28 September 2015
Former RUC hero stands in stark contrast to vain Sinn Fein leader
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
My critics - and I have a few - often suggest that I am obsessed with Sinn Fein in general and Gerry Adams in particular and should get a life.
Listen, lads, I have a life. It's very interesting, it involves lots of people who have hardly heard of Irish republicanism, but I am a patriot, and although I live in London, I care a lot about Ireland. And I don't want it taken over by a crowd of fascists who know how to run a small terrorist group and an obedient political party, but would wreck my beloved country in less time than it takes to say, "Gerry Adams, don't you think that 32 years is long enough for a vain, economic illiterate with a shady past to do your job?"
Before I get back to writing about Adams, I want to pay tribute to a valued friend who died last week. Roy Cairns, who retired from the RUC as a Chief Superintendent, was a kind, good, brave man who joined a sleepy police force and rose magnificently to the challenge of dealing with ruthless loyalist and republican terrorists.
Anyone who listened to him talk about his time as a policeman would have been hard put to guess which tribe he came from, for there was no bigotry in Roy. He was simply a decent man who wanted to keep the world in which he worked safe for decent people.
Roy dealt in his professional life with many terrible atrocities, he saved many lives through intelligent policing, which included the help of informers of all kinds, and in retirement he fought valiantly to defend the reputation of an honourable police force demonised by paramilitary propagandists who justified the murders of more than 300 of his colleagues.
He loved his family and his friends and they loved him.
The term "Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis", which means "May his faithful soul sit at the right hand of God", is often applied in my native culture to people who don't deserve it.
But he is dead and Gerry Adams is alive, so I must get back to work.
I try to be fair, and there are aspects even of Gerry Adams that I admire. His Scottish Presbyterian ancestors would have been proud of his work ethic and even though they would deplore his choice of profession, they would have a reluctant admiration for his tenacity and his nerves of steel.
Even as I write, Adams is in the United States busily misleading gullible people about what's going on in Ireland. And apart from tweets like "I gave ur regards 2 Broadway", he's found time to write a blog about Thomas Kent, who recently was given an Irish state funeral for having been executed in 1916 for killing a policeman.
Adams doesn't talk much about other republicans executed in the south for similar crimes.
We hear endlessly about the 16 "martyrs" of 1916, but little about the 77 judicially killed by the Irish state during the civil war or the six IRA men executed during the Second World War.
Will Adams be reminding us in December of the anniversary of the hanging of Charlie Kerins in Dublin in 1944 for shooting a member of Special Branch?
Only if it suits him. The republican leadership in Northern Ireland hate what they still think of as the Free State, but being aware that southern voters are loyal citizens, they have to mute their criticisms.
What I intended to write about this week is what's going on in the south.
Adams has had to face a farmers' poll which shows that 87% would not like to see Gerry Adams or Sinn Fein in government, he and his party are going down in the national polls, he's struggling to cast off his reputation for not understanding economics, and there are signs of mutiny in his ranks.
But it was more important this week to write about a good man.
Thank you, Roy Cairns, for all you did to protect people from the IRA, the UDA, the UFV, the UFF and other criminals who demand but do not deserve the respect you so richly deserved.
Ruth Dudley Edwards