I remember reading, well into the 1960s, in the Irish newspapers, syndicated opinion pieces by the American journalist Walter Lippman. He was born in 1889, had established himself comfortably before the First World War, advised Woodrow Wilson, won a Pulitzer Prize at least once and been given the accolade “The Father of Modern Journalism.” For what it is worth, modern journalism stinks for the most part.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour Lippman wrote that the fact that neither Japanese nationals, nor Americansof Japanese ancestry had performed  any act of sabotage within the United States was certain proof that they were conspiring to do so. He supported the rounding up in California of about 140,000 of innocent American citizens and their internment. Lippman was still regarded as a fount of wisdom when he died in the 1970s.

Michael McDowell’s prestige, even in Ireland, is not a shadow of Lippman’s. True, he has held high public office, but the neo-liberal Progessive Democrat party, of which he was a decoration, has left less trace than the grin of a Cheshire Cat. McDowell worries for the survival of Fianna Fail, Europe’s most naïve Babes in the Wood that they might be devoured by the Big Bad Wolves of Sinn Fein, whom McDowell believes are controlled by the IRA.

I believe, as apparently do the security forces of Ireland, Britain, and the rest of the world, that the IRA has disarmed and disbanded and is no more likely to rise again than the late, unlamented, Progressive Democrats.                                                  .’


29 Responses to MICHAEL MCDOWELL – TOMORROW’S GURU? by Donal Kennedy

  1. Tam August 23, 2017 at 7:57 am #

    An apparently pointless ad hominem attack. Again

    • fiosrach August 23, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      How are you going to expose failure and fault in a person if you don’t attack them, their actions and their words. And it’s certainly not pointless.

  2. huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 9:22 am #

    Wasn’t it the IMC, or some other such quango, that stated that not only is the Army Council still very much in business, but that they were the tail that wagged the Sinn Fein dog.

    That was proved again when Bobby Storey collapsed the Executive at a meeting in the Felons just before Christmas.

    They haven’t gone away, you know.

    • Jude Collins August 23, 2017 at 10:09 am #

      You were there, then, hC?

      • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 10:50 am #

        Good heavens, no!

        But it was well reported at the time.
        If you want to challenge the accuracy of the reporting, you’ll know better than most the correct channels to pursue your complaint.

        • Bridget Cairns August 23, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

          “correct channels” now that is an interesting comment in light of the endless “fake news” emanating from the north from its inception. How many sources do we have and who controls the narrative. Perhaps with your insider knowledge you could enlighten me.

          • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 5:24 pm #

            @ Bridget.

            Are you suggesting that post-Leveson the Press watchdogs are toothless?
            I’ve had no personal experience so I couldn’t comment.

            I’m fairly certain however that if there was any outrageous lies in whatever the Press claimed at that time Sinn Fein.would have already lodged their formal complaint.
            It’s not like they don’t have any sympathetic legal firms on their team.

            But, to date, I presume that no-one has made any formal complaint so it would seem rather odd that you’re challenging it now.

            Curious that….

    • Paul Kelly August 23, 2017 at 2:02 pm #

      @huge Celt. Unlike yourself, I was at the Felons meeting that day and my recollection is that the SF leadership decided to collapse the executive after an open discussion with the membership on the floor.

      I know that might sound a bit boring but that’s how it happened. but don’t let the truth get in the way of your paranoia.

      • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

        @ Paul.

        Can you share with us what the status of the meeting was to take such a dramatic decision?

        Surely the SF Constitution doesn’t allow for a local cumann to make monumental decisions like that?

        Was First Minister Martin McGuinness at the meeting to find out he had just been sacked?

      • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

        @ Paul.

        I’m still looking forward to your response.

        I would love to hear the real story from such a historically important meeting – it’s like the Apprentice Boys shutting the gates.

        No Surrender.

      • huge Celt. August 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm #

        Still waiting…..

    • Ceannaire August 23, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

      “Wasn’t it the IMC, or some other such quango, that stated that not only is the Army Council still very much in business, but that they were the tail that wagged the Sinn Fein dog.”

      I think you’ll find said quango worded it differently. Something about members believe or some such. Did these members fill in questionnaires?

      Caleb members believe the earth is 6,000 years old… You get my drift.

      • huge Celt. August 24, 2017 at 12:32 am #

        Acch Ceannaire, you object to my summation of this particular quangos conclusions…..awww, bless you……how very precious you are.

        Do you need me to track down the actual wording of this IMC-like body, and then we can go toe-to-toe on why a paramilitary group like the Provos are still even in existence?
        And why we are financing them.
        And why they are seemingly immune from prosecution.

        That’s a conversation I would love to have.

