Thoughts on ‘mental reservation of Gerry Adams’

May I congratulate C D C Armstrong on his opinion piece (Newsletter 13th April) “New ‘Brownie’ claim adds to the Gerry Adams-IRA controversy”?

It was certainly well spotted to note the admission in Danny Morrison’s tribute in the Irish Times on February 9, that: “I have known Gerry Adams 46 years. In 1975, as editor of Republican News, I asked him would he write a weekly column from Long Kesh, which he did under the pen man Brownie.”

Danny Morrison pictured with Gerry Adams, west Belfast, 1984

More needs to be said however on this conundrum, which may be solved with the examination of the Roman Catholic doctrine of ‘Mental Reservation’. This is a doctrine which allows individuals to make statements vocally, while reserving words mentally – thereby failing to tell: ‘The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’.

In an interview in the Irish Catholic, Father Gerry Reynolds defended Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams’s denial of membership of the IRA on mental reservation grounds.

When pressed by the veteran journalist, Martin O‘Brien, Reynolds claimed that it was nobody’s business whether Mr Adams was in the IRA or not. It was “a legitimate mental reservation”.

When O’Brien suggested to Reynolds that some would claim Mr Adams was lying, he replied: “He’s entitled to that mental reservation, that he is not going to tell people that he doesn’t believe have any right to know.”

Thanks to Danny Morrison, we may never hear it from the ‘organ grinder’,  but the monkey has spoken!

Brian Kennaway (Rev) south Antrim.

This appeared as the lead letter in the Belfast News Letter on Monday 16th April 2018