18 August 2005 Edition
Enda Kenny's rant
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny opened the Parnell Summer School last Sunday and used the occasion to utter yet another tirade against Sinn Féin. Kenny is quite entitled to criticise Sinn Féin as strongly as he wishes. That's democracy. But Kenny's blatantly false allegations must be refuted in the strongest terms. To suggest as he did that Sinn Féin has in any way, shape or form benefited from drug-dealing in Ireland, in Colombia or anywhere else is totally false and Enda Kenny should withdraw the allegation. It demeans him, his party and Irish democracy. It is an insult to the decent people who are members, supporters and voters of Sinn Féin throughout this country.
Enda Kenny clearly feels it is politically advantageous to make such allegations and to join with the O'Reilly media in their chorus of hate against Irish republicans. No doubt he has calculated that this may win over some Progressive Democrat voters to Fine Gael in the next general election. But democratic debate and the Irish Peace Process are ill-served by Kenny's approach. In his remarks he had little to say about Parnell, that campaigner for Irish independence. He had even less to say about Fine Gael's vision for Irish unity and independence -- if there is such a thing. We hope he uses the next opportunity — perhaps the Griffith/Collins commemoration next Sunday -- to tell us about it and to say something positive about peace and unity.