No adams in the white house

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Last updated on June 10th, 2017 at 08:30 am

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day to my fellow hyphenated Irishmen,” writes Mark Steyn. “And the good news about this St. Paddy’s Day is that for the first time in a decade the official observances will not be disfigured by the presence at the White House of Gerry Adams.”

This is wonderful, and due largely to the courage of the McCartney sisters, who faced down the IRA after their brother (a Sinn Fein supporter, as it happens) was murdered by our lovable Oirish Repooblican friends. They offered to off their own in response. Steyn makes this point:

There’s a lesson there in the reformability of terrorists. The IRA’s first instinct is to kill. If you complain about the killing, they offer to kill the killers. If you complain about the manner of the killing, they offer to kill more tastefully—“compassionate terrorism,’’ as it were. But it’s like Monty Python’s spam sketch: There’s no menu item that doesn’t involve killing. You can get it in any color as long as it’s blood-red.

Which suggests a policy other than negotiation that might have been better pursued against these folks.

Posted by Tim B. on 03/14/2005 at 08:47 AM
    1. But they were so charming in The Quiet Man… even while they were threatening to burn down Victor McLaglen’s house.

      Look, put these guys in perspective:


      90% of Irish History ends with “…and then he was betrayed by…”  This covers everyone from Finn McCoul to the Men of ‘98 to Michael Collins.

      5% of Irish History ends with “… and then his success went to his head and turned his brains to peat…”  This covers everyone from Conn of the Hundred Battles and the bards up through the Kennedies and Michael Flatley.

      2% of Irish History ends with “…and it turned out he wasn’t Irish at all…”  This covers everyone from Victor McLaglen to Patrick O’Brian, folks who escaped the trap of worshipping La Belle France as a cultural idol only to stumble anyway.

      3% of Irish History, which represents their genuine accomplishments, was created by people who usually had to leave Ireland to do it.  This includes every ragged paddy who had the stones to get on a boat during the Famines,  and every mick who survived transportation at the Crown’s pleasure, up to the likes of Shaw and Wellington…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 14 at 10:34 AM • permalink


    1. On another IRA thread recently (which I can’t find), someone pointed out that loyalist terror is just as unpleasant as the republican variety.  This is quite correct, but Mad Dog Adair does not have an office in the Palace of Westminster, neither has he been a frequent visitor at the White House.

      Posted by rexie on 2005 03 14 at 10:34 AM • permalink


    1. It’s worse than that for Adams, even Teddy Kennedy is refusing to meet him!!

      Posted by Ross on 2005 03 14 at 11:50 AM • permalink


    1. Richard, you should mention that of that 3% which represents genuine Irish accomplishment, 2.5% of it was done by Protestants. (I am Catholic, BTW, so spare me your indignation.) Of Ireland’s great writers, only Joyce, I believe was Catholic; nearly all the others – Synge, Yeats, Shaw, Goldsmith, Swift, et al. – were Protestants.

      Posted by Urbs in Horto on 2005 03 14 at 02:51 PM • permalink


    1. Adams had a license to fundraise in the US before now? Ugh. I thought he just came over to rile up the idiot faithful by doing his Auld Sod song-and-dance. Silly me.

      Urbs – well, to be fair, Seamus Heaney is/was Catholic as well; make of politics what you will, the guy can write poetry. Brian Moore also came out of the “Catholic tradition” as they say, but spent most of his time griping about it. And I’m guessing the Book of Kells et al were done by Catholics :). That’s going back a bit, though, and I’m not sure the “Great Writer” label applies.

      Richard – thank you! I feel like I’m the only one who just never *got* The Quiet Man. I think I’d be in its target demographic, being half Irish and all, but I just don’t understand how it lasted. I mean, here are all these people being all quaint and cute, then they’re quaint and cute some more, then they get into fistfights, the end. I’ve been in places that people would describe as quaint and I don’t remember the cute quotient being so off the scale. Went to the wrong places, I guess. And I like your summation of Irish history. The only history I found harder to learn was South American, in high school, because 100% of the stories ended with “And then Commandante Confusing Polysyllabic Name was overthrown by Generale Weirdly Similar Polysyllabic Name who promised to end the oppression and bring freedom to the people, only he didn’t. Years later, groaning under his yoke, he was overthrown by Colonel Yet Another Confusing Name, who promised the end the oppression….”

      Posted by Sonetka on 2005 03 14 at 05:20 PM • permalink


    1. Ans what about a nod to the true celtic overachievers, the Scots.

      Like the Irish, they were always good at music, poetry, drinking and fighting.

      They were also pretty good at engineering, chemistry, physics, medicine, banking . . . .

