doing so. Remember how applause broke out in the gallery when he objected to the line of questioning? He has made the lie an acceptable weapon and the fact that his followers can’t know when he really is telling the truth doesn’t seem to matter to them…..
Typical guff from Adams. Anyone who questions his version of events is labelled an ‘enemy of the peace process’.