McDowell’s ‘Democracy’ by Joe McVeigh


I read Michael McDowell’s article in this week’s Sunday Business Post with interest. His great fear is that FF will go into government with SF in the south after the next election. According to McDowell SF are not a ‘normal democratic’ party. According to McDowell they are run by an army. People are forced to vote SF by people with guns. McDowell, like others writing in the media, lives in the Dublin 4 fantasy world. The truth is, as he says himself, Michael doesn’t like left wing politics. Sinn Fein in government would make too many demands on the rich in the south to share some of their wealth and alleviate the poverty that is growing there every day.


Michael McDowell was once a TD in Leinster House for the far right wing anti-republican Progressive Democrats founded by Des O’Malley and Co. They were in government with FF for a time when they ripped off the country. McDowell is a former Attorney General. He puts himself forward in the media as an expert on ‘de Nort’! He is surely an expert in anti-republican propaganda. He is the typical example of what I call ‘the free state mentality’. I have come to realise that the Free Statementality takes a very negative approach to any talk of Irish reunification. It is the mirror of the Unionist state of mind in the north. It is summed up in the old slogan ‘what we have we hold’. We’re all right Jack, your plight is no concern of ours. We do not want anything to do with ‘de nort’.


The Free State attitude became evident in the early days of the civil rights movement when the Dublin political establishment, under Jack Lynch, did not know what to do. It became clearer as the conflict unfolded and years of frustration and repression in the six counties led to violence. The Free State mentality became obvious over the years of repression in the north when the British introduced their pseudo gangs, shoot to kill, Diplock courts, censorship. They cooperated with the British.


The Dublin government was forced by human rights activists to take up the torture of prisoners during Internment in 1971. They brought the Westminster government to the European court and the British very found guilty of cruel and degrading treatment but were not found guilty of torture and were not to my knowledge punished in any way.


After that the Dublin government took a clear decision that the daily repression of Irish citizens in the six northeast counties was of no concern of theirs. They also decided to cooperate fully with the British government in harassing and rounding up republicans. British Intelligence in the 26 counties made sure to keep the Dublinpolitical establishment subservient to their plans. The southern political establishment, comprising Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fail, had their own little banana republic to look after and those pesky nationalists in the six counties were not going to upset their cosy world. That is still the predominant attitude, as exemplified by Michael McDowell and media hacks who resist change in the constitutional situation in Ireland. These right wing fascists will always oppose any move to include Sinn Fein in government in the south.

McDowell has nothing to contribute to the creating of a new Ireland. His kind of negative politics are history. The people will decide.



37 Responses to McDowell’s ‘Democracy’ by Joe McVeigh

  1. Bridget Cairns August 22, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

    Joe, “the free state mentality” did not start in the late 1960’s, it has been there since the inception of the state. They turned their backs on their fellow country men and looked towards England with whom they had fought a war to obtain freedom. For 50 + years they were able to ignore the true nature of the sectarian six counties. Where would you get it, but it does illustrate the nature of the establishment in the south, no surprise to me, sadly.

  2. Mick Early August 22, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    Great article Joe! It says it all and Inhope your conclusions are correct though a part of me kinda doubts it. The FreeStateMentality is very ingrained in a blissfully ignorant populace. The fact that self-hating jackasses as MacDowell are even granted newspaper space speaks volumes, and there is Harris, etc, etc. There really is not one decent major publication in the whole wee statelet!

  3. huge Celt. August 22, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    I think someone needs to sit down with Father Joe to explain what Sinn Feins current strategy actually is.

    Y’see, the Shinners, according to Gerry and Mary Lou at their National.Convention, are circling the dancefloor waiting to be asked to waltz by Fine Gael and/or Fianna Fail. They don’t care who, they just want to get pregnant.
    Presumably the song will be “A Nation Once Again” as performed by the Pan-Nationalist Front.
    In such circumstances, I’m not sure how helpful the utterances by Father Joe of derogatory terms such as “right-wing fascists” would be to the romantic small-talk that will follow.

