You probably know well who Pat Kenny is but perhaps some of the regulars on your blog might not. PK had been the golden boy of RTE for years and then in 2013 he joined Newstalk, which is owned by Denis O’Brien, the very wealthy man who also owns the Independent group. PK’s daily radio show with Newstalk is very much along the lines of his old RTE radio show and it seems that he is still as popular as ever.

I don’t often listen to the radio but I always had high regard for PK. He is clearly a very knowledgeable person, he is very professional and I always liked his style of interviewing. I was driving along this morning when I tuned into Newstalk and heard his interview with Eoin O Broin from SF. It has made me realise how wrong I was about PK.

The issue being discussed was water charges, which has been an ongoing problem for the government for a couple of years. It was overtaken by other issues such as Brexit but is now back in the spotlight. As you are well aware, many of the southern media show a very clear negative bias towards Sinn Fein. With PK I always expected some impartiality, or at least that he would not make it so obvious that he really is biased. This morning the mask slipped, I can now see that he is no better that the usual anti-nationalist brigade. He also displayed a nasty side to his character that I didn’t realise he had.

His tirade against EOB was a disgrace. It was more like what you could expect from Vincent Browne, i.e. bullying and obnoxious behaviour to try stifle attempts by EOB to answers the questions. The attached is a clip from this morning’s programme.

As a TD in West Dublin EOB meets lots of people on low incomes, more than PK would. That is what EOB had said in the interview and nobody can say that this is not a true statement. PK reacted like he and his Newstalk colleagues were being insulted, and then proceeded to lecture EOB in that nice Vincent Browne style. You have probably met EOB and will know that he is a calm person who can hold his ground and can engage very well in political discussions. EOB did keep calm and continued the discussion but it was very surprising and disappointing behaviour from PK.

But then it got worse. In PK’s attempts to demonise SF and their role in Northern Ireland he asked ‘what about the part they played in creating the conflict. I underline the word creating. You can hear the discussion in the attached file.

I know that most of the readers of your blog won’t be surprised to hear this but it does confirm once again that the southern media’s attitude to Irish nationalism hasn’t changed. It was only 100 years ago that the Irish Times billboard was telling the world about the Sinn Fein rebellion.


27 Responses to PAT KENNY AND SINN FÉIN by Peter Pymen

  1. MT December 3, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    Reminds me of how the BBC dealt with Nick Griffin. Very negative towards him, but also understandable.

    • Ciaran December 3, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      MT you really offer nothing do you?

      Imply SF members are in the same basket as extremist white fascists and then go on to state that therefore they can only expect to be treated as such. You are as subtle as a snooker ball wrapped in a sock.

      • MT December 3, 2016 at 10:30 am #

        “Imply SF members are in the same basket as extremist white fascists and then go on to state that therefore they can only expect to be treated as such. You are as subtle as a snooker ball wrapped in a sock.”

        They are the same in that both SF and BNP are extremists. One could argue that SF are worse than the BNP, since the BNP didn’t endorse a 27-year terror campaign and 1800 murders. Step back and think about it.

  2. jessica December 3, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    I was very impressed with Eoin O Broin and many of the new young talent that I first became aware off in the last general election.
    I still haven’t got over the extremity of the attacks on Sinn Fein from the southern establishment and their supporting media during their bitter campaign.

    Hardly surprising since a Fine Gael man was prepared to break the law and go to jail to help make mr O Brien his billions that the media would hold such disgusting bias, but what surprised me most was Fianna Fail, the once so called republican party born out of conflict to remove british presence in Ireland also questioning Sinn Feins worthiness to serve the population over their support for the people in the north who suffered most at the hands of unionist aggression.

    It has truly has had a real and lasting impact on me and has made me question whether or not I want anything to do with a united Ireland if it meant joining in with what the south has become.

    All my life I never really considered Ireland was divided, charley haughey was very much our Taoiseach and while we were obviously aware of the sectarian conflict imposed on us by unionists reinforcing the remaining british occupation of this island – I always felt we were one people.

    Well, I don’t any more.

    I feel as though the GFA has allowed the southern establishment to wash its hands off us and its virtually non existent interest at least pre brexit has fostered real and lasting division among nationalist Ireland. The 2016 commemorations to me showed how far the southern state has moved away from the aspirations of those that gave birth to Irish independence in the Easter rising.

