THE IRISH TIMES when it isn’t ventilating its ideas through its “left nostril” as my Lancashire spouse might say, is inclined to put the cart before the horse. It has a section headed Opinion and Analysis. I don’t agree with the idea that we need respect the opinions of ignorant or misinformed persons although we should respect their persons. In the case of mercenary pundits, outrageous liars, twisters and solipsist navel-gazers, their paid for opinions and persons should earn the contempt normally reserved for pimps. And THE IRISH TIMES has them not in single spies but in battalions.
THE IRISH TIMES TRUST was established by Arnold Goodman, a fixer for Harold Wilson, and was first headed by the British MI5 agent and ex Major Tom MacDowell.
Its members are all sworn to secrecy. The paper poses as a liberal champion of open and responsible government and business practice.
It has published despatches from an Irish citizen serving as an officer in the British Army from Afghanistan or another theatre of war. That officer was bound by Britain’s Official Secrets Act and those despatches will have been vetted by his employers. No employer would allow an employee to publish anything which might reveal its secrets, mistakes or crimes or give comfort to its competitors. In publishing Captain Bury’s despatches THE IRISH TIMES was a conscious agent of the British Government.
The paper is good at burying its past. In
February 1933 after Fianna Fail had been one year in Government with Labour
support, it called a General Election. THE IRISH
TIMES editorially warned against voting for Fianna Fail. The electorate gave Fianna Fail an overall majority and sufficient votes in successive elections until 1948. Until
the 1960s the paper was the organ of Southern Unionists, mainly Protestant and was ignored by most Ulster Unionists and most Nationalists, North or South.
In March 1933 its Editorial “Herr Hitler’s Way” welcomed the Nazis’s accession to power and suppression of Leftists on the thuggish principle that “you can’t make an
omlette without breaking an egg.” I’m not paraphrasing – those were the editorial’s exact words. It would be a service to everyone if both editorials were reprinted
side by side and disseminated widely.
Every week THE IRISH TIMES carries a column headed RITE AND REASON and employs apparently believing Roman Catholics ((a category it has never consistently
had much time or space for). So far as I’m concerned the column is Tripe and Treason. Treason to Ireland, to historical fact, treason to Reason. I understand that the
late, unlamented Titus Oates, posed as a Jesuit, and thought that Seamus Murphy must be a similar impostor when I read his piece condemning the 1916 Insurgents.
He contrasted Patrick Pearse’s conduct with that of Daniel O’Connell. According to Father Murphy, O’Connell, whose family smuggled thousands of Irishmen to France
to join His Brittanic Majesties’ Hanoverian enemies, in the Service of the French Monarchs, was a perfect pacifist “who never shot a man.” Most Irishmen and Women
of my generation, and previous ones, had heard in their schooldays that O’Connell fought a duel in Co.Kildare and killed a member of the Dublin Corporation named
D’Esterre. O’Connell’s Second in the encounter was the noted Duellist, a Protestant from Co.Clare nicknamed “Fire-Balls” McNamara who had a brace of pistols called
“Bas gan Sagart”. The year was 1815 and Irish lawyers, who considered themselves gentlemen, were notable duellists. That same year Robert Peel, a crack shot with a
pistol, challenged O’Connell to a duel, to be held in what is today Belgium. On his way to the Antwerp boat O’Connell was arrested in England. It seems Peel was no
gentleman and connived at the arrest. So much for the opinions of Seumas Murphy SJ. This week Patsy McGarry renews the Craw Thumper’s condemnation of the 1916
Rising and demands that the State repudiate it.