The Blanket

Revealing

James Doherty

 

John Meehan is spot on in his analysis, not least concerning the prisoners campaign and Sinn Fein's position on it in 1978/9. As a Sinn Fein member at the time I remember very clearly my surprise at the reaction of colleagues in the organisation during the 'Coalisland Conference' in 1978. It was pretty confusing for me, barely 18 at the time, since what was being said by the 'independents' and particularly Bernadette McAlsikey, made perfect sense. It was my organisations position that was the problem. The change in Sinn Fein thinking came about because of external pressures (by the said independents and many in the RAC's) and as Meehan correctly points out, was not due to the 'progressive' thinking of the likes of Jim Gibney. As for the EEC elections in 1978 when Bernadette stood as the 'prisoners' candidate Sinn Fein were in total opposition to her participation in "bourgeois elections". Funny that given the current strategy.




 


 

 

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