    The southern state is more interested in easy options, milking the EU and doing dodgy deals with corporate businesses who run rings around them costing the Irish tax payer billions and resulting in new dodgy tax tariffs bout to be imposed on trade with the US which will hurt Ireland as much as brexit.

    And now that brexit has made them realise the border is a potential issue further south and outside of the border counties, i.e. Dublin, then suddenly we have been noticed once again.

    This is where how messed up it all has made me becomes apparent.

    One moment I feel rage over how those with a responsibility over its Irish citizens have snubbed us in this way and my response is, well they can just go fuck themselves and shove cooperation up their arses.

    Other times my natural position that the country comes first and I want very much to be a part of rebuilding a new Ireland, free of corporate greed and dodgy tax deals and instead confident that we have the potential that I know we have to make this a wealthy and prosperous nation without resorting to the type of politics both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have always done.

    Wolfe Tone summed them up nicely, cute hoors.

    Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have already destroyed Ireland. They have no intention of dropping water charges, they are trying to leave metering in to charge for over use. This is an example of their duplicity, they will waive them in the short term but with metering and regulation in place, you can be sure the charges will be passed on down the road.

    I believe Sinn Fein are the only party able to rescue any hope of a united Ireland but while the people in the republic are prepared to support either of these establishment parties, I just don’t think nationalists in the north will want anything to do with them.

    • MT December 3, 2016 at 9:30 am #

      “Wolfe Tone summed them up nicely, cute hoors.”


    • PF December 3, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      “I believe Sinn Fein are the only party able to rescue any hope of a united Ireland…”

      If Unionists are ‘this’, Fine Gael ‘that’, and Fianna Fail ‘the other’ – not to mention the SDLP who aren’t exactly flavour of the month either – who, pray tell, are Sinn Fein going to unite with?

      • jessica December 3, 2016 at 10:41 am #

        I don’t think they should join up with any other political parties of that is what you mean.

        The only chance of unification is in my opinion, they have a majority of votes on both sides of the border. If that happens, how can anyone say that Ireland should not be united and the Sinn Fein are the sole party to lead the new Ireland.

        What the other parties do is up to them. I don’t think Sinn Fein should touch any of them with a bargepole at least until the new Ireland is established along with normal politics in a united country.

        • PF December 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

          I mean, Jessica, that if Ireland is ever going to be united, then unity must be more than geographic.

          I get the impression though, that most would be happy enough if a United Ireland simply meant a rubbing out of the border.

          Put it this way, one can’t be against every other political party on the island and then call for unity.

          • jessica December 3, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

            You are correct Peter, I would have absolutely no interest in uniting every nuance of opinion over the island, nor do I think it remotely possible in the slightest.

            What you are suggesting is pure folly, would you not agree?

            All I want is a removal of the border and for Ireland to be a single all island nation so we can all work together to make our economy as strong as possible, to make sure all of our people have the best in life, especially for our children and that they don’t feel second rate in their own lands as I currently do – very much including people from your own community here also Peter. Neither London or Dublin give a monkeys about us. There is no chance of us having any say in London, but there is potential to have a government more reflective of the Irish people on this island. What we have at the minute is just all wrong and Sinn Fein are the ONLY party trying to do anything about it.

            Unfortunately I just don’t have any interest in monarchy or britishness in Ireland, but I would be prepared to explore options that might meet your requirements if only unionism was prepared to discuss what these might be and to reconcile with the rest of this island. If we don’t find a compromise, the risk is there will be residual resentment which as you know I occasionally express.

            Some more specific projects that I would be extremely interested in, include making the whole island 100% self sufficient from renewable energy, for us to R&D invest in our people and become world leaders in this technology.

            Did you ever see the absolutely huge windmills they are building up at Harland and Wolff?

            That is the future and there is huge potential here to do similar in Ireland as what Iceland did for its people.

            By working together we could more then triple our tourism levels from 9 million to 27 million over 10 years and increase the number coming north tenfold.

            We don’t need EU funding or anything from the UK if we could pull together and have a government in Dublin confident in the ability of its people and willing to invest to build a future based on the innovation and talent that is abundant throughout this island but often leaves to excel in other parts of the world.

            Could I also clarify, that I am not against any party just for the hell of it.
            If the DUP supported the vision I briefly outlined above I would have no issue voting for them.
            As I keep trying to explain to you, I dislike Irish unionism as it has division of my country at its core. A protestant in a loyalist estate who has been in the UVF, served time for whatever, if we met up and they supported building a united country on this island I would be delighted to work with them with no animosity whatsoever.

