Dolours Price beofre her recent death, claimed that Gerry Adams her "Officer Commanding" in the IRA ordered her 18 year old sister Marian Price to go to London and carry out a military operation, that according to the British, is responsible for the current internment of Marian Price 40 years later. Adams, who has never admitted to being an IRA member, denies the allegation.
If what the British say is true, then clearly Gerry Adams has major responsibilities in the matter, that he is ignoring, in the same way as he ignored his responsibilities around the rape of his niece Aine Adams.
By refusing to take responsibility in both matters he has contributed to considerable agony in the lives of both these young women at the time. As a critical part of a Peace Process without Due Process in Ireland and apparently a very devout Christian, these are critical immeidate matters of leadership to restore basic credibility to his legacy. Make no mistake about it, Gerry Adams and provisional Sinn Fein, do have the political leverage, to end all political internment without trial in Ireland.
Critics of Gerry Adams and provisional Sinn Fein claim they have played a political game with Marian Price, and the Irish people, that if she wasn't so high profile "they wouldn't give a flying f*ck about her". They say provisional Sinn Fein know she has a great deal of sympathy and respect, particularly in her native west Belfast.
They maintain that provisional Sinn Fein have called for republicans who don' follow their strategy to be locked up, labelled principled, traditional Irish republicans criminals, traitors and conflict junkies. Critics say that Gerry Adams and provisional Sinn Fein used their political clout to relase Sean Kelly, the McCartney suspect and countless other political ex-prisoners and most certainly have the political leverage to have Marian Price released. Others have cut Adams alot of slack giving him the benefit of the doubt but he is clearly and rapidly running out of time and with him, all credibility around an Irish Peace Process without Due Process.
There is however one current event, clouding the political leverage Gerry Adams, as President of Ireland's largest political party actually has and that is the current trial of his brother for his daughter's rape. Aine Adams, daughter of Gerry Adam's brother, has waived her right to anonymity, saying she had gone to the British paramilitary police RUC/psni (Royal Ulster Constabulary/psni) in 1986 at the height of the Troubles but found British police officers preoccupied with her uncle, the Gerry Adams the provisional Sinn Fein president.
"I felt it wasn't about me," she said.
"The police were more interested in Gerry Adams. They were trying to get information about where he was and who he was with. Back then you did not really trust or talk to the British police. We had to leave it. We felt it was safer for me and mummy. I had to go up to the barracks and say I wanted to retract my evidence. I did not say I was telling lies, I just said I wanted to retract it."
Liam Adams, 57 is on trial accused of 10 counts of sex abuse including rape, gross indecency with a child, indecent assault between 1977 and 1983. He has denies all of the charges.
A jury of six men and six women at Belfast Crown Court were shown a recorded interview in which Ms Adams, alleged her father exploited every opportunity to sneak into her bedroom and abuse her from when she was aged between four and nine-years-old.
"It was as often as he could manage. If he could sneak in. That just seemed to be the way it was. Every opportunity there was he would have done it. Even if he didn't I would have expected him to do it," she said.
The abuse was carried on regularly at four different addresses across Belfast, she claimed.
Ms Adams, said she can vividly recall a number of specific incidents that happened between the ages of four and five-years-old.
"I remember him coming in, I think I had wet myself, touching me and getting me to touch him, him saying that I could not tell anyone and that we were going to run away to Kerry together," she said.
It was like I was being suffocated by him. I couldn't breathe. I was roasting, I could smell the drink off him. I felt that he has had the power over me."I remember feeling bad. I knew he should not have been doing it. I would have felt guilty as well. I knew I was part of something wrong," she further said that she had felt unable to stop the abuse because she did not want to upset family members and she had come to accept it as part of her life.
After the death of her grandmother, Ms Adams felt compelled to speak out because she realized her father had another two-year-old daughter, whom he was living with in Donegal.
"I just snapped one day and wrote my mummy a letter and told her everything that happened because I did not want it to happen to his wee daughter.It is not about hate or revenge or pity. It is just to hear him saying 'no you weren't lying, I did it',"
She said she wanted to protect this 2 year old baby and that at the age of 13 Ms Adams, her mother and uncle Gerry had also confronted her fatherLiam at a house in Buncrana.
