Celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s Death: Is it right or wrong?

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams poses for a picture on a bench outside Leinster House in Dublin May 4, 2012. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams poses for a picture on a bench outside Leinster House in Dublin May 4, 2012. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

I read this via The Guardian today, and good on them for giving Thatcher’s most vocal Irish Political opponent a voice.

For those who may not know, Gerry Adams was the leader of Sinn Fein (Our Selves) during the Thatcher administration.

Thatcher did everything in her power to demonize Sinn Fein and silence the Republican movement in Ireland according to Adams. She even tried to stop the BBC from letting viewers and listeners hear his voice by issuing a Broadcasting Ban on Sinn Fein in 1988. Adams also mentions Bobby Sands in the article.

Bobby Sands aged 27, died on May 5 1981 at Longkesh prison in the North of Ireland, on day 66 of his hunger strike.

Bobby Sands aged 27, died on May 5 1981 at Longkesh prison in the North of Ireland, on day 66 of his hunger strike.

I wrote a blog-post sometime back about the death of Bobby Sands. Sands was the first of ten men who died in the Irish hunger strikes of 1981.

“It was the fifth day of May,1981. The door of the classroom creaked open and our music teacher Miss Gilligan peeked in. A small tilt of the head and our regular teacher Miss Hanley knew she was being motioned to step outside. When she returned we stood and blessed ourselves and began saying a prayer for the soul of Bobby Sands. After 66 days without food in protest for the removal of the Special Category Status of prisoners convicted of involvement with the Northern Ireland political conflicts; the Troubles, Bobby Sands was dead at 27 years of age.

I was 12 years old then, and I could not comprehend that anything was worth starving for. This is my earliest memory of hunger strikers.”

Margaret Thatcher refused to return the special category status that prisoners who were involved with Northern Ireland’s violence were given and that is why Sands and nine others died.

Gerry Adams speaks honestly about Thatcher and Irish politics and said her actions caused, “great suffering,” according to an article in Reuters. Adams was painted as a criminal during her administration, and the fact that she tried to silence his voice with a broadcasting ban tells me she was a bully. Did I break open the champagne and toast her death with good cheer? No, I did not. But I can fully understand the emotions of those who did, and especially those whom she had effected greatly, like Adams.

Margaret Thatcher 13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013

Margaret Thatcher
13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013

Is it any wonder then that there are disputes on social media about how people are celebrating Thatcher’s death? I for one am amazed that some political leaders and some news media sources have turned her into a saint. Is that what you do when people die? Not according to The Guardian and not according to The Week.

Here is the link to Gerry Adam’s article in the Guardian.

It depends who you talk to about whether Margaret Thatcher was a great leader or not. I always thought how sad that a woman had to be a bully in order to do the job that was traditionally done by men.

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One thought on “Celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s Death: Is it right or wrong?

  1. There is no middle with Margaret Thatcher. You either hated or loved her. In the case of Gerry Adams, real courage would have been to forgive her, so he could move on. By the end, with her illnesses, she would not have remembered him anyway.

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