About last night…

Wasn’t last night’s presidential debate a gas? The main reason, of course, was Vincent Browne.  He was at UCD in my time – a big man in UCD’s Fine Gael – and although we moved on different planes (he got involved, I stood with the Derry crowd, our arses against the  corner radiator, over-awed), I kind of liked him.  Rumpled. Rushing. Human. He hasn’t changed much.

He certainly got stuck into everyone in sight last night. Mary Davis for her lucrative quangos, Sean Gallagher for his Fianna Fail connection,  David Norris for those letters/his views on pederasty – the last maybe a lethal blow – the ineffable Ger Colleran, he of the Irish Daily Star, talked about Norris’s ‘evisceration’. But then Colleran, in the post-debate discussion,  was keener to hurry on and plunge Martin McGuinness in a bath of blood, essentially blaming him for the Troubles and every life lost in the Northern conflict. In the follow-up discussion, Browne had lined up people who were clearly batting for their own candidate, and (brace yourself for a surprise) none of them was batting for Martin McGuinness.

So let’s deal with this ‘terrorist in the Aras’ thing once and for all, and then for God’s sake let’s see if we can’t move to looking at what qualities the candidates have that  fits them for the Aras.

OK, here we go:

1. Ian Paisley, Peter Robinson et al in the DUP have worked with Martin McGuinness for well over a decade now, and only an ignoramus or a liar would deny that they’ve responded to him as a legitimate and effective politician. Far from being a terrorist in Stormont, they know he’s a vital bulwark of the peace process. Some DUPers will be secretly dismayed if he wins the presidential contest and they lose him.

2. There is no rational line that can be argued which says that McGuinness is fine ‘up there’ but a deadly  danger ‘down here’. Except, of course, you’re a southern partitionist who is scared witless at the way the North has begun to play an increasing part in the public life of the south. Ask Gay Mitchell – he’ll tell you. He’ll even tell you before you ask him.

3. To argue that someone previously involved in political violence is by definition debarred from public life in the south is not only hypocritical, it’s insulting to anyone possessed of half a brain.

* Cathal Brugha, a name synonymous with IRA violence, was appointed Minister for Defence and served as President of Dail Eireann.

* Sean Mac Eoin,  leader of a flying column who had people shot in their beds, with their families, at their work – anywhere and everywhere – was appointed Minister for Justice and later Minister for Defence.

* Michael Collins…well, you’ve seen the movie. He was Minister for Finance.

*Eamon de Valera … sentenced to death for his part in the 1916 Rising,  later Taoiseach and President of Ireland.

The list goes on.  So next time Vincent or Gay (isn’t he funny?) or anyone else starts on about McGuinness being in the IRA and how long was he in it, etc, etc, the Derryman should simply repeat those four names and the posts they held until the questioner shuts up. It really is time to  end this brainless slinging of mud in the face not just of  common sense but history.

16 Responses to About last night…

  1. Ryan Kelly October 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Excellent stuff Jude. Colleran's near-permanent frown didn't mask his obvious tabloid tendencies.

  2. Bean McCaugherty October 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    MMG must have the patience of a saint, to listen repeatedly to this no-brainer crap. Me? I would have punched someone by now, preferably Fintan O'Toole, to help prove his point about being a man of violence.

  3. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Can you please email this to Martin McGuinness and tell him to learn it by heart. Great again, keep it coming. Karen ( Sciaccaterra from Twitter :-). ).

  4. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Totally agree Jude, I think Martin Mc Guinness is being too nice and quoting what you have written needs to be done everytime they throw the IRA stuff at him.

  5. giordanobruno October 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    I,m afraid as long as Martin is perceived to be economical with the truth journalists are going to keep after him. Rightly so.
    I cannot understand these pleas for ignorance above. It comes across as blind allegiance.

  6. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Not to do with being a terrorist, to do with lying about it.

  7. Tom October 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    The real reason McGuinness won't win is that he (and you) equate the ira terrorist campaign of 1970-2005 with that that yielded independence. There was a reason they were the 'provisional' ira remember. Mmcg insistence that he never walked away from them tells me that in 2016 he'd see no reason not to honour the killers of jerry McCabe or tom Oliver alongside descendants of Dev or Collins. You know if he told the truth about his own role in the ira I think he'd win the thing!

  8. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Honestly agree with Tom above. It's not his involvement in the IRA that is the issue, it his refusal to distance him from the criminality of the IRA since the rolling back of UK occupation in the North. The Jerry McCabe murder and his defence of the murderers is not acceptable. As a leader of the country it would offend me to think that he would not condemn those actions which were carried out in a blatant act of armed robbery. The IRA of the past twenty years are not freedom fighters, they are vigilanties who use the ideal of a united Ireland, which I would dearly love, to justify their involvement in criminal acts such as murder, robbery, extortion, intimidation and other organised criminal acts. The fact is that if McGuinness had the balls to stand up to those thugs and tell the truth about all he knows he would gain my respect and possibly my vote, but a man who does not recognise the nations police forces and army as legitimate and condones attacks on these organisations surely does not deserve to be their commander in chief.

  9. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

    Guess who Jude Collins thinks will perform best in the next Presidential debate.Could it by any chance be Martin Mc Guinness!Most people can anticipate the blog already!

  10. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Guess who Jude Collins thinks will perform best in the next Presidential debate.Could it by any chance be Martin Mc Guinness!Most people can anticipate the blog already!

  11. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    Guess who Jude Collins thinks will perform best in the next Presidential debate.Could it by any chance be Martin Mc Guinness!Most people can anticipate the blog already!

  12. Anonymous October 5, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    Irish Times opinion poll

    Michael D Higgins: 23 (+5)
    Sean Gallagher: 20 (+7)
    Martin McGuinness: 19 (-)
    Mary Davis: 12 (no change)
    David Norris: 11 (-14)
    Gay Mitchell: 9 (-11)
    Dana Rosemary Scallon: 6 (-)

  13. Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Are those books Vincent Browne dragged out accurate? People can keep repeating inaccuracies you know.

    (Like carrots being good for your eyesight given as the reason why the Allies WW2 pilots/antiaircraft were so clever when it really was because they had radar but the Allies did not want the Germans to know)

  14. Jude Collins October 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Anon 20:18 – or maybe you're a divine trinity? – if you feel upset by my view on things, why torment yourself by reading it? If I think M McG emerges best in a debate, I will say so. Sorry if that clashes with your take on it. But not too sorry. Btw, the tv3 online poll suggests most people thought the same as I did.

  15. giordanobruno October 7, 2011 at 6:54 am #

    I've noticed you before questioning why people read your views if they disagree with them.
    Why do you read Fintan O'Toole Ruth Dudley Edwards?
    The answer is we do it for two reasons.
    Firstly to keep us informed on what the other man/woman thinks, to broaden our understanding of the world.
    Secondly, and mainly I think, because we enjoy being outraged by the clearly deluded views of others.

  16. Jude Collins October 7, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Hahahahaaa – giordanobruno – very good, I like it. I virtually NEVER read Ruthie – life is too short. I read Tintin a little oftener – i.e., on a rare occasion. But I do keep hearing them asserting themselves on radio programmes I happen to be listening to. But yes, it does make sense to broaden our view of the world – however, some people broaden it, others take you up blind alleys or waste your time, in which case… I've had people tell me I'm writing rubbish – beats me why they read it, except people enjoy being outraged. Personally I'm not quite that kinky (yet).