Cookie ár lá: Gerry Adams to publish book of recipes

Pizza in our time: Sinn Féin ex-president says recipes sustained republicans through talks

Gerry Adams: “The British never fed us . . . But as intrepid republicans and being blessed by one or two great cooks these are the recipes that sustained the Irish negotiating team.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Gerry Adams: “The British never fed us . . . But as intrepid republicans and being blessed by one or two great cooks these are the recipes that sustained the Irish negotiating team.” Photograph: Alan Betson

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Sinn Féin’s Gerry Adams says he is planning to publish a cookery book, with ingredients including “some of the best-kept secrets of the Irish peace process”.

The former Sinn Féin president said he intended to reveal the recipes which sustained republicans through nights and years of talks.

Speaking at a Féile an Phobail event in west Belfast on Monday night, the Louth TD disclosed the tome, to be printed by Sinn Féin before Christmas, is to be called The Negotiators’ Cook Book.

“The British never fed us. They never had any food. But as intrepid republicans and being blessed by one or two great cooks these are the recipes that sustained the Irish negotiating team.

“It contains some of the best-kept secrets of the Irish peace process.”

The author of some 15 books, including memoirs and political and historical works, will also unveil a new book of short stories next year – which has been five years in the making, he said.

Writing fiction

In his first solo appearance in the festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, Mr Adams said he preferred writing fiction to non-fiction.

It was an almost entirely non-controversial evening – Mr Adams describing the encounter as “the nicest interview I’ve ever had” – but he did urge people against identifying as “Northern Irish” in the next census.

He recalled being puzzled as a teenager when an official form asked him to state whether he was British or Irish.

“I was surprised that a form would ask such a question. There’s a census coming up and please don’t let anyone put ‘Northern Irish’. Some people are on a little journey and we should assist them in that journey at this time.”

Reading matter

Mr Adams told the audience that as a boy he devoured the works of Enid Blyton, Biggles, Roy of the Rovers, the Just William series – all staples of British literary history – and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Quizzed by former Irish News columnist Jude Collins, Mr Adams said for many years republicans had not kept proper records of their negotiations with the British.

“There would be meetings and no record of the meetings,” he said.

A regular tweeter and blogger – whose current book Never Give Up collects Andersonstown News columns – he also described going into the National Library in Dublin for research. He added: “If you do want to write fiction, you need time for day-dreaming”.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin said on Monday evening that its Northern Ireland leader, Michelle O’Neill, had broken her leg. The former Stormont minister for health “underwent a procedure and is recovering well”, the party said.

Note: this piece has been amended to reflect the fact that Jude Collins is no longer an Irish News columnist 

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