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ireland, irish, ulster, ireland, irish, ulster, Sinn Féin, Irish America

We laugh as Gerry Adams wears a blindfold to titillate Twitter but the joke is on us

(Suzanne Breen, Sunday Life)

Gerry Adams is known for his bizarre contributions to social media but I was still taken aback when he tweeted a photo of himself blindfolded.

Had he hit the drink after watching Fifty Shades of Grey? The words underneath the picture were even weirder. "Just trying out the dog's blindfold. Shud I wear this during Leaders Q's?" he asked.

This followed his "disclosure" that he enjoyed trampolining naked with his dog. What other politician would get away with such statements even in jest?

Sammy Wilson rambled naked through French fields but he didn't chose to disclose it. Those photos were published in the press without his permission.

If Peter Robinson, Alasdair McDonnell, or Jim Allister announced they liked frolicking nude on a bouncy castle and then tweeted a photo of themselves wearing what they said were their dog's handcuffs, they'd be toast.

Their colleagues wouldn't trust their judgement. Not only would people not vote for them but a sizeable proportion would want them locked up.

And yet Gerry Adams not only survives but thrives. Sinn Féin is the largest political party here and is topping opinion polls in the South.

So while we are busy laughing at Gerry, the joke is on us. The Sinn Féin president has an eccentric side to his personality but he over-eggs it on social media.

His old tree hugging trees habits seem harmless now considering his new professed pastimes involving rubber ducks, teddy bears, and trampolines.

Maybe he thinks this all means he'll be considered a real character. "Ah, they broke the mould when they made Gerry," we'll say when he's gone.

But I suspect his tweets are really aimed at creating a softer image and shaking off claims he was an IRA leader when they sent Jean McConville and many innocents to their deaths.

Better to be talked of as the man who posed humorously in a blindfold than the one alleged to have had a mother-of-ten abducted, blindfolded, and shot in the head.

February 24, 2015
________________

This article appeared in the February 22, 2015 edition of the Sunday Life.

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