Morals vs Money
July 23, 2003 1:28 PM   Subscribe

Sinn Fein "cashing in on the victims"? As Sinn Fein launch their new website they have been accused of "promoting the IRA and cashing in on violence". From a party which is bound by the Good Friday Agreement, is it acceptable to promote goods associated with the atrocities committed in Northern Ireland since the 1960's?
posted by knapah (10 comments total)
Oh, come on. They can of course produce anything they want. I'm pretty sure the Good Friday Agreement says nothing about restricting sales of Tshirts - for either side.

As Gerry Adams himself says: "It is one of the ironies that by the stupidity of these other parties latching onto this issue, they are going to focus publicity on our website which is going to bring more and more people into contact with republicanism beyond the sale of a t-shirt," he said.

Besides, none of this is anything new - I saw lots worse in several places in both Northern and (southern) Ireland.
posted by widdershins at 1:39 PM on July 23, 2003

True, but I would oppose the sales of this type of t-shirt by either side of the political divide in NI. It just seems a little inappropriate that they are celebrating the "ongoing struggle against British Imperialism" whilst they and the IRA are committed to democratic and peaceful means.

I have no trouble with Republicanism, although I'm more of an SDLP man myself. It just seems insensitive to broadcast support for this "ongoing struggle".
posted by knapah at 1:46 PM on July 23, 2003

It's still pretty awful and it doesn't speak well of any sort of lasting commitment to peace.
posted by kavasa at 1:47 PM on July 23, 2003

Well, I think it comes down to "I don't like what you say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it" (sorry if butchered, quoting from memory). As with anything, if the demand is there, the merchandise will sell. If not, it's a non-issue.

On a personal, moral ground, do I think it's a good idea? No. Does it undermine their commitment to peace? Yes. Is it acceptable? Sadly, yes. Will I be buying one of their Tshirts? No.
posted by widdershins at 1:59 PM on July 23, 2003

This is a bit like those sites that Sinn Féin used to promote selling all sorts of tat made by IRA prisoners, bodhráns, etc. There definitely seems to be a big market for this stuff. Has anyone any idea where?
posted by Celery at 2:07 PM on July 23, 2003

America. and quite a lot of scary themed Irish bars around the world.
posted by knapah at 2:11 PM on July 23, 2003

It doesn't disregard the letter of the agreement, but taunting and rejoicing in your bloody past definitely seems like violating its spirit. You can't rationally take sides on an issue where both sides revel in idiotic grudges and violence, but I'd rather stand next to Ian Paisley than someone wearing one of those shirts.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:12 PM on July 23, 2003

As ever, I wait for an indepth analysis from the Portadown News.
posted by Damienmce at 2:18 PM on July 23, 2003

Here's the link to the T-shirts. Now, I'm not taking a position on either side of this fight...but, if a pro-Palestine group had these same shirts, and an American bought and wore one...I'd bet money on a visit from the FBI. I'm just wondering who gets to draw the line between freedom fighter and terrorist.

That being said, I may have to own a "You Can Never Kill the Revolution" shirt, if only to spook the neighbors.
posted by dejah420 at 2:40 PM on July 23, 2003

As a moderate Republican, Sinn Fein's arrogance never fails to amaze me.

Despite their best efforts, the Ireland-Est 1916 one is pretty cool. If I'd seen it in a hip London boutique, I'd have bought it in a flash
posted by ascullion at 2:42 AM on July 24, 2003

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