"He denied it to my face. I told him to his face that he did it. At that time that's all we could have done," she said.
The British are trying to censor the trial and matters relating to the political internment of Marian Price claiming that because this case is sub-judice, it is in-opertune to opinionate because it could prejudice its outcome. There is considerable scrutiny in Ireland of the trial, along with considerable speculation about the extent of Gerry Adams and provisional Sinn Fein being politcally compromised by the matter.
Many disagree, pointing out that it is largely irrelevant whose brother an accused actually is, however such caution was not exercised by the British before the trial of the Guilford Four or Birmingham Six. It certainly has not been exercised in the case of Marian Price who has been interned without trial for almost two years and been demonized by the British press.
While Gerry Adams and provisional Sinn Fein have expressed faint protest at Marian's internment with public statements. The normally mild SDLP, have been much more active on the issue and indeed brought down the Stormont adminsitration the last time internment without trial was inroduced in British Occupied Ireland. Provisional Sinn Fein on the other hand who claim to be a republican party, seem to have no such principles of republican democracy.
MI5 and the British SS in general are known to use blackmail to control both loyalist and provisional politicians, the judiciary, the PSNI, the media and social services. Some claim the British secret services, control almost all elected politicians in British Occupied Ireland, with blackmail on matters related to child rape, satanic rings of orangemen, with sacrificial baby murdering ceremonies across all of Ireland. One thing is certain the Adams family trial is but the tip of the iceberg.
Subject: Marian Price interview:
Date: Weds. Dec. 08, 2004
December 7, 2004
A well-dressed, articulate, middle-aged woman, Marian Price wouldn't look out of place on a Sinn Féin negotiating team meeting Tony Blair or Bertie Ahern.
But she'd face jail and hunger-strike all over again rather than take part:"I would be ashamed to be on any delegation to Downing Street given what’s on the table. The only reason for going there should be to negotiate the freedom of our country.
"If I went to agree to British rule, restoring Stormont, or signing up to a partitionist police force, I'd hope at least to have the decency to hang my head in shame."
The last time Price visited London was to blow it up. With her sister Dolours and Gerry Kelly, now a Sinn Féin negotiator, she was part of an 11-strong IRA unit which in March 1973 planted bombs at the Old Bailey, New Scotland Yard, Whitehall, and the British Forces Broadcasting Office.
They were arrested attempting to fly home from Heathrow Airport. A 200-day hunger-strike and force-feeding regime made the sisters household names. "I did what I believed in," Price says. "Nothing Provisional IRA or Sinn Féin leaders do can denigrate that.
"But I'm very angry when I see so much has been sacrificed for so little. All these lives have been lost - IRA volunteers, civilians, policemen, British soldiers - and for what? If this is what they’re settling for, we all could have joined the SDLP back then."
Price (50) came from a staunch republican family in west Belfast. She believes IRA membership is too often explained away as an emotional response to events: "I made an ideological choice to join. It wasn't a reaction to Bloody Sunday, internment or anything else."
Her childhood ambition was to be a nurse. She left school with a string of 'O' and 'A' levels and secured one of only five places on a course at the Royal Victoria Hospital. She denies there was a huge contradiction between IRA membership and nursing.
"One day, a wounded British soldier was brought into casualty. He was wearing a dirty vest. He looked frightened. I felt very sorry for him. That night, I told my comrades and one joked that I should have finished him off.
"I asked why on earth I'd do that. He was no longer a soldier, he'd been taken out of the battlefield. He was a patient now, I'd have no difficulty looking after him."
The bombing mission was the Provisional IRA's first to England. The idea and planning came from the sisters. Price travelled on the Dublin-Liverpool ferry with one of the four car bombs which was then driven to London.
Did she never consider the morality of planting bombs in densely populated areas?: "The warnings given were twice as long as in Belfast. That was a conscious decision because we knew the English lacked experience of evacuation. We didn't want civilian casualties, from a moral or pragmatic viewpoint."