      Poor bastards, subdued by the English and all that.

      Posted by steve68 on 2005 03 14 at 06:36 PM • permalink


    1. You’re right Urbs, and what’s more most of the “Irish” achievers saw themselves as British, which indeed they were, Ireland’s ruling class being all imported from England.

      Posted by Toryhere2 on 2005 03 14 at 07:34 PM • permalink


    1. The Irish were a wild and savage people who made raids on Britain for centuries taking those not slaughtered as slaves- as was St Patrick who was not Irish nor cleansed Ireland od snakes-it never had any.
      I am the grandaughter of an Irish RC and she used to say the Irish brought the famine of their own heads as they were too damnlazy to grow anything other than potatoes-They only had to till the soil once, stick in the one type of potato and sit on their asses for the rest of the year, when the blight hit the spuds, they starved.It makes one wonder how they survived so long prior the Sir Walter Raleigh introducing the potatoe to Britain.
      Many Irish like the Aeabs love to live on their victim status.
      When I trained in London in the 50’s and 60’s every second nurse, policeman and labouruer was Irish – earned good money to scheme tp bite the hand that fed it.
      Proud Irish??????????

      Posted by Rose on 2005 03 14 at 08:08 PM • permalink


    1. Rose’s grandmother was grossly unfair to the Irish peasantry of the famine time.

      They grew potatoes because the only tools they had were spades. When the potato blight arrived, they had no way of diversifying into other forms of agriculture.

      I supposed Rose’s grandmother also believed that the Negro share-croppers in the American South were poor because they were lazy.

      Steve68’s comments about the ‘over-achieving Scots’ supports richard mcenroe’s final point on those who had to leave Ireland to achieve greatness.

      The Scoti originally came from the north of Ireland, and eventually gave their name to the whole country – rather like the Angles (from the area where Denmark meets Germany) who gave their name to England.

      Posted by pog-ma-thon on 2005 03 14 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. When the IRA is destroyed, the next, even braver step will be to admit that Guinness is the worst beer on the planet (NZ’s Tui comes close second).

      Posted by Honkie Hammer on 2005 03 14 at 09:58 PM • permalink


    1. Rose — Ah yes, slainte sin padraig… and if we’d known what was coming we’da chucked the little bugger back…

      pog-ma-than — Keep in mind the Irish did have a diverse agrarian economy until the Brits introduced spuds as a cash crop…

      Sonnetka — Oh, I like The Quiet Man, especially for the 20-minute walk back from the train station.  I just don’t take it seriously.  It’s no coincidence Ford made The Informer first…

      Honkie Hammer — And there ya go, proof that right-wing bloggers take things to extremes.  Go outside and start your car.  We’ll wait.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 03 14 at 10:50 PM • permalink


    1. Honkie obviously hasn’t had Southwark inflicted upon him/her.

      I never understood why the Poms stopped fighting the IRA.  All they have done is reward them for bad behaviour.

      Posted by Razor on 2005 03 14 at 10:53 PM • permalink


    1. …or Worthingtons.

      I lived in Ireland for 6 months.  It’s a shithole.  To say the least I’m pleased that Dennis Murphy and Frank Gallacher saw the writing on the wall and got the flock out.  With the exception of Glasgow, I’ve never met so many people who actually seem to enjoy having a cinder block size chip on their shoulder.

      Exhibit A


      Bricklayers Arms, Landsdowne Road, 1999 after Toutei Kefu belted Trevor Brennan’s thick friggin’ head into something resembling Grandma’s trifle (and Australia beat Ireland in a Rugby World Cup pool game).


      Murph: wearing Wallaby jersey and Australian flag draped around neck
      DIC (Drunken Irish Cunt): Pissed as a parrot and Wearing half a pint of Beamers on his Green jersey

      Murph enters pub

      DIC: Hey Aussie, what’s dat shit in the corner of yer flag boy!

      Murph: You’d be referring to the Union Jack?

      DIC: Yeah.  Ya chouldn’t ‘ave dat dare.

      Murph:  Yeah, It’d be good if they got rid of the St Patrick’s cross and left the St George, St Andrew and St David’s crosses.

      DIC: Don’t get smart wit’ me boy.

      Murph:  Well, don’t fucking give shit to me about my nation’s flag.  And what about your flag?  Orange, White and Green?  What’s the Orange all about?

      DIC: It’s not.  That’d be Gold Oi’ll tell ya.

      Murph: Nope.  Green for Catholics, Orange for Protestants and White for peace between the two – not that any of you seem to know what Michael Collins was talking about.

