Thursday, 29 May 2014

Political News

I feel that it is only right to share and re-post Gerry Adams blog with my readers, especially considering all that has gone on in the recent few weeks!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

We will use our mandate wisely

As you read this column I am in Washington DC briefing senior political figures and the Obama administration on the current difficulties within the peace process.

But I will return to that again. For now let me deal with the local government and EU elections that has just concluded across the island of Ireland. The facts tell part of the story.

·       483,113 votes for Sinn Féin in the EU election.

·       4 MEP’s elected.

·       262 Local election candidates elected

·       76 women councillors

·       39 Councils with SF councillors

·       32 Counties with Sinn Féin MEP’s

·       21.2% of the vote in the EU election

·       19 Councillors in Belfast City Council

·       16 Councillors in Dublin City Council

·       10 Councils where Sinn Féin are the largest party in % share of the vote terms

·       8 Councils where Sinn Féin are the largest party in seat terms

·       Too many happy Shinner’s to count!


Sinn Fein has had a historic result, north and south. Voters have endorsed our message that there is a fairer way to organise our economy and society which is rights based and citizen-centred. We are committed to using our growing numbers of Councillors, TDs, MEPs, MPs, and MLAs and our mandate wisely and in the interests of citizens.

Sinn Féin will also keep the commitments we made to the electorate.

The island-wide election result is also an endorsement of Sinn Fein’s message for the need to reinvigorate the Peace Process and for an agreed, united Ireland.

Sinn Fein’s newly elected MEPs will stand up first and foremost in the interests of Ireland and all our citizens, while our all councillors will fight for genuine community interests which put the needs of citizens first.

In the south voters have very clearly rejected the austerity agenda of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail. It’s very likely that the coalition government, not least as a result of these elections, will not see out its full term. Thought their instinct will be to hang on as long as possible. So, we begin fighting the next General Election now.

Some combination of Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail has been in government since the foundation of the state. The old way of doing politics, as practiced by these parties has clearly failed.

The way in which ordinary citizens are still being forced to pay for the greed of bankers, developers and corrupt politicians is deeply unfair. Banking debt, unemployment, forced emigration, a raft of new taxes, cuts to services and social supports are crushing the hope of Irish citizens and damaging the well-being of society.

In the north Martin McGuinness will initiate discussions with the other party leaders to seek agreement on implementing the outstanding issues arising from the Good Friday and other Agreements, and from the Haass proposals on the past, flags and emblems and parades.

However, deep rooted change also requires a fundamental realignment of Irish politics.

Ireland needs new leaders, with new ideas and a new direction. The EU and Local Government elections can be the beginning of a real transformation of the political landscape.

North and south Sinn Féin has put forward realistic, credible and costed alternative economic policies and challenged the conservatism of British and Irish governments.

Sinn Fein seeks a society and an economy that is run in the interests of all our citizens, not vested interests or golden circles whether in the upper echelons of the private or the public sector.

We also want to strengthen and reinvigorate the Peace Process and to build an agreed, united Ireland.

We seek a historic and inclusive accommodation between Orange and Green which respects all our people in all of their diversity.

Among our priorities in both states are real jobs, fair taxation, investment in communities, and more social housing. In the 26 counties we will press for far-reaching reform of politics and public institutions including the justice system and Gardaí.

For Sinn Fein politics is not a game. It is about saying what you mean and meaning what you say. It is about changing the lives of citizens for the better.

One party rule in the north has gone and two-and-a-half party rule in the southern state is going also. Sinn Féin is now a major player in both states on this island with policies, objectives, and an expanding organization which transcends Partition.

Sinn Féin is not interested in winning seats for the sake of it. We seek political office only in order to bring about change in our country and in the lives of our citizens. We have a political vision and regardless of the ups and downs of even elections, we will continue to work to deliver a fairer, better Ireland.

Sinn Féin is involved in a historically unprecedented effort to build genuine republican politics in both states on this island. Building capacity and resources and membership is a big task for us and we will continue to grow.

I would appeal today, to citizens to join Sinn Fein in building a citizen-centered, rights based republic on this island.
- See more at:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Whenever we have visitors we like to take them to places that have a special interest to them, as well as to ourselves. Living where we do in central Ireland we are very nearly spoilt for choice, in almost any direction there are interesting places to explore.So on a sunny day last week we decided to make a visit to county Carlow and this time to a location that we ourselves had never been. 

Our destination this time was to The Chocolate Garden of Ireland.
A great surprise awaited us as we stepped into their premises for an Aladdin's Cave of mouth watering confectionary blinded our eyes.The warm welcome from the proprietor plus her immediate offer to sample slender leaves made from delicious dark, milk and white chocolate warmed our hearts. 
After a relaxing coffee in the garden and a delicious organic ice cream each, we finally left with a selection of boxes and bags of chocolate. We shall return to The Chocolate Garden of Ireland very soon!

the Aladdin's Cave of goodies

this tree mural caught my eye

A great display of award winning chocolates

A close up of beautiful chocolates & by tasting the Salted Caramel
it exquisitely excited my taste buds - Yum !

