Gerry Adams has been at the spear point of the movement for a free and united Ireland for much of his life. But Irish history is awash in stories of those who seek to right injustices ingrained into society for generations. Change is not accomplished without push-back. For those that are called upon to sacrifice for a greater good, much sacrifice is required. Sometimes you make choices in the heat of the moment or as conditions dictate in order to further your goal, those choices can bring unforeseen consequences. Sometimes your motto is, the enemy of my enemy, is my friend.
Regarded as a freedom fighter by millions around the world for the great changes he has brought to Ireland, this recognition has not come without high cost to himself and those around him. Today Gerry suffers from pain caused by bullet wounds and the health effects from imprisonment in harsh conditions.
The imprisonment was not only designed to keep him away from a struggle he fervently believed in, but also designed to break his spirit. Gerry's struggle also resulted in the loss of friends and family and created bitter enemies along the way.
In this fourth and last part of my interview with Gerry Adams, we discuss choices made during his lifetime and his belief in the vast power of the Irish people to see the peace process through.
Read 1st parts of interview here:
From soldier to statesman Gerry Adams made his mark
US civil rights movement inspired Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams say British have illegal, immoral and illegitimate claim to part of Ireland
I asked Gerry about the tumultuous past of his life. Looking back in retrospect, would he have chosen a different route?
"First of all Ed" I do not look upon myself as a historic or pivotal figure, I look at myself as a small part of a much bigger whole, no way unique." Gerry went on to say: "We're blessed with a huge team of people, some of us have come through a lot of hard experiences together and that has forged a continuity and history, through the good as well as the bad"
Gerry then said: "I can't see me doing a lot of other things, if I had the chance, but I didn't....I have no regrets"
"There may be individual issues and matters and events, that I may have regrets about-just in terms" But summed it up with: "But it is a life well spent"
Gerry continued: "When you are able to bring about the type of seismic changes which my generation have been involved and hopefully a lot will be continued in the upcoming period, then much will be accomplished peacefully"
Through his life's prism, Gerry was able to share his feelings on how peaceful change can be brought about: "I have huge confidence in people" he said. " But through all of this I have learned we have to listen a lot, we have to talk a lot and be very proactive in listening to those who oppose our views." "We must be able to peacefully persuade them to the vast possibilities for them in the future."
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