    Oh, by the way, Father Joe. those Southern Establishment parties had 90+ years to share some of Irelands wealth.
    They didn’t.
    Instead they chose to slut themselves on the altar of Free Capitalism
    And hence, Irelands Homelessness crisis is worse now than it was in 1916.
    I think it’s safe to say that their vision of a United Ireland won’t make any positive difference to the poor of either side of the border.
    Yet Sinn Fein are determined to get pregnant by them.

    • Sherdy August 22, 2017 at 2:38 pm #

      HC – Despite your best intentions you seem to be actually agreeing with the drift of Fr Joe’s article!

      • huge Celt. August 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

        Not remotely.
        I’m pointing out that Father Joe has gone way off-message from Sinn Feins declared strategy.
        I’m sure someone will drag him back to the new orthodoxy in the near future.

  4. philip kelly August 22, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

    This gentleman McDowell , now who is he and what was his upbringing ,alas he is the grand son of McNeill he of the Boundary commission which set up the six county state and who agreed with every thing that the unionist wanted , so I would harbour a guess that nationalism or republicanism would play a small if any part in his life except to belittle or wish we would all go away he is a person of no consequence and demands very little respect here in the south except among the media parasites of the Irish media most of whom are educated by a British professor of journalism in DUC plus off course that other organ of pro British propaganda RTE

    My biggest concern is the number of British stores that are taking over our high streets while we are a fed a continuance line of British television rubbish on our TV’s and newspapers , for me there has been a real increase of so called British culture slowly creeping into our every day lives, because every time I hear a McDowell and his friends especially in Fein Geal they talk about the way the British do thing’s and then go off and employ a British company or British people to do the job just like they did with the local Dublin bus routs and in the health service as no one in the medical profession in Ireland would take the job as head of the HSE as they close hospitals all over Ireland and run the public service into the ground, THIS IS A CULTURE WE CAN DO WITHOUT !!!!

  5. Tam August 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    It’s hilarious to read these uber-Irish nationalists railing about all the other Irish people (the majority) who don’t see things through their extreme nationalist eyes.

    Joe, SF and other extremists don’t realise that it is they who are out of step with the rest of Ireland, not the other way round.

    • fiosrach August 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

      You tell them,Tam.

      • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

        He just did.

  6. Freddiemallins August 22, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    No, I think it’s more that we in the North are sickened by the aping of the british and the knee ending at every turn, by the Castleknock brigade in the south. There’s zero reciprocation. It’s embarrassing frankly. But then of course they take their Irishness for granted down below, whereas we have to fight for ours ( figuratively) on a daily basis.

    • Tam August 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

      How and why do you have to ‘fight’ for your ‘Irishness’??

      You sound like you’re severely lacking in self esteem.

  7. Eolach August 22, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    Yes Tam …thanks for your carefully considered and well thought out insight…..that’s why Sinn Féin are the largest political party in the country. I’m happy that your lonely vigil has ended ….HC has come to your aid in his usual but meaningless SF bashing…. all you need now is McDowell and your trio of “three wise men” would be complete !

    • huge Celt. August 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

      Sorry Eolach, the bad news is that Sinn Fein aren’t the biggest party on this island.
      Fine Gael outpoll you by about 25,000 votes.

      The good news is that there is a job waiting for you drafting Sinn Feins next economic proposals.

    • Tam August 22, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

      You realise allegedly being the biggest party doesn’t mean you aren’t a minority?

  8. Eolach August 22, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    Ok , being pedantic is a trait of yours HC…I may have omitted the words ” all-Ireland ” …..a terminology ,I doubt, Fine Gael will ever be able to use….unless the link up with their natural allies , the Unionists.

    • huge Celt. August 22, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

      @ Eolach.

      It’s not pedantry to correct you on a daft propagandist claim.

