If Sinn Féin has a moral compass, it lacks fixed reference points. How else can we explain Gerry Adams' recent support for a public inquiry into the 1971 Ballymurphy massacre – when 11 civilians were shot dead by paratroopers – while at the same time publicly saying the truth about the abduction, murder and secret burial of Crossmaglen man Charlie Armstrong "may be an issue of secondary importance"?

Logically, this means Sinn Féin expects British soldiers, but not IRA provisionals, to respect basic human rights – and that in matters of equality, west Belfast people are more equal than those in south Armagh.

The Sinn Féin leader's zigzag performances, convoluted and contradictory utterances call to mind lines from Robert Graves' poem, Flying Crooked: "The butterfly, a cabbage white, will never now, it is too late, master the art of flying straight."

Brian Rooney,

The Heights,

Downpatrick, Co Down