A gift sized for every pocket

The proprietors Jim and Mary Healy in discussion with Mrs H

Tipperary  Organic Ice Cream.

It is a recently added product now owned and made on the premises. So delicious that I cannot describe to you how wonderful it is - you will have to buy your own.

A sheltered sitting area for parents and grandparents to drink coffee, eat ice cream, talk   dwell on what chocolates they are going to buy or even watch the children at play.

I think Ollie thought that this was for him, but no a latte for his father! 
Every coffee was served with a chocolate

A convenient and safe play area for the children.

The Chocolate Garden of Ireland at Rath, Tullow, Co. Carlow, Ireland
Phone: +353 (0)59 648 1999
Fax: 059 9151968

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Excerpts of Ollie's holiday

New ideas on an old road

Important talks amid the trees

Inspection of a ancient wall

Ollie the tractor driver

Ollie explains all to Granny

Toby travels home

Telling Granny about the grass

Wednesday, 14 May 2014


If I have a vice then it is chocolate. Not just any sort, for my taste buds demand quality. So whenever I hear of a new chocolatier then I just have to go and taste their wares. 

This time I secured the assistance of our family who are holidaying here for a few days to take Mrs H and myself to visit Hazel Mountain Chocolates; who are situated quite literally in the western foothills of the Burren about 2.5km east of Béal an Chloga [Bell Harbour]. There is a sign at the road junction at the foot of the hill on that says 2km - it isn't it's further!

Hazel Mountain Chocolates

My three and a half year old grandson said when he stepped into this cottage 

" It is like being in a dream"

He was right for the interior is so very much unlike that of an old Irish cottage, that it may well have come from a storybook.

Display and Sales Venue

I was quite disappointed to find that unlike other chocolatiers in Ireland that there were no free samples to be had, for it is customary that a sample of each chocolate is cut into small slices and offered as tempters to prospective buyers. My other complaint is that the price shown on the handwritten labels is misleading for the number  Euro 1 is a looped l !

In fairness our visit was on a weekday before the summer season has really got into full swing and there was also work going on to some of the outside buildings.

The Coffee Counter

The serving assistant working the machine - I thought she was one of twins or even triplets (but no) for where ever we went a woman like her appeared to be working.

Mrs H enjoys a pipe (unlit of course!)

Bright decorated rooms, with quaint fripperies displayed in every room.

A mouth watering table.

Delicious slices of home baked Apple pie, served with tart berry fruits and cream which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

In sunshine we ate our recently purchased chocs.
L to R Ollie, Mrs H, myself and Mark

The view of Bell  Harbour 

Thursday, 8 May 2014



Shuan Woodward [the Labour MP for St Helens South and Whiston, was secretary of state for Northern Ireland 2007-2010] said :-
"So long as Northern Ireland avoids settling on a mechanism to deal justly and fairly with its past, this will continue to be the case. The continuing pain of survivors from all communities means the potential for the peace process to unravel – however unimaginable this might be – is still there."
He went on to say "Any effort to heal the wounds of the past must recognise a shared future. The people of Northern Ireland should now be given a chance to vote for a future that is certain and secure, with a time-limited mechanism to deal with outstanding problems. This is an opportunity we should not miss. Some good may yet come out of the instability and perils of the last few days."


Gerry Adams said :-
"There is only one way for our society to go, and that is forward. I am a united Irelander. I want to live in a citizen-centred, rights-based society. There is now a peaceful and democratic way to achieve this. The two governments are guarantors of the Good Friday agreement. They have failed in this responsibility. The future belongs to everyone. So, as well as the British and Irish governments, civic society, church leaders, trade unions, the media, academia and private citizens must find a way to provide positive leadership."


Private citizens can often find ways to bring reconciliation about and in doing so it can relieve the pain and grief of people who for years have clung on to their prejudices, like  old worn overcoats.

It takes a great deal of courage for each individual to face up and recognise their wrong beliefs, actions and thoughts.
Once having done so it is often necessary to  contact those whom we have hurt by apologising and asking for their understanding and forgiveness. The latter may not come by one meeting it may take several consultations to achieve.

I would like to share with you an example regarding conflict
which occurred in the past, though not in Ireland.
There was a family who in the 1950's lived in a house in England, together with another occupant, an elderly lady(Ms E) who had a lost a brother in the first World War. She mourned his loss almost continuously and vehemently disliked all Germans.
The son of the family went on a school exchange holiday to Germany for two weeks and his hosts were a German family. About a month later, the son of the host family in Germany, we'll call him W,came over to stay in the UK in the shared house.

