Nile Gardiner Slams US President for Posing with Former IRA Leader
Joe Biden’s recent photo op with former Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, has come under fire from Margaret Thatcher’s former aide, Nile Gardiner. Gardiner, who is now the director of the Heritage Foundation’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, criticised the US President for taking a selfie with Adams during his visit to Ireland.
In an article for The Telegraph, Gardiner called Adams a “terrorist godfather” and criticised Biden for “embracing a man who was a key figure in an organisation responsible for countless atrocities, including the brutal murder of Margaret Thatcher’s close friend and adviser, Airey Neave.”
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Gardiner’s criticism comes as a reminder of the violent history of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and its role in the conflict in Northern Ireland, known as The Troubles. The IRA was responsible for a series of bombings and assassinations during the 1970s and 80s, including the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984, which killed five people and injured 31 others, as well as the murder of Airey Neave.
Biden’s decision to take a photo with Adams, who was a prominent figure in the IRA during the Troubles, has been criticised by some as a lack of sensitivity towards the victims of IRA violence. However, others have praised the US President for his efforts to support peace in Northern Ireland.
Gardiner, however, remains critical of Biden’s actions. “President Biden’s photo op with Gerry Adams was a grave mistake and sends entirely the wrong message,” he wrote. “The IRA was a terrorist organisation that inflicted enormous pain and suffering on the people of Northern Ireland and Great Britain.”