Ed Moloney ( or ‘Maloney’, as that venerable organ The Irish News today calls him) is a funny man. Funny-peculiar, that is, not funny ha-ha. Ed’s consuming passion at the moment is to shift copies of his book ‘Voices from the Grave’. That’s understandable. You’ve worked long and hard on a book so of course you want to sell as many copies as you can. Ed’s lever to get public attention this time involves reported death threats against Anthony McIntyre. McIntyre, who detests Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein leadership, conducted an interview for the book with the late Brendan Hughes – you know, the one where he says that Gerry Adams among other things ordered the killing of Jean McConville. Moloney/Maloney says he knows who the people are who made the threats (he doesn’t say how he knows) and if they ‘touch a hair on Anthony McIntyre’s head…I will spare no effort in exposing those responsible’.
Dramatic stuff, eh? Especially the ‘touch a hair’ bit. Visions of Ed as a hovering guardian angel, protecting McIntyre from any and all evil. He’s had practice in the role. About six years ago I wrote an article for Daily Ireland in which I suggested that McIntyre was using the emotion surrounding dead republicans to point an accusing finger at the Sinn Fein leadership. Well. Before I could say ‘hack’ this emotional, slightly confused email from Mr Moloney/Maloney hit my inbox, telling me what a worthless, pointless person I was, how I really shouldn’t have the temerity to write about this subject and that I had put McIntyre’s life at risk by what I’d written. What’s more, if anything were to happen to McIntyre, he Moloney/Maloney would make sure the world knew that I was to blame, because I’d written what I’d written.
Sound familiar? Of course it is. Ed’s back doing his guardian angel act again, this time in the hope that it’ll give some uplift to book sales. His fears for his collaborator ignore the fact that over several years McIntyre used his web-site ‘The Blanket’ to slag off the Sinn Fein leadership and its commitment to politics. Had anyone annoyed by what he said wanted to attack him, they could easily have done so at any time over the past ten years. They haven’t and they won’t. But dealing in reality doesn’t necessarily sell books, hence the stern warnings about touching a hair on McIntyre’s head. It’s funny-peculiar, if you consider that my article back then commented on McIntyre’s use of dead republicans to attack Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein leadership, and here we are today with Moloney/Maloney using the voice of another dead republican to, that’s right, attack the Sinn Fein leadership, and the supposed threat to another republican, Anthony McIntyre, to boost sales.Did I say it was funny? I take that back. Not funny-peculiar, not funny ha-ha. Just plain sad.