MATTERS OF SURVIVAL? by Donal Kennedy


About three years ago I drew attention to a piece by Father Seumas Murphy SJ in the  weekly RITE AND REASON column in THE IRISH TIMES.

It was a crude attack on the 1916 Insurrection and sought to draw a distinction between the character of Daniel O’Connell and that of Patrick Pearse to the latter’s disadvantage.

O’Connell never shot anybody, he contended. In fact, in 1815 O’Connell shot a Mr D’Esterre dead in a duel in Kildare and, in the very same year was arrested

on the way to Ostend, to meet a challenge to a similar contest sent him by Sir Robert Peel.

I am unaware of Pearse, nor George W Bush, for that matter, shooting anybody, though both caused others to do so. Bush caused those he commanded to shoot far more people than Pearse did. Bush did so at no risk or discomfort  to himself, unlike Pearse, the subject of Father Murphy’s contempt.

Father Murphy approved of George W Bush’s war on Iraq and continues to do so. Like Bush, he has neither risked nor suffered discomfort for his homicidal

enthusiasm. Nor has he expressed shame for his Faux Pas concerning O’Connell.

Father Murphy has been at it again recently THE IRISH TIMES, not this time against insurgents, but against the democratically established Dail Eireann and the forces defending the people, who by their votes in 1918 established it, and sustained it in the teeth of savage repression and and long discredited propaganda.

Father Murphy’ regurgitation of that propaganda has been analysed and refuted by Tom Cooper and Tom Partridge in separate letters in THE IRISH TIMES on

Tuesday 15th January,

Two recent blogs of mine were devoted to chronically unreliable witnesses -The Times of London and the late Titus Oates.

Titus Oates posed as a Jesuit, but the Order survived him, and, with Divine help it may yet survive Father Murphy.

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