  3. fiosrach August 23, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    No it wasn’t the IMC or some other quango who said it. It was huge ego on Jude Collin’s blog. And apart from him, we all know that it was the rising groundswell of impatience of both rural and city voters that caused SF to tighten up their strategy. Maybe you, huge, have inside knowledge of the Army Council. Nobody else seems to. Ever dream of going into politics?

    • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 11:11 am #

      @ Fiosrach.

      I’m afraid youre suffering from amnesia.
      Let me take you back to the time that the DUP were playing the hokey cokey with those Stormont institutions that we are demanded to respect so much.

      Their nominal issue was the murder of Kevin McGuigan, allegedly by the PIRA, in response to the killing of Jock Davison.
      But really the DUPers were trying to frustrate the NAMA enquiry – something which Daithi McKay managed to do when he went on his solo run with Jamie Bryson.

      Anyway, one of these monitoring quangoes – I cant even be arsed to check on the name they gave themselves – went into secret session to report on the culpability of the PIRA in the McGuigan killing.
      It was their conclusion that not only was it PIRA personnel that killed McGuigan, but the Army Council were very much alive and kicking, and beyond that they claimed that it was the PIRA that made the decisions for Sinn Fein at Stormont.
      Regardless of that, the DUP were happy to go into the Executive with Sinn Fein again.
      Peace had broken out again apparently.
      I suggest you write any letters of complaint to that committee,
      I am merely recounting their conclusions as reported by the Press.
      It was in all the papers , Fiosrach, I’m surprised that the whole sequence slipped your mind.

      It was subsequent to that report that Bobby Storey – who has an office at Stormont for some bizarre reason, perhaps you can tell us why? – collapsed the Executive in a Sinn Fein meeting at The Felons.

      That too was well-reported at the time.
      You must be reading the wrong papers.

      • fiosrach August 23, 2017 at 11:36 am #

        I don’t really pay as much attention to quangos or the gutter press as you seem to do,huge. As Jude said were you there?

        • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

          @ Fiosrach.

          I’m sure that John Manley, Ben Lowry, Allison Morris, Newton Emerson et al didn’t all go into a little room to invent or embellish the findings of the Report just to annoy you.

          Unlike you, Allison Morris and Sam McBride were at Feile leaving themselves open to any challenge to their reporting standards on this, or any other issues.
          Danny Morrison and Jim Gibney were also.there – neither of them challenged either journalist for manufacturing this ridiculous tale, as you would now claim it to be.

          Do you suppose that Bangers and Jim were reluctant to defend Sinn Feins integrity?
          I dont think so.
          Because when Sam McBride clearly stated that Sinn Fein “were all over the place” on the RHI issue, both SF apparatchiks had no hesitation in jumping in to defend their version of events.

          For the record, none of them made any mention, passing or otherwise, to fabricated Reports about the military status of PIRA and/or fabricated conclusions about the relationship between the Army Council and the Sinn Fein leadership.

          But of course, you weren’t there so you’ll know better.

          Ps. Incidentally, if we are only allowed to comment on things we ourselves have witnessed, then there wouldn’t be a newspaper industry, the Titanic didn’t really sink, Easter 1916 never happened, and the World Wars are a myth.
          We can all stick our fingers in our ears and remain ignorant.
          Now, just so we are clear, I was there at the Feile for the meeting I described – you are free to challenge my recounting of it.
          That’s grand.
          You are invited to speak separately to anyone else who was at it.
          That’s your prerogative too.
          But you are sounding more and more hysterical when you are challenged by uncomfortable truths.
          The Army Council are still calling the shots.

    • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 11:39 am #

      Ps. That “rising groundswell of impatience” was being aimed at Sinn Fein activists on the ground because of their decade of non-delivery and rollovers whilst nominally in a power-sharing arrangement with the DUP.
      By bringing down those precious institutions – the ones we are demanded to respect – the grassroots effectively trashed the acquiescent legacy of Martin McGuinness.

      But true-to-form the Shinners declared their defeat as a victory, and enjoyed the tribalist bounce-back when it came at the polls.
      And now, here they are, as bold as brass, once again trying to.play for both teams at the same time.
      Out of one side of their mouth theyre assuring their base there will be no return to the status quo, – but at the same time in order to get their snouts back into the trough, they will merrily lose any of those so-called “red lines” just as soon as they think they can get away with it.

      I find it all hilarious.
      Is it Principled Acquiesence?
      Or “Surrendering With Integrity”?
      Or, do the Dissies have a point when they call it simply “Rollover Republicanism”?

      “We tried – We failed – We gave up. Votail Sinn Fein”.

      • fiosrach August 23, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

        I bow to your superior knowledge,huge. I think if it comes to putting people up against the wall, you have no worries. We’ll both watch the red lines,but.