Yet there were casualties. Two bombs were defused but those at the Old Bailey and Whitehall exploded, injuring 200 people, mainly with flying glass. Price expresses regret but says the injuries "weren’t intentional".
"I've never had a sleepless night over anything I've done as an IRA volunteer. Bombs are weapons of war. Western states have used them far more brutally than we ever did.
"George Bush and Tony Blair send other people's sons out to die without ever venturing onto the battlefield themselves. They drop far bigger bombs from B52s on women and children and they don't give any warnings at all." Price is an atheist: "When I look around the world, I think if there’s a God, he's a bad God."
After her arrest at Heathrow, she was interrogated for five days. "I was stripped in the police station and given a grey blanket to wear. I was embarrassed because there were a lot of policemen about and I was sexually innocent.
"They used no physical violence but I wasn't let sleep once. The lights were kept on in my cell and the police were there at all times. If I started to doze off, they clapped their hands."
She remained remarkably unfazed: "I remember a detective saying to me, ‘I bet your mother will be proud of you' and I thought 'yes, she will be very proud of me'. My father was on a bombing mission to England in the forties, so it was a family tradition."
The sisters were charged and moved to Brixton prison. They were strip-searched daily and locked 23-hours a day in cells where again the lights were permanently on.
As a 19-year-old facing potential life imprisonment in England, wasn’t she depressed?:"It never entered my head. I'd known what I believed in and the risks involved.
"My mother, her sisters, and my granny had been in Cumann na mBan. My Aunt Bridie was badly injured lifting an IRA arms dump in the 30s. It exploded and she lost her hands and sight. She was 26.
"When we were growing up, it was never a case of 'poor Bridie'. We were just proud of her sacrifice. She came home from hospital to a wee house with an outside toilet, no social worker, no disability allowance, and no counselling. She just got on with it."
Price claims that during their 1973 trial, the bombers learned they had been compromised by a high-placed informer in Belfast who knew all the details but didn't take part in the operation.
"It emerged in court that customs at Liverpool realised one of the cars had false number plates. They phoned Scotland Yard but were told to wave it through.
"The authorities allowed the bombs to happen. They had details of the operation in advance that could only have come from a senior figure in Belfast. We learned that photos of Dolours and I had been circulated at airports and ports across Britain nine hours before the bombs exploded,”
She claims that during the trial they agreed it would be less damaging for the IRA if they appeared "young, stupid and incompetent", rather than publicly exposing an informer. She claims to know the identity of the alleged informer whom, she says, remains in a leadership position.
The Price sisters, Gerry Kelly and Hugh Feeney went on hunger-strike in Brixton prison in November 1973 as part of a campaign to be repatriated to serve their sentences in Northern Ireland.
"Four male prison officers tie you into the chair so tightly with sheets you can't struggle," says Price. "You clench your teeth to try to keep your mouth closed but they push a metal spring device around your jaw to prise it open.
"They force a wooden clamp with a hole in the middle into your mouth. Then, they insert a big rubber tube down that. They hold your head back. You can't move.
"They throw whatever they like into the food mixer - orange juice, soup, or cartons of cream if they want to beef up the calories. They take jugs of this gruel from the food mixer and pour it into a funnel attached to the tube.
"The force-feeding takes 15 minutes but it feels like forever. You're in control of nothing. You're terrified the food will go down the wrong way and you won't be able to let them know because you can't speak or move. You're frightened you'll choke to death."
Price was force-fed 400 times over six months. "I knew nothing about force-feeding beforehand," says Price. "I thought it was like when you hold a baby's nose and put a spoon in its mouth. Ignorance was bliss."
After the sisters went on hunger-strike, the British Home Office dispatched eminent psychiatrist Peter Scott to examine them. "He said he’d been sent to certify us so we could be force-fed. He left saying we knew exactly what we were doing and the problem was we were too sane,”
They built a good rapport with Dr Ian Blythe, the prison doctor: "He called us 'my girls'. As the hunger-strike went on, he arm-wrestled with us, pretending it was a game but really testing us to see how much we were weakening."
