From Irish Political Review: December 2007
Hanafin, has distributed copies of Eamon DeValera’s
biography to 2,000 schools. De Valera was the founder of Fianna Fáil
and Fine Gael are insisting that this is party political and are calling
for balance. A biography of Michael Collins has been suggested. But
Michael Collins was not a founder of Fine Gael. He was not even a member
of Fine Gael's predecessor Cummann na nGaedheal, which was only founded
after his death.
|THE BRITISH LEGION…||in Ireland was very
put out by their WW2 veterans not being invited to the Queen of England’s
anniversary bash at her embassy in Dublin. In the end its Chairman
rang up and invited himself. President McAleese did the same. The matter
was reported by Liam Collins in the Sindo on 25th November. Collins
concluded in the following refreshing manner:
"This garden party was held at the British ambassador's residence in Glencairn, near Sandyford, and the "snub" was satirised in a poem written by Morgan Dockrell:
It matters not that Granpa Tom
Was decorated at the Somme,
That cousin Percy didn't shirk
His Duty, fleeing to Dunkirk.
Better for us to row by row
Have gathered in the GPO.
H E decides we've no more clout,
Which means that socially we're OUT."
|THE IRISH NEWS…||
seems to be falling over
backwards with stories and articles from the "other tradition".
These are mostly WW1 stories, so I suppose they concern the Irish
News’ own tradition as well. On the Eve of Remembrance Day
Gordon Lucy shared is thoughts with us. After declaring the 1916
celebrations last year were a bit of a setback he says:
|MARTIN McGUINNESS…||had the following to
say in an interview with the Irish Times on 8th November:
"I think I can say without fear of contradiction that in the last six months Ian Paisley and I have not exchanged an angry word between us. That is the truth of the matter and I think the public will be pleased to hear that. But there are individual members of the SDLP who walk past me in corridors in this building as if I didn't exist.
"I think I have a far better working relationship with Ian Paisley than Mark Durkan or Séamus Mallon ever had with David Trimble. I think that grates on them, it hurts them that the DUP and Sinn Féin have managed not just to get this government up but run it properly in a fashion that can deliver for the people."
|MUSEUMS…||all over the world contain exhibits
tracing the histories of their localities and are often marked with
little signs of thanks to their proud donors. That seems to be no longer
the way of things in Ireland. Some months ago mementos of Tom Clarke
were sold off for a small fortune.
The latest cashing-in is the sale of a letter from Michael Collins to Thomas Ashe for 260,000 euros by descendents of Ashe. Other items on sale relate to historical figures like Countess Markiewicz and Richard Mulcahy. The total could reach 2 million euros.
In the course of 2008, Athol Books will be publishing an account of the 1916 Rising in North County Dublin which was led by Thomas Ashe and was the most successful battle of the Rising.
|JIM ("Jim Who?") ALLISTER…||former
DUP and current Independent Unionist MEP has been setting up a new
Unionist party on and off for some months now. His latest outing was
at a dinner cum jumble sale in Templepatrick on 26th November. He said:
"I have one piece of good news for unionism. Shortly, I expect the launch of a political movement to provide a voice for those presently [sic] disenfranchised, which will hold the respectable traditional unionist ground once held by those who shamefully swung open the door of government to IRA/Sinn Fein."
|THE IRISH NEWS:||Following the collapse
of the Sinn Fein-oriented and rather woeful paper, Daily Ireland, the
Irish News went into a kind of flux. This resulted in a period of vibrancy
as the paper tried to reposition itself. In particular its letters
pages were full of lively debate. In the last couple of months the
paper seems to have settled into a groove. By and large it is supportive
of the SDLP and the OUP. It gets very sentimental about the good old
Hibernian days of the Parliamentary Party and the British connection.
It has more news about the Catholic Church than it has had for many years. Its letters page (usually now only one page) is more and more parochial. By contrast, both the Belfast Telegraph and the News Letter have become quite readable.
|STATE IMMUNITY?||Former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell libelled Mairtin O Muilleoir, the publisher of the erstwhile Daily Ireland, and its Editor, Robin Livingstone: he called them fascist during an assault on he paper delivered just before publication started in February 2005. (The paper shut down in September 2006.) The object of McDowell's intervention was to prevent the paper getting a circulation and was delivered with all the authority of his office. However the Irish Government has accepted responsibility for McDowell's outrageous attack and pleaded State Immunity in response to libel proceedings brought in the Belfast High Court. It says that McDowell made his remarks in his capacity of Minister for Justice. O Muilleoir has been left with a £20,000 legal bill (IN 14.11.07). Lord Justice Higgins accepted the State Immunity plea without 'looking behind it', to see if McDowell's outburst was a valid exercise of his Ministerial powers. The ruling seems to suggest that parliamentary immunity from libel prosecution has been arbitrarily extended by the Belfast High Court to cover all Ministerial statements, whether delivered in Parliament or not. O Muilleoir might have done better to bring his case in Dublin and should certainly consider taking it to Europe.|
|LOUISE ARBOUR…||UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has raised the question whether a Veto, exercised in the Security Council, to stymie an initiative "to reduce the risk of or ending genocide would not constitute a violation of the genocide convention" (IT 22.11.07). She is thus suggesting that the UN Convention on Genocide does not just over-rule national law, but also the UN Charter—which makes the Veto sacrosanct. We wonder how many divisions she has!|
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