            To you unionism is a simple preference to be in the UK.
            To me unionism is making me feel second rate Irish in my own country.
            Irish is in my blood, it is my birth right and I would die to defend it.

          • PF December 3, 2016 at 11:50 pm #


            Your enthusiasm and commitment to the ideal of a particular kind of Ireland is commendable; but I’ve always thought dying to defend, or in this case attain, one’s birthright to be an unachievable irony.

            “The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
            Pro patria mori.”

            W. Owen

            He was killed during the final week of World War 1, just before Armistice Day – it’s one of the reasons people choose to ‘Remember’.

          • jessica December 4, 2016 at 12:16 am #

            There is nothing good ever comes out of war or conflict Peter.

            It is usually a violent experience or brain conditioning that leads people to kill.
            But it is betrayal and hurt that makes it difficult to live

            There is a song by Dominic Behan, Patriot Games that I think tells the same irony.

            Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
            For the love of one’s country is a terrible thing.
            It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
            And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

            My name is O’Hanlon, and I’ve just turned sixteen.
            My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
            I learned all my life cruel England’s to blame,
            So now I am part of the patriot game.

            This Ireland of ours has too long been half free.
            Six counties lie under John Bull’s tyranny.
            But still De Valera is greatly to blame
            For shirking his part in the Patriot game.

            They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair,
            His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
            His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
            They soon made me part of the patriot game.

            It’s nearly two years since I wandered away
            With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
            For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same
            To play out my part in the patriot game.

            I don’t mind a bit if I shoot down police
            They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace
            And yet at deserters I’m never let aim
            The rebels who sold out the patriot game

            And now as I lie here, my body all holes
            I think of those traitors who bargained in souls
            And I wish that my rifle had given the same
            To those traitors who sold out the patriot game.

          • MT December 4, 2016 at 12:27 am #

            “There is nothing good ever comes out of war or conflict Peter”

            So overthrowing Nazism wasn’t good?


          • PF December 4, 2016 at 12:48 am #

            I think you missed the point of Owen, Jessica – spectacularly.

          • jessica December 4, 2016 at 12:51 am #

            Sorry Peter, I never was good with subtleties

          • Gearoid December 4, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

            “The Patriot Game” Jessica, one of our regulars, #TheMollyMaguires

          • jessica December 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

            Ireland has lost its soul by turning its back on its patriotic past Gearoid.

            It was conflict that allowed this to happen but in peace, the Ireland I want to be part off is not one ashamed of our rebellious past and celebrating it in song is the Irish way.

            There is too much shame in Ireland today, never more poignantly expressed than by our Taoiseach struggling to hold his head up during the Easter commemorations.

            He was much more comfortable in Enniskillen

          • PF December 4, 2016 at 2:13 pm #


            “I never was good with subtleties”

            It may be worth looking up Jessie Pope’s, ‘Who’s for the Game’ and comparing it with Wilfred Owen’s, ‘Dulce et decorum est’. You might then ask yourself a question about, ‘The Patriot Game’.

          • jessica December 4, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

            I had never heard of these Peter, but did look it up and read over them.

            Jessie Pope’s I would consider to be a poor standard of quality, I could do better myself.
            I could be wrong but she seems to compare war with the game of rugby so aimed towards those from that background.
            Clearly referencing the madness of WW1 charging over the trenches on go.
            Possibly written before the full knowledge of the horrificness of that war was funny understood and seems to be a deliberate call for volunteers to join the fight.

            Wilfred Owen’s on the other hand is enthralling and a very worthy poem in tis own right.
            The fact it was written by someone with first hand experience of the realities of conflict make it all the more potent.
            It is about telling the truth of the conflict and aimed compassionately towards protecting the children and future generations who follow.
            The fact he died shortly after I agree makes it worthy of its place in literary history.

            As for the patriot game.

            It is one of many beautiful rebel songs that I grew up with.
            They can be rousing, sad, joyful or a variety of different emotions.

            I am very proud of the quality of Irish rebel songs, they are not only intelligently written and to some of the best musical scores on the planet, but they are so pertinent to so many of our own life experiences. We can connect and it immediately lifts our spirits.
            Not many nations are blessed with such song writing ability as has been handed down by generations of bards throughout Irish history.
            While I have great respect for
            As for the words and meaning.

            It neither promotes violence or rejects it, but is written from a point of understanding that passions are high among Irish people, that historically we have produced patriotic people from a variety of backgrounds, catholic, protestant, even english soldiers have became Irish patriots.