Ms E made strong objections in regards to having a German under the same roof as her and a great deal of discussion took place - eventually she agreed to meet W. The outcome was that Ms E was greatly impressed by his courtesy towards her and so enamoured that she eventually took a holiday in Germany.

To my mind it is often the case that many of us hate a group of people, be they of different ethnicity, religion, sexuality or political views, without having ever met a person of that group. We base our hatred on pre-conceived ideas which come from many sources and the only way to turn this hatred into 
understanding is to meet and talk.  

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

An Excellent Meeting

A smiling Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams addressed a packed meeting at the Alexander Hotel in Dublin last night (6th May), his second since his release from custody by the PSNI in Antrim on Sunday, he was sharply critical of the Taoiseach and the British government.

“When Martin McGuinness spoke about the danger to the process coming from the ‘dark side’ within the PSNI, the Taoiseach’s response was to suggest he should make a complaint to the Ombudsman. What about his responsibility?” he asked.

“The Taoiseach cannot pass the buck on this issue, nor can he trot out trite responses that have more to do with electoral concerns. The Irish people, North and South, endorsed the Good Friday agreement. It is the people’s agreement.

“Enda Kenny and David Cameron and their governments are the joint guarantors of the agreement. That means standing up to those who threaten it,” Mr Adams told supporters.
“The Taoiseach cannot pass his responsibility on this issue,” he said.

Junior partners
All taoisigh, he claimed, have been treated as junior partners [by the British]. “They behave as junior partners,” he said. “That doesn’t mean they have to be dogmatic, but it does mean they have to stand up for the Good Friday agreement.”

On the issue of addressing the legacy of the Troubles, Mr Adams said Sinn Féin accepted compromise proposals put forward by US envoys Richard Haass and Meghan O’Sullivan earlier this year, which unionist parties rejected.

Unionists, he said, were “bred on a diet of no surrender”, and would not negotiate unless they had to. He urged a renewed effort to agree a strategy to address the past.

Referring to his arrest last week, Mr Adams said: “If there was a charge against me, I would have been charged. Be in no doubt.”
But he added: “Sinn Féin is for policing. Let no one raise any ripples around this.
“What is clear: we need accountable, civic, public service policing. It is also clear we have work to do yet to achieve it. That is what we are up for doing.

He said what had happened to Jean McConville was “dreadful and unjust”, and this was made worse because republicans were responsible.

“We cannot rail against British injustice unless we face up to injustices like this.”

Children today, he said, should be guaranteed the future that the McConville children and others did not have.

Sunday, 4 May 2014


GERRY ADAMS - The President of Sinn Fein

This blogger is pleased to share with you all the great news that Gerry Adams is now free.

The Louth TD Gerry Adams was held in police custody for almost 96 hours under the Terrorism Act after he presented himself at Antrim Serious Crime Suite on Wednesday. He was released without charge at 5.45pm today Sunday.

Before his release Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly was granted access into the police station and spoke with the former west Belfast MP.

He said Mr Adams was "doing fine" but had concerns about the impact his arrest will have on the PSNI's image.

"Like myself and other members of Sinn Féin he believes that the timing of this was political," he said outside the station.

"He's worried about the damage it might be doing to the image of policing and that it's being mishandled in that type of fashion."

He said that during questioning, officers used "open source material" - including the Boston College tapes as well as old pictures, newspaper articles and Mr Adam's autobiography.

The recent police activity followed a decision by a US court compelling a Boston university to hand over to the PSNI recorded interviews with republicans about Mrs McConville's murder.

Mr Adams has always strenuously denied allegations levelled by former republican colleagues that he had any involvement in the murder of Mrs McConville.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

International calls for release of Gerry Adams +

Gerry Adams & Alexis Tsipras

THE leader of Greece's SYRIZA coalition of the radical left and candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, Alexis Tsipras, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Gerry Adams.

His statement in full:

"The arrest and detention of the leader of Sinn Fein and pioneer of the peace process in Northern Ireland Gerry Adams is a politically inflammatory act against democracy and the always fragile peace and normality in the region.

"A so provocative initiative cannot but concern the entire democratic Europe. Because Gerry Adams is a major political personality of our times.

"Gerry Adams is not alone. He has on his side, apart from the Greek people, every democratic citizen in each corner of Europe, who despises the scapegoat policy as well as opportunistic pre-electoral actions, a few days ahead of the local and European elections of May 23rd in Ireland.

"In my capacity as President of SYRIZA and European Left candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, I ask for the immediate and unconditional liberation of Gerry Adams."
INTERNATIONAL pressure is growing for the release of Gerry Adams following his politically-motivated arrest by the PSNI.

Greece - Protesters from the SYRIZA political coalition, the second-largest political group in the Greek parliament, demonstrated outside the British Embassy in Athens where party leader and candidate for President of the EU Commission, Alexis Tsipras, called for the immediate and unconditional release of the imprisoned TD.