      DIC: Moyf hookin’ gran’daddy fought dem Buritish coonts an’ if dey com ‘ere ta’ Oirlond agen, by Godt, Oi’llf hookin’ fight’em to da deat’ moyself

      Murph: Yeah yeah, you wouldn’t last two minutes against the paras; have another 15 pints of Beamers you stupid fucking Paddy…

      Posted by murph on 2005 03 14 at 11:44 PM • permalink


    1. Where’s the “cross of St David” on the Union Flag, murph?

      The “cross of St David” flag is a gold cross on a black ground.

      The Welsh say the English pinched the design for the cross of St George flag, changing the black to white and the gold to red.

      Posted by pog-ma-thon on 2005 03 15 at 12:43 AM • permalink


    1. Where’s the “cross of St David�? on the Union Flag, murph?

      Same place as the piece of sh*t on the Australian flag.

      Posted by murph on 2005 03 15 at 12:50 AM • permalink


    1. So… uh… how about them Italians?

      Posted by Sortelli on 2005 03 15 at 01:24 AM • permalink


    1. The IRA were needed during the terror as the loyalist terrorist, Royal Ulster Constabulary and the British Army were all trying to stop Catholics and Republicans from having their voice in government.  (Though the British Army was originally sent to protect Catholics from persecution.)
      Though now its time is over and must be disbanded, as to should the loyalist terrorist but they seem to be ignored whenever the Irish question is put forward.
      Unlike Iraq Northern Ireland was closer to civil war.  If you want to know what it was like go there and talk to the people on the ground.  Yes they are sick of the fighting but that does not mean they shouldn’t have fought.

      Posted by youngy on 2005 03 15 at 02:56 AM • permalink


    1. Youngy:

      In 1989-1995, I lived in Germany about 6 months of every year.

      Most weekends, I drove to Enschede markets in Holland (and parked near a fireworks factory that later went up, but that’s another story).

      One weekend (27th May 1990), 2 other Australians, Nick Spanos and Stephen Melrose, also went over the border in a German-registered car like mine, but to a different Dutch market town.

      The IRA, thinking that they might possibly be British soldiers off-duty, shot them. Repeatedly.

      The IRA are enemies of humanity, and I take this Personally. It could easily have been me, and I look upon exterminating the IRA root and branch as a matter of self-defence.

      For me, and my 3-year old son – as these people (I use the word loosely) have been known to target 2 year old girls, along with their fathers. Not (just) in Ireland, but overseas.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 2005 03 15 at 07:28 AM • permalink


    1. Aebrain, I agree with you that many of the actions of the IRA were sickening and I have never agreed to attacks on innocent civilians.  No one should have to be afraid for their children or family that they could be killed by one of these attacks.
      But this does not halt my argument that at “one time” they were needed.  I have been to Northern Ireland.  I was there not long after the signing of the Good Friday agreement.  I do admit that I am sympathetic to Irish Republicanism.  Which may go towards my feeling on the subject but it was not the IRA I was scared of.  It was the loyalist terrorist organisations, which have been proven to have links with both the RUC and the British Army.  Slogan were written in many places threatening death to all Catholics, for no other reason than because they were Catholics.
      Is it no wonder that people turned to the IRA for protection.
      Once again, as I wrote in my earlier post this time is past and they must be disbanded.  But to truly remove IRA influence the Good Friday Agreement must be fully implemented and for this loyalist party organisation must make a proper move to peace in Northern Ireland.

      Posted by youngy on 2005 03 15 at 05:48 PM • permalink


    1. “I have never agreed to attacks on innocent civilians”

      Who do you agree with attacks on? Given your recital of the republican evidence free mantra about the RUC and Army I have a pretty strong suspicion as to what the answer to that is.

      Posted by Ross on 2005 03 15 at 06:38 PM • permalink


  1. Youngy:

    I didn’t mention my Irish Catholic relatives. Nor my Northern Irish Catholic cousin, who’s a member of the Royal Air Force military police. It’s the “British” not the “English” army/navy/air force, and has quite a few Northern Irish in. Catholic or Protestant doesn’t enter into it, any more than Hindu or Jewish. They have little time for criminal thugs, no matter what politics said thugs claim to espouse. They are the Enemy, sometimes useful for Intelligence, the way that Al Capone’s mob was a good source to the FBI about Dutch Schultz’s activities, and vice-versa.

    The links between the “loyalist” terrorist organisations (some of which are as foetid as the IRA) and the British Military are, shall we say, exaggerated.

    I make no such claim about the RUC though, as I don’t know enough about them.

    Posted by Zoe Brain on 2005 03 16 at 09:16 AM • permalink