An Phoblacht Apologises for Lying About The Irish News

Just a short update for those following the story or just catching up. As Slugger readers know, An Phoblacht has publicly apologised to the Irish News for lying about it in their preface to Adams’ article on the Hunger Strike. Adams’ article has now been revised and stripped of all inflammatory references to the Irish News – its content is otherwise exactly the same. Both the apology, which is also on An Phoblacht’s website, and the revised article, are published in today’s Irish News. The Adams piece has already been deconstructed on Slugger. Further background to the apology is also documented. This is worth noting not just in terms of the evolution of the hunger strike issue, but because it is so out of character for the Sinn Fein machine. This isn’t just a “muck up” by An Phoblacht, as claimed by an commenter in an earlier thread; this was the public abortion of an ill judged campaign presumably spearheaded by Gerry Adams. After all, it was his name on the by-line, wasn’t it? So, Party President Adams wrote an article attacking the Irish News – referring to them as a ‘player’, peppered with inaccuracies. How does that work – did Adams not know what he was writing, or did the editor at An Phoblacht have more sense than Adams but not the stones to stand up to him and spike his article before publishing it? Or did he not have a clue and just followed Dear Leader’s dictat? Who was it that devised the smear campaign against the Irish News – as the SF press office was obviously starting to push? The Pavlovian response from an An Phoblacht reader posted on Adams’ blog is priceless, as it was exactly the response such a poison piece as was published was meant to generate amongst the grassroots. (See also comment #12 in this thread, which is quoting a line from Adams’ AP/RN article that has since been “revised” – you have to give credit to the grassroots, they are well trained and responsive to conditioning.)

Yet someone hit the brakes and spun the machine into reverse at some point. Why? Who decided that this was a good idea in the first place – Adams? Morrison? Who has enough weight within Sinn Fein to over-ride Adams? Did he come to his senses and change tact midstream too late? Did Adams not know what was being written and done in his name?

What is also significant is that this is the first time – bar the RTE appearance where he claimed he never heard of the Mountain Climber until after the hunger strikes – that Adams has publicly said anything about the hunger strike issue since the publication of O’Rawe’s Blanketmen. This, as watery and empty as it is, is an important statement from Adams. And he’s blown it so spectacularly – both in its weak content and its completely inept, panicked handling.

Some observers are suggesting that this is an indication of the ending of Adams – though everyone knows that’s just a matter of time. What they are seeing is evidence of an internal push, or at least an internal conflict of some sort. That may be reading too much into too little – but it is a curious development, and, given what else is coming in terms of problems for Adams, perhaps a harbinger of things to come.

Comprehensive archive site on the events of the Hunger Strike: July 1981

Earlier on Slugger:

Update to Adams & The Irish News

1981 Hunger Strike: Adams and the Irish News

1981 Hunger Stike: Feint and Retreat

1981 Hunger Strike: Continued Coverage

1981 Hunger Strike: Deconstructing McGuinness

1981 Hunger Strike: A Case to Answer

Gerry Adams and Kieran Doherty, 29 July 1981

Prolonging the Hunger Strike: The Derailing of the ICJP

Updated Timeline and Upcoming Discussion Brian Rowan and Brendan Duddy to speak at Feile

Gulladuff: More Heat Than Light Gerry Adams meets with some of the families of some of the hunger strikers.

Gerry Adams to meet Hunger Strikers Families; Inquiry Sought Families of the hunger strikers call for a public inquiry; Adams arranges meeting

“This is a huge opportunity and I feel there’s a potential here to end this” Bik McFarlane miraculously recovers his memory and completely backtracks on every denial he had made previously, while also making up new, contradictory details never before mentioned

“I will not be attending and will not send a representative” Gerry Adams refuses to attend public meeting about the hunger strikes; extremely revealing discussion in the comments section

1981 Hunger Strike Truth Commission Includes text of British document of July offer and transcript of Willie Gallagher’s speech at the Derry meeting

The Truth is a Heartbreaking Thing Initial summary of Derry meeting

Upcoming Debate: “What is the Truth Behind the Hunger Strike?” Announcement of public meeting and note of Radio Foyle debate between Raymond McCartney and Richard O’Rawe (also discussed on The Pensive Quill: A Shifting Narrative)

When in a hole… Contrasts between Danny Morrison’s position and previously published accounts of the time

What were the hunger strikers told? Questions emerge that cast doubt on what the hunger strikers knew when about what negotiations were being conducted on their behalf by the Adams subcommittee.

“Let’s have the whole truth” – Danny Morrison and Richard O’Rawe statements

Did Thatcher Kill All 10 or Only 4? – contains statements and interview excerpts

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