Daft Ban Slows Progress

Posted By: March 29, 2013

By Fr. Sean McManus, President of the Irish National Caucus

Letters to the Editor Irish Voice
November 28, 2005

Niall O’Dowd nailed the U.S. fundraising ban on Gerry Adams in the editorial “Perils of Megaphone Diplomacy” in last week’s issue.
The ban was, indeed, a “daft move.” The Irish National Caucus, making its very first criticism of President Bush, branded the ban a “deceitful betrayalŠ a stab in the back.”
But maybe the real problem with the ban is that it has trivialized the whole Northern Ireland policing issue (the single most important issue of all), reducing it to a matter of dollars and cents.
If, as appears, President Bush imposed the ban to put pressure on Adams to join the Police Board, the only pressure that will be put on Adams is pressure from his own people not to give in, or be seen to give in, to such “daft” punitive measures.
Thus, instead of speeding Sinn Fein’s acceptance of the new police service, the PSNI, the Bush administration has maybe only succeeded in slowing it down. Talk about the law of unintended consequences!
I have publicly praised Mitchell Reiss, special envoy for Northern Ireland, many times. But this daft decision has trivialized the very issue in which he has invested so much time.
And when vital issues are trivialized, Northern Ireland is the loser, as history amply demonstrates.