Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Price and Adams

The arrest of Marian Price in connection with the Real IRA murder of two soldiers in Antrim in March has prompted a number of newspapers to carry fairly lengthy articles about Price.

Today The Independent recalled her republican family background and the role that Marian and her older sister Dolours played in the IRA bombing campaign in England.  The newspaper also recalled some comments that she made about Gerry Adams.  It reported that:  One interviewer described Ms Price as 'spitting scorn' when she spoke of Mr Adams.  According to Ms Price: 'Adams says he was never in the IRA.  That is total hypocrisy.  Gerry Adams and I were once friends.  We certainly aren't now.  He may have difficulty admitting his IRA past but I'm very, very proud of mine.

Of course Marian Price is not the only member of her family to state that Adams was a member of the IRA.  On 16 March 2001 the Daily Telegraph carried a report, based on an article in the Irish Echo, about a statement by Dolours Price.  She was at a republican ceremony in Ballina, county Mayo, in February 2001, to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of IRA hunger striker Frank Stagg. 

The Irish Echo said, 'Price had asked to speak because, she siad, like Stagg, both she and her sister had endured a hunger strike in 1973 and 1974.  Witnesses say she discarded her script and said she would 'speak from the heart'.
She then attacked high-ranking members of Sinn Fein who now dissociate themselves from the IRA. According to Ruairi O Bradaigh, the president of Republican Sinn Fein, who attended the event, she said that it was 'too much' to listen to people now saying they weren't in the IRA. Ms Price said: 'Gerry Adams was my commanding officer.'

Both Marian Price and her sister Dolours Price have stated categorically that Gerry Adams was a member of the Provisional IRA and the arrest of one of the sisters has drawn attention back to their statements.

I find this interesting because I was suspended from the Assembly on two occasions for speaking about Gerry Adams and the IRA.  We can all remember Adams statement about the IRA, 'they haven't gone away' and it seems that the same words can be applied to the words of Marian Price and other former members of the IRA.

Gerry Adams continued denials that he was ever a member of IRA carry no credibility at all and the longer they continue the more ludicrous he becomes.  Adams seems incapable of facing up to his past but the facts 'haven't gone away'.

Not only did Dolours Price state that Adams was a member of the IRA, at the time when she set off on her bombing campaign in March 1973.  She stated that he was actually her commanding officer, a senior figure in the IRA in the Belfast.  We then have to ask the question, 'If he was an IRA commander in Belfast in March 1973, what was he in July 1972 when the IRA murdered nine people and injured 130 on Bloody Friday?'

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