USA - Republican Congressman Peter King told NBC News that the political implications of Gerry Adams' arrest will cause growing tension in the North. He added that he has known Gerry Adams for 30 years and described him as "always truthful" and "more instrumental than anyone" in bringing peace to Ireland.

Democratic Congressman Richard E. Neal told the Boston Globe that the arrest is “one of those unsettling moments” and said he was suspicious of the timing, which comes just before elections. “It all seems pretty murky,” he said.

Basque Country - Basque pro-Independence party Sortu, which makes up the Basque Parliament's opposition EH Bildu coalition, described the arrest as an attack on the Peace Process and "an attempt stop the unstoppable advance of republicanism in the whole island of Ireland."

Catalonia - The Young Republican Left of Catalonia (JERC), the youth wing of Esquerra, the second-largest political grouping in Catalonia, described the arrest as "an attempt to discredit him and his political organization, Sinn Fein, in a moment in which the local and European elections seem to be very favourable."

 Italy - Banners calling for the release of Gerry Adams were carried by left-wing demonstrators during the annual May Day march in the city of Milan.

News Bulletin!

HUGE crowds gathered on the Falls Road in Belfast on Saturday afternoon to demand the release of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.
A mural was launched at the event in support of the imprisoned republican leader. Many of those at the event carried posters calling for his release and comparing him to Nelson Mandela. Others condemned the arrest as an attack on the Peace Process.
The North's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, spoke to the crowd describing the arrest of the Louth TD as being "designed to disrupt the election campaign".
McGuinness also queried how some could claim the timing of the arrest was not a very blatant act of political policing:
"The PSNI has had the Boston tapes for a year.
"The allegations contained in books and newspaper articles which the PSNI are presenting to Gerry as evidence that he was in the IRA in the 1970s have been around for 40 years.
"But they are only now trying to use these. Is that not political policing?"
He also hit out at the double standards at play in terms of the failure of the PSNI to arrest those British soldiers behind the Ballymurphy or Bloody Sunday massacres.
The Mid-Ulster MLA added:
"Gerry Adams stands head and shoulders above all of those who helped build the peace process.
"He is a peace maker, a leader, a visionary.
"There would be no peace process but for his commitment and dedication.
"Gerry Adams is committed to moving this process forward."

Friday, 2 May 2014


Deputy Minister Martin McGuiness

Martin McGuiness seen speaking to reporters at the Assembly, the Sinn Féin MLA said Gerry Adams has been the single most important person in building peace in Ireland on 1st May 2014


In a statement issued today 2nd May the Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA has accused the British government and elements of the PSNI of “pursuing a negative and destructive political agenda”. Mr. McGuinness said:

“Yesterday I said that the timing of the arrest of Gerry Adams was politically motivated.

Today’s decision by the PSNI to seek an extension confirms me in my view. The arrest of Gerry Adams at this time is inextricably linked to the Local Government and EU elections that will take place across this island in three weeks.

Sinn Féin fully supports the fair and democratic implementation of policing and justice but it is clear that there are elements of the PSNI – what some in that force have described to us as the Dark Side – who continue to work to a negative and anti-peace process agenda and are involved in political policing.

Peter Robinson has said that if the police have evidence and don’t act on it that this would be political policing.

The British Secretary of State claims that no one should be above the law. I agree with both statements but the reality is much different.

There is clear evidence of political policing and of the difference of approach and treatment taken in dealing with those who are members or former members of British state forces and those who are republican and nationalist.

- For example: the British Parachute Regiment murdered 14 people on the streets of Derry in 1972. The PSNI know the soldiers who did this. Have they acted on this evidence? No. Is this political policing? Yes it is.

- The PSNI know who killed 11 civilians in Ballymurphy in 1971. Not one has been arrested. Is this political policing? Yes it is.

- Last week Theresa Villiers told the Ballymurphy families there would be no review of their cases. Is this political interference? Yes it is.

- The British Government refuses to provide information and evidence it has on the Dublin/Monaghan bombings which killed 33 citizens. Is this political interference in the justice system? Yes it is.

- In a key note speech two weeks ago, the British Secretary of State criticised what she described as the one sided focus on state killings. Is this political interference in policing and the justice system? Yes it is.

The indisputable fact is that for 40 years there has been a virtual amnesty for British state forces involved in killing citizens both directly and through state collusion with unionist death squads.

There are many progressive and open-minded elements in the new policing arrangements who are wedded to accountable and impartial policing.

I want to emphasis my absolute support for them in their efforts to deliver impartial and accountable policing.

But there is a small cabal in the PSNI who have a different agenda – a negative and destructive agenda to both the peace process and to Sinn Féin.

Sinn Féin under the leadership of Gerry Adams will not allow these elements to succeed.