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Irish political leader and writer Gerry Adams.

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Introduction

Irish political leader and writer Gerry Adams was born October 6, 1948, in the Catholic area of West Belfast, Northern Ireland. His father was a labourer and member of the Irish Republican Army who was shot and imprisoned by British forces. His mother came from a family of prominent Irish revolutionaries and nationalists. Adams grew up as part of a working-class Catholic minority that suffered social and economic discrimination at the hands of a Protestant majority community. As a teenager, Adams worked as a bartender in Belfast. When the decline of local industries led to unemployment and civil strife. Adams soon became politically active; he joined Sinn Fein, an Irish nationalist political party, and involved himself in action committees that worked to solve problems of housing, unemployment and civil rights. Adams was imprisoned without trial for several years during the 1970s, and spent much of the decade either in jail or on the run. ...read more.

Middle

began to twist the focus. In 1983 Adams was elected as MP in West Belfast, which led to his promotion to Sinn Fein president. He was now in a position to lead "the republican project" in the direction he thought most appropriate. The electoral gains made by Sinn Fein frightened London and Dublin who saw dark days ahead for the main nationalist party, John Hume's SDLP. The Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 was seen as an attempt to secure the SDLP's position, but in 1988 Gerry Adams and John Hume were meeting in secret. Mr Hume became convinced republicans were serious about finding a political way forward and although the 1988 discussions ended amid recrimination, they began again soon afterwards and became public in 1993. In 1994 the "Hume-Adams process" eventually delivered the IRA ceasefire, which has since provided the relatively peaceful backdrop against which the Good Friday Agreement was brokered. Even more important was the vote on whether the party should take its seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly in the aftermath of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. ...read more.

Conclusion

After reading his autobiography I began to see Gerry Adams as a man and not the untouchable political figure he is perceived as. I read passages in which he spoke of his genuine love for his country and his genuine hunger for his country's freedom. He spoke of his anger towards the British government as he watched friends and comrades die in the 1981 hunger strikes and the events, which led to him becoming involved with the republican cause. After much research into the man that is Gerry Adams I have found my opinion divided. Obviously I would like to believe him when he says he is not and never has been a member of the IRA, but common sense prevents me from doing so. The question I now ask myself is should it matter whether or not he was once involved with the IRA as now it is quite clear that he would prefer to take the political, peaceful route to a united Ireland. ...read more.

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