            A lot of this was down to injustices imposed on Irish people who did not seek out conflict and this has been tapped into in the struggle for Irish freedom.
            The leaders of 1916 not only knew they would be executed, but did everything they could to make sure it happened for this same reason.

            This song acknowledges that conflict is not only about killing, but suffering and also betrayal.

            While I respect Wilfred Owen’s poem, I have little time for Jessie Pope’s effort but the patriot game more than strikes a chord with me.

          • giordanobruno December 4, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

            Correct me if I m wrong but didn’t, Owen write his great poem in response to Pope,s jingoism which appeared in one of the papers, possibly the express?
            You are right in your comparison (I assume) with the Patriot Game another equally jingoistic piece.

          • Jude Collins December 4, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

            Gio – have you checked the lyrics of ‘The Patriot Game’ recently?

          • PF December 4, 2016 at 4:57 pm #


            Yes, it is generally accepted that Owen wrote in response to a culture of casual, sing-songy patriotism and a glorification of war without a knowledge of its horror.

            I am not a pacifist, neither is there anything wrong with patriotism, and I do think that some wars can be considered to be just wars; but casual, uninformed patriotism – especially of the kind that glorifies death, either of oneself or another – is nothing to be proud of.

    • Eddie Barrett December 3, 2016 at 11:01 am #

      Excellent piece Jessica.
      You reflect my thinking exactly.
      I’m in Kerry and am sick in my stomach from hearing these West Brits apologising condescendingly for those of us who want to see this Country run without corruption. That it be a Country for all of us equally – not the privileged , like the Pat Kenny and Denis O’Briens of this World.

      I also listened to the interview – everyone should? And I was totally ashamed that a bully as Kenny is could have access to the airwaves – But then again he just articulates the tactics of his Boss – O’Brienn!!!

    • Dedeideoprofundis December 4, 2016 at 12:15 am #

      All you say is true, Jessica, You’re a girl after my own heart, but I firmly believe that we should cut our stick wit the Staters, unite our own province and wait till the 23 want to join us.

  3. Ciaran December 3, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Pat Kenny, like many establishment characters in Free State, have sat in their ivory towers and have pontificated sour-faced holier-than-though nonsense about the one hundred years of strife that they determinedly dodged. I wonder in his entire life how many minutes Pat Kenny has actually spent in Northern Ireland to actually form his ‘opinions’?

    All we get from Kenny and his ilk is a thinly veiled “the black North”/”Nordies” stream of disdain.

    It’s been said many times before but at the heart of the matter is a deep shame at abandoning Irish people in the North to sectarian Unionist supremacism .

    You come to hate the people you have hurt the most. Human nature, as a necessity, will naturally attempt to defend their own sense of self worth; an ego defence.

    People like Kenny thank their lucky stars that purely by chance they weren’t born under the protestant-Unionist-supremacist yoke; some other buggers had to go through that and aren’t they hateful for it!

    How is Kenny different from the rest of the contemptible scrubs in the Free State establishment?

  4. Eddie Barrett December 3, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    Jude – Note spelling of Sinn Féin ?

  5. Roibeard December 3, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Pat Kenny did an interview a couple of years ago when he had his own show with RTÉ with an Irish servant of the Duke of Devonshire. This is the same Duke who lays claims over the seabed in Youghal Harbour! Yes, I kid you not.

    The interview was a nauseating and cringing experience of crawling false reverence, or was it false, for his Dukeship?

    I emailed Partitionist Pat to express my disgust of his forelock-tugging fawning.

    I didn’t get a reply.

  6. Boomage December 3, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    “I don’t often listen to the radio but I always had high regard for PK. He is clearly a very knowledgeable person, he is very professional and I always liked his style of interviewing”

    First mistake. He’s a goon for official Ireland, a conservative, ‘ask-no-questions’, ‘don’t rattle the cage’ mouthpiece. His popularity only soared from lazy, cossetted light entertainment mush and his time as a serious political presenter was hardly cutting edge.
    I found his style on Frontline as lazy, formulaic drudge. He’d ask a question on one thing, then play devil’s advocate on the same issue with another politician and vice versa. He never coherently cut through an issue and always moved on to a different topic when any establishment politician got ruffled. He’s lived a charmed life, creaming in €600k plus from the taxpayer and Dinny O’ Bribe media for the past 20 years. It may have been better for all if he’d just followed his ancestors and looked after the Elephants in Dublin zoo.