  4. Brian Patterson August 23, 2017 at 10:17 am #

    I am ideologically opposed to McDowell who was a prick in office. He is also a bit of a loose cannon; I cheered when he lost his seat. I do call him sometime in the nineties proclaiming that it was now time for a united Ireland as “the young people (presumably of his constituency) are demanding it”. That aberration quickly passed. But I have to say his article in the Suday Post are often witty informative and insightful. He had some great articles on Trump, Brexit and the right in Europe. He criticised the EU treatment of Greece and , bizarrelly given his political past, excoriated austerity demandingmore government built social housing and a State national Building agency.. Of course his attitude towards SF is a tired load of old guff. But generally his column is a wortwhile read.

  5. Perkin Warbeck August 23, 2017 at 10:25 am #

    Ah,yis, Michael McDowell.

    On 8 December 1922, along with three other republicans Liam Mellows, Richard Barrett and Joe McKelvey captured with the fall of the Four Courts, Rory O’Connor was executed by firing squad in
    reprisal for the anti-treaty IRA’s killing of Free State TD Sean Hales.

    The four executees were not chosen at random, but rather as representatives of the Four Green Fields – pour décourager les autres / chun beaguchtach a chur ar an gcuid eile.

    -As he listened to the firing squad take their positions, Rory O’Connor must have wondered once again how everything had gone so terribly wrong. Beside him, Liam Mellows was kicking away the gravel beneath his feet in order to attain a steadier foothold.
    Blindfolded, O’Connor could not see Mellowes or Dick Barrett or Joe McKelvey, the three men destined to die alongside him. He heard Fr. Piggott, the army chaplain, step forward to give the men their final absolution. And then the priest stepped aside.
    “Slan Libh lads”, said Mellows, as the order was given.
    And then came the deadly volley.
    O’Connor, Mellows and Barrett died instantly. But to the ever-lasting horror of some members of the firing party, McKelvey remained conscious. ‘Give me another’, implored the Ulsterman. A shot rang out. ‘Another’. Colonel Hugo MacNeill, nephew of Eoin MacNeill, stepped forward and delivered the coup de grace.

    Now, nobody ever accused the blueshirty Michael McDowell of being a shrinking violet. He is not, is he not, shy about shouting about being the grandson of Eoin McNeiill.

    Incidentally, contemporary reports indicate that the Colonel in question knelt down with all the care and focus of, say, a rugby full back prior to kicking a conversion. But, then they might have been a contemporary instance of Féach news.

    I dtír McDowell is rí é Two-Shillelagh Ó Súilleabháin.

  6. Brian Patterson August 23, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

    Another nephew (Hugo O’Neill’s brother)died in the service of the Republic at the hands of the Free State.

  7. Eolach August 23, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

    HC, the sources of your very questionable , but to you seemingly irrefutable, knowledge made me smile. Yesterday it was Paul Frew DUP, a bastion of impartiality and equality and today it’s the gutter press and the IMC. Could I possibly remind you that the IMC get their information from the stalwarts in the British army and the continuity RUC .All these informed sources share your admiration and approbation for Sinn Féin and of course would never attempt to blemish their name . I know your nose is slightly out of joint but surely in your hurry to demonise SF, you could possibly find a source not known for treachery and perfidy…..doesn’t enhance your ramblings.

    • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

      Do you remember the caveat I put alongside PaulFrews comments?

      Quote it back to me….

    • huge Celt. August 23, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Do you remember that Sinn Fein support the “continuity RUC”?

      Why are they only political when.they do something that upsets Sinn Fein?

  8. Donal Kennedy August 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

    Brian Patterson. It was Brian MacNeill, son of Eoin and cousin of Hugo, who was shot on Ben Bulben or thereabouts during the Civil War. Let’s not re-open the wounds of that tragedy. My point is that Michael McDowell’s unsupported claims seem to echo Walter Lippman’s pontifications on the “guilt” of innocent Americans of Japanese ancestry, and their incarceration without trial after Pearl Harbour. Able men, such as Lippman and Michael McDowell can, and do, talk utter ballocks and get well paid for it. Someone has to point out when such Emperor’s friends have no clothes

    • Bridget Cairns August 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

      Donal, I would recommend “The \Budda in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka, if you have not already read it.

    • fiosrach August 23, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

      a Dhómhnaill, I would have thought that you knew it was Ben Gulben and not Ben Bulben. :-0

  9. Stephen Kelly August 24, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

    (the fact that neither Japanese nationals, nor Americans of Japanese ancestry had performed any act of sabotage within the United States was certain proof that they were conspiring to do so.)
    If the late brilliant comedian Tommy Cooper had said that on stage we would have all laughed our heads of. How did he get that howler past the editor.