Sometimes, I just don’t understand us. I mean, us – the people who live on this island.
Yes, though I am (a poor) Catholic, I get why so many turned against the Church when the clerical sex abuse scandals were uncovered. I get why numbers attending Mass have declined sharply. I get why vocations have all but dried up.
What happened, what children went through and what efforts were made by some to cover up the abuse, was horrific.
But what I don’t get is this.
Many of those who were outraged by the behaviour of clergy, who turned against the Church and/or walked away from it, who spoke out against the Church and who still look at priests with a suspicious eye, are enthusiastic supporters of Sinn Féin.
Sinn Féin whose armed wing, the IRA – and they don’t deny or disavow that, far from it – was killing people at the same time that clerical sex abuse was occurring.
That’s the IRA which planted no-warning bombs in pubs, which ensured that the victims in the Abercorn fire-bombing died agonising deaths, which ran kangaroo courts and carried out summary executions, which carried out sectarian massacres at Teebane and Kingsmill and killed children.
That’s the IRA for whom David Cullinane shouted “Up the RA” when he was elected to the Dáil, the IRA whose slogan “Tiochfaidh ár lá’” is cheerfully shouted by Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald – she who thinks Slab Murphy is a “good republican.”
Shun and condemn those involved in clerical sex abuse. Absolutely.
Indeed some would have them run out of the country.
But embrace and refuse to condemn murderers, torturers and bombers and vote for their apologists?
Indeed some would have them run the country.
I, genuinely, don’t get it.