News manipulation in the mouth of an election

Here’s Micheál Martin in today’s Irish Times:

“There are ‘fundamental moral issues to be addressed’ before Fianna Fáil will consider any coalition government with Sinn Féin, citing the party’s culture of “omerta” in the wake of the murder of Paul Quinn, party leader Micheál Martin has said.

Here’s Bertie Ahern in the Irish Times, 15 November  2007:

 The murder in Monaghan last month of Paul Quinn “was not paramilitary but pertained to feuds about criminality that were taking place”, the Taoiseach told the Dáil. Bertie Ahern said the Government had received a number of reports from both gardaí “and secondhand from the PSNI, and both of them match at this stage, that this action was due to criminality”.

At the time Bertie Ahern made that statement, Micheál Martin was serving in his Cabinet as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It seems highly likely that Micheál Martin knew what his party leader said at the time and knows it today. Yet he has chosen, with Leo Varadkar and other Irish politicians, to keep silent about this matter. Would this come under the heading of ‘omerta’?

Perhaps  in today’s Nolan Show or Crawley’s Talkback we’ll have time devoted to this missing piece of the case. Or perhaps not.

As things stand, the electorate in the south are being played like a Stradivarius. Let’s hope that on Saturday, they will push back hard.

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