The pretence that the media establishment in Ireland is anything other than anti-Republican in terms of its collective political ideology has pretty much gone out the window over the last week. The arrest and prolonged detention without charge of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD by the PSNI, the British paramilitary police force in the north-east of Ireland, in relation to the 1972 death of Jean McConville has been manna from heaven for the conservative press. With Sinn Féin predicted to do well in upcoming European and local elections across Ireland the opportunity to reverse that electoral steamroller has been seized upon and the propaganda is coming fast and thick from the party’s opponents. If anyone was under the illusion that we on this island nation have a free and pluralist media they will have been bitterly disappointed. Instead we live in a country under the axis of a media consensus that Fox News or other right-wing pundits in the United States could only dream of. There is an old Irish political term known as “Felon Setting”. At its most basic it means setting someone up, through public announcements or actions, for arrest and imprisonment by the British colonial authorities in Ireland (or elsewhere for that matter). In times past it was one of the gravest charges in the Irish political lexicon. The number of revolutionaries who paid with their freedom or their lives through this process of labelling is countless. Our history is replete with examples and more often than not it was fellow Irish men and women doing the labelling for their own personal, political or financial advantage.
So rather than fair and balanced reporting or level-headed analysis we have had the media acting as judge, jury and executioner. It says much for the parlous state of journalistic ethics in Ireland that even some of the press in Britain have proved more rational in their reporting than their Irish equivalents or that one must turn to the United States to escape the ideological feeding frenzy at home. The latest example of that latter phenomenon comes from the Irish Independent newspaper which has published some long public photos implying that these prove that Gerry Adams was linked to those allegedly behind the killing of Jean McConville. It reeks of desperation and displays the utter contempt the media have for the intelligence of their own readers. However, just to show how these things can be turned on their head, here are some examples that display the double-edged nature of the the sword the journalistic establishment is attempting to wield. Sic pilum iactum est!
Pictured above is Ian Paisley, the former leader of the DUP and First Minister in the north of Ireland, wearing the maroon beret of the Ulster Resistance (UR), the British terrorist organisation he helped found in 1986 with the co-operation of a number of known militants from within the British Unionist community. The UR participated with others in the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Ireland from southern Lebanon to rearm the British terror factions in the country during the mid-1980s. These armaments were procured through the Whites-only government of apartheid-era South Africa under the aegis of the British Security Service MI5 (and the tacit permission of the Israeli government) and were used to carry out hundreds of gun and bomb attacks over the following decade. Amongst the more notable victims of the British-procured weapons was the civil rights lawyer Pat Finucane, murdered by a UDA death squad in Belfast controlled by British Military Intelligence.
In the first image below we have Peter Robinson, the current head of the DUP and First Minister, marching alongside other uniformed members of the Ulster Resistance including a convicted terrorist. Robinson himself was convicted in an Irish court of militancy in 1986 after he led five hundred extremists in a cross-border “invasion” of the small village of Clontibret, a Crimea-style stunt that earned him his stripes with his peers. Underneath that we have the DUP politician posing with an AK47 assault rifle during a visit to Israel, close to the Lebanese border. From this same region some years later Unionist terrorists under the direction of Britain’s intelligences services smuggled hundreds of AK47s to Ireland. In the third image Robinson is pictured with former DUP party member and local candidate John Smyth Jr. The same Smyth who is the son of DUP councillor and convicted terrorist John Smyth Sr. and who was himself later tried and found guilty on charges of conducting terrorism.