      So Sinn Fein get a big vote, so what!?!
      They don’t do anything with it.
      By their own hand they have played their way out of Stormont, the Leinster House, Westminster and Europe.
      They are universally ignored by everyone.

  9. Eoin obeachain August 22, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    Say no more

  10. Eolach August 23, 2017 at 7:38 am #

    And the achievements of PBP are EXACTLY WHAT? Your obsessive denigration of SF says something about your character and state of mind. I think , perhaps , you need to get out more !

    • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 10:21 am #

      Well, according to Paul Frew (DUP MLA), it was because PBP were holding Sinn Feins feet to the fire in their own back yard, that the Shinners were forced to collapse the Executive.
      Now, whilst that is overstating it somewhat, there is some truth to that.

      And if the blatant lies that Sinn Fein were telling (ie. Claims that PBP were in favour of a Hard Border plastered up on posters up and down the Falls), then there is no doubt that Sinn Fein were feeling the pressure.

      The Shinners managed to rebut that challenge, of course, but only because their mate Snarlene decided to turn the election into an Identity crisis, so the sectarian-based parties romped home despite their decades of failures.

      But when Sinn Fein are forced into U-turn after U-turn, and their ever more ridiculous lies and smears, then people arent blindly trusting or stupid forever.
      Be warned, such electoral Empires that are built on sand tend to crumble very quickly.

      Sinn Fein now see the world through the prism of electoralism, a gain here, a loss there, like moving pieces round a chess-board.
      They give no thought to what happens when people rise up and say “We are not playing your game anymore”.

      You advise me to “get out more”.
      I do.
      In the last month, I’ve been at about 10 Feile events, asking the awkward questions at most of them, and
      I’m pleased to say that I made Mike Nesbitt and Mary Lou squirm in equal measure. Youll be delighted to hear that I’m an Equal Opportunities nuisance.

      I’ve been at Pride, and an anti-Racism rally in Derry. I was also at the bonfire on 15th, and took in a tour of the Orange museum.
      Tomorrow, I’ll be in either Derry or Antrim to ask the awkward questions about these proposed NHS cuts courtesy of our DUP and Sinn Fein absentee landlords, and our Tory overlords.
      I’ll pay particular attention to the Bengoa Report that Michelle O’Neill so enthusiastically endorses with it’s proposals for “transformative change” which is management-speak for Privatisations and Hospital Closures.
      And all the while, I’ll be comfortable that the things I say are said with conviction, integrity and principle, not because it’s politically expedient, or there might be a vote in it.

      Now, doesn’t that add up to a whole lot more than simply sticking your X beside a tribal partys name every time your political masters tell you to.

      • Bridget Cairns August 23, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

        you are clearly a thorn in the side of some politicians, but I just have one question for you…………………did you ever think of running for parliament, local council, or any public duty forum?

        • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

          Would you vote for me?

          • Bridget Cairns August 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

            am unsure what your politics other than mostly negative so I’ll say No, but would be vey interested if you did put your name forward

          • TurboFurbo August 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

            It would be a wasted vote as you claim to be campaigning for a Re-United Ireland that you yourself say will never, ever happen on account of Unionist Terrorism waging war and usurping the democratic will of the majority in the North.

          • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

            @ Bridget.

            I would be to the left of Jeremy Corbyn, but I’d certainly support his programme for starters.
            As indeed did 13 million others.

            I’m very positive about most politics – but there is very little in the sectarian 6 Counties architecture to be positive about.

          • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

            @ Turbo.

            Yes indeed,

            But if you’re voting for a party that can deliver a United Ireland then why are you wasting your vote on Nationalism?

            John Hume was claiming in 1971 that a United Ireland was “inevitable” – now the Shinners use the sane language – neither have delivered.

            Theyve promised you “armed struggle” would do it. That failed..
            “One last push” would do it. That failed.
            The Long War would do it. That failed.
            They promised that power-sharing would do it. That failed.