Dolours was first to be force fed, three weeks into the hunger-strike. "I met her in the exercise yard afterwards. She was in a terrible state. She said it she couldn't go through that again. I told her she didn't have to, she could come off the hunger-strike immediately, but I'd stay on.
"She said we'd come off together or not at all. She was much braver than me because she was so much more afraid of force-feeding yet she didn't give in." Two days later, Marian was force-fed.
While Dolours endured the procedure once a day, Marian suffered it twice daily because she vomited so often afterwards. "I always threw up when they pulled the tube out of my stomach. It was vile. I would be exhausted afterwards but you couldn't even lie in bed in your cell in privacy because the screws came in with you.
"Sometimes when they arrived to force feed me, I would struggle; other times I didn't have the energy to fight. The low point was having no control over your weight. But not for one minute did I think of giving up. They were never, ever going to break me."
One day, a doctor put the tube into Price's lung, not her stomach, and water flooded in. "I felt like I was drowning. I passed out. They carried me back to my cell. The doctors were standing over me when I came round. If had been food, not water in the tube, it would have killed me. The medical and prison staff told the authorities they wouldn't force feed me again."
A fortnight after that incident in May 1974, the hunger-strike ended and a deal was reached. The sisters were moved to Armagh prison the following March.
The British Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, was loathed by republicans for his treatment of the hunger-strikers. Price says she doesn't hate him: "He was caught up in the politics of the situation. He followed orders. I once asked the psychiatrist Peter Scott who knew him to invite him to Brixton to visit us. He said he wouldn't come because if he met us, he’d want to send us home."
Price was freed after five years in Armagh jail, suffering from anorexia and tuberculosis. Ten-and-a-half stone when she was arrested, she left prison half that weight.
On release from jail, she says she was in no physical or mental state to rejoin the IRA and had no interest in a Sinn Féin career: "I like politics but not politicians. To be a politician, you must be a liar and a hypocrite."
Still, she was initially positive about Sinn Féin's rise, believing it would strengthen the IRA campaign: "I remember watching TV as Sinn Féin swept down the stairs in Belfast City Hall with Tricolour ribbons and champagne after an election victory.
"My father was disgusted. He pointed to Gerry Adams and said, 'I've been around longer than you, that boy will sell you out'. I told him to give Sinn Féin a chance. I was wrong."
From 1994, Price had "serious concerns" about the leadership's political direction but "loyalty to the movement" kept her quiet. Eventually, she spoke at one 'republican family' meeting in west Belfast, expressing doubts. A senior IRA member visited her home: "He told me what I was saying wasn't appreciated and he'd shot people for less."
She claims the republican movement underwent a transformation: "People began to make financial gain from the movement. Those who had never worked a day in their lives, now had better homes, cars, and holidays than their neighbours.
"It used to be what you could do for the movement, now it's what the movement can do for you. In the past, to be a republican brought financial hardship. But that was okay because to be a republican was to be something special. You knew you were right."
Price says that while the peace process has secured "a measure of equality" for Catholics, a British withdrawal and the ending of partition is further away than ever.
Five years ago, she joined the 32 County Sovereignty Movement which security sources say is the Real IRA's political wing, a claim the group denies. She says her military days are over but she won't condemn others "for doing what I did myself".
She claims 'armed struggle' is morally justified "while the British occupy part of this country". The Real IRA has proved itself incapable of waging a sustained campaign against the state and lacks popular support. Physical force republicanism has never been weaker in recent decades.
Price refuses to recognise 'armed struggle' is now pointless: "Sometimes it’s necessary to do something just to let it be known there are people out there who don't accept the status quo.
"Being a minority of a minority is nothing new for republicans. You don’t join for an easy life or to be popular. As a child, I remember 50 people at an Easter parade on the Falls Road."
Despite everything, she has no regrets: "Disappointments maybe. I’m disappointed in Gerry Kelly. I expected more of him but I'd never detract from the physical bravery he showed. Gerry Adams and I were once friends. We certainly aren't now. He may have difficulty admitting his IRA past but I'm very, very proud of mine."