            Now they’re waltzing you down the path of a Border Poll based on their inane scribblings on the back of a fag packet.

            Yet, undeterred, you’ll vote for them regardless.

            Your vote is tribal.
            And that is the problem.

            You’re not critically engaging.
            It’s just blind faith and obligation thst keeps you voting.
            It’s a definition of Madness.

  11. Brian Patterson August 23, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    I share some of Huge Celt’s unease about SF and DUP in tandem and the slow pace towards unity. Trouble is neither he nor I have come up with an alternative.

    • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 10:31 am #

      @ Brian.

      But you’re forgetting that, as a Socialist, my number one priority isn’t uniting Ireland on the basis of Capitalism and sectarian headcounts.
      I want to build an Ireland that we can all be proud of, and comfortable in.
      I fear that in a Sinn Fein United Ireland – re-Catholicised, chauvinistic, triumphalist, tribalist – I would be put up against a wall, alongside many others. They are sleep-walking us into their fantasy, and our nightmare.

      • TurboFurbo August 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

        huge :

        “I fear that in a Sinn Fein United Ireland …..I would be put up against a wall…”

        Yesterday you were telling us a re-United Ireland can never, ever happen as the Unionist terrorists (making up almost 20% of the British Army according to your figures) will resist and blow away us all away……….

        So chill – but check under your bed for any Shinners or Unionist terrorists….just to be sure.

        • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

          @ Turbo.
          I do wish you would quote me in some way accurately.

          It was Veterans For Peace at Feile that are quoting that figure of 19%of current British Forces being Fein.the 6 Counties.
          I merely parrotted their statistic.
          Take any query up with them.

          If it is even remotely accurate then Sinn Fein need to have a serious rethink about this 50%+1absutdity.

          As Mao said “All power comes from the barrel of a gun”.
          Loyalism has always reacted with ruthless belligerence to anything they don’t like the smell of.
          History should have taught you that you tweak their tail at your peril.

          • TurboFurbo August 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

            huge :

            I have no query about the percentage of Unionists from the 6 counties in the British Army you parroted – just the point being that your fears of a Re-United Ireland are totally unfounded as – according to you – the Unionist Terrorists will blow all of us Nationalists away if there is any democratic move in that direction.

            So you can sleep in peace in the knowledge that a Re-United Ireland will never, ever happen, at least according to you.

            Yet, in spite of the fact – that by your own admission – a Re-United Ireland is impossible – you continue to claim to continue to campaign for a Re-United Ireland.

          • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

            @ Turbo

            Honestly I have no problem defending the things I’ve said. None whatsoever.

            But please don’t set up Strawnan arguments , and then congratulate yourself on defeating them so easily.
            It’s the equivalent of awarding yourself a gold medal for winning at Solitaire.

            Quote me, and challenge me on the things I’ve actually said.

  12. Perkin Warbeck August 23, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    Ah, yis, Michael McDowell.

    – On 21 July 2010 McDowell suggested at the McGill Summer School that The Twelfth – July 12, celebrated by Northern Ireland Protestants in commemoration of the Battle of Aughrim (1691) and Battle of the Boyne (1690) should be a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland.

    M’lud, objection !

    -With effigies of, say, Martin McGuinness or Bobby Sands sa Tine Chnámh ?

    • Stephen Kelly August 24, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

      My god its true the b—–d did. I couldn’t believe any right thinking person in the south could possibly do that, knowing what they made us and make us suffer in the north east. Well we know now he is really an Englishman at heart.

  13. Stephen Kelly August 24, 2017 at 3:07 pm #

    huge Celt. Do you campaign for a united Ireland.

    • huge Celt. August 24, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

      @ Stephen.

      No, that would be an entirely nationalist demand.

      I only support a Socialist United Ireland.
      I campaign for that.

    • Tam August 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

      Why would he need to? It’s inevitable is it not?

      • huge Celt. August 25, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

        @ Tam

        Good point, well made.