October, 2020

Today’s Irish Times: a colonel and a columnist

There are two interesting pieces in this morning’s Irish Times.  The first is a letter from a retired Irish colonel, in which he advances a proposal in some ways as radical as Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal, when he argued that poor Irish people should be allowed to sell their babies for eating by the powers […]

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Trump: going, going, g—-

Does it matter who wins the presidential race in the US? If you answer ‘No’ to that question,  maybe you should join the Sleepy Joe section of the class. Word in some quarters is that Boris Johnson is holding off his final decision about a hard, no-deal Brexit or a slightly less-hard agreement with the […]

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THE TIMES AND THE PRESS COUNCIL by Donal Kennedy

IRISH TIMES 18 FEB 1982 Text of talk given in the Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London. 5 February 1983 by Donal Kennedy On Saturday 9 May 1983 Michael Leapman, New York correspondent of THE TIMES of London, reported on the resignation from The Daily News of New York, of their reporter Michael Daly. The Daily Mail  of […]

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BREXIT COMES TO AMERICA by Michael J Cummings

 Britain’s endless  whining about exiting the European Union (BREXIT) will soon come to an end.  Prime Minister Johnson’s sunny predictions of the commercial “buccaneering” that will follow,  often omits  an important caveat.   For Brexit to succeed, Britain needs a U. S. trade deal.  Although leaving the EU is a folly of their own making, Britain’s rescue is deemed a U. S.  obligation   even […]

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PAT + JUDE TALK ABOUT FEAR OF VACCINE, STATE COVER-UP AND FRANK BOUGH

A recent survey suggested that over 40% of people would be reluctant  to have a vaccine against Covid – has the world gone totally bonkers?  And why has the Mother and Baby report in the south been postponed  and postponed – and is it now to be put under embargo for 30 years?       Surely people have a right to know what occurred in these places. And finally, what about Frank Bough who died recently. Everyone  agrees he was a great sports broadcaster – so why did he get the boot?  And was it justified?   All this and much, much more awaits…Put some    sunshine into your Monday….

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William Matchett: such a distinguished Fellow, by Tom Cooper

From: Tom Cooper <tomcooper22@yahoo.co.uk> To: “kennedyinstitute@mu.ie” <kennedyinstitute@mu.ie> Sent: Monday, 26 October 2020, 10:30:58 GMT Subject: William Matchett Dear Kennedy Institute member, Your organisation’s name continues to be used to attack those who seek justice for victims of British loyalist collusion. I refer to an (attached) article by William Matchett in the Newsletter of 18 September last, and Ruth Dudley Edwards’ 20 October Newsletter reference to Matchett and the Kennedy Institute, in her          attack on those who strive for justice. Your organsiation’s name is now synonymous with ‘republican terrorist’ baiting of civil rights  organisations, their supporters and relatives of those killed by loyalists acting in collusion with state forces,  who call British power to account. Your ‘adjunct fellow’ and ‘senior researcher’ claims academic respectability for his crude propaganda. What are you going to do about it? I wrote to you before about this (copy below) and received no reply. Are you so spineless that you are incapable of replying or perhaps you agree with Mr Matchett. Do you? Yours sincerely, Tom Cooper Dear Kennedy Institute member, Part of your stated mission is conflict prevention, which involves analysis and understanding  of conflict in Ireland. Is the abuse, false reasoning and simplistic thinking evident in adjunct     fellow William Matchett’s recent (28 November) Newsletter article in conformity with your mission? The article is available here: https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/opinion/william-matchett-collusion-probably-the-best-fake-news-story-in-the-world-1-9157017 I sent the letter below this email message to the newspaper, in response, which the                  newspaper has seen fit, so far, not to publish. Mr Matchett criticises those who provide evidence of collusion with loyalist killers by RUC      Special Branch, an autonomous ‘force within a force’, and by British Military Intelligence.         Allowing those convicted of an offence duringthe conflict to speak on the subject constitutes,  in Mr Matchett’s closed mind, a ‘gutter mentality’. One criticism of the law in Northern Ireland is that it protected those who broke it on behalf of the state. Mr Matchett’s evident delight that few of his colleagues were charged with an offence is proof of very little. His          statistical tally of security force related killings forgot examples like the Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, the Miami Showband Massacreand the Loughinisland Massacre. Bloody Sunday in 1972 and the 1971 Ballymurpy Massacre were earlier ignored examples of security force killing that took place without benefit of loyalist third parties. Mr Matchett asserts that the subject of collusion constitutes ‘fake news’. The author of Lethal Allies (2013), Anne Cadwallader spoke on RTE Radio One this morning  about the loyalist Glennane Gang and on the many killingsit carried out in collaboration with security forces (listen at https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/21668089). The closed down HET investigations established that collusion was a fact. So too did the         Stevens Inquiry, the Stalker Inquiry and the Da Silva Inquiry. There is now a new inquiry by       another English policeman, John Boutcher. It isMr Matchett’s view that such people are not    suited to investigating collusion that, in Mr Matchett’s closed mind, did not exist. Given the     preponderance of evidence, thus far, it is Mr Matchett’s selfserving view that is demonstrably  fake. Mr Matchett is entitled to dream up his own opinions, but not to invent his own facts. I have no objection to you employing Mr Matchett if you can show me who is there to               counterbalance his eccentric opinions on behalf of the controversial abolished force in which he once served. He mentioned, in a quitestupid aside, ‘diehard provo Tommy McKearney’. The latter is a respected analyst and author. Would you consider it appropriate to make Mr           McKearney a Fellow, or do you agree with Mr Matchett that that would constitute a descent into the gutter? What of Anne Cadwallader? Would her expertise on the matter of       collusion be welcomed by your Institute as a balance to the views of Mr Matchett? Or are you content that the name of your instituteand that of Maynooth University is used to promote      RUC propaganda? A final point, Mr Matchett’s view is entirely at variance with those of the late Edward M            Kennedy or indeed of any member of the Kennedy family I am aware of, living or dead. In fact  they constitute an insult to the memory ofthe late Senator Kennedy. Your claim, in the              circumstances I have outlined, to speak in the late senator’s name is astonishing. I would appreciate a response. […]

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Rest in peace, Frank Bough

Frank Bough died in a care home last Wednesday. He fronted the BBC flagship sports programme Grandstand and got BBC Breakfast Time  – the first TV breakfast show in Britain – off the ground in 1983. He was a hugely accomplished and admired broadcaster, until in 1988 a tabloid newspaper revealed that he took cocaine […]

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Terence MacSwiney-Bobby Sands: join the dots

Terence MacSwiney was a hugely courageous man. On this day exactly  100 years ago,  he died after 74 days on hunger strike. There was an RTÉ documentary on him last week; today so far I’ve heard two tributes  on RTÉ radio – by John Bowman and by a Sunday Miscellany contributor – to this great […]

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The UK: things fall apart

This blog first appeared as a column in the Andersonstown News. You may not have noticed but Glasgow Rangers beat Glasgow Celtic last weekend. For many people reading this, that pebble of information will produce a little bruise in the heart. Glasgow Rangers supporters, after all, are the ones waving the union jack, cursing the IRA and bawling the Famine song. Are these people unionists? […]

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PAT + JUDE TALK ABOUT THE DAIL BAR, MICHEÁL MARTIN’S SHARED IRELAND AND CRUCIFIXES IN STATE SCHOOLS

Has Micheál Martin found his inner republican? He’s putting up €500  million towards the A5, a bridge at Narrow Water and the development of the Ulster Canal. What is going on? Should the TDs’ bar in the Dail be closed, like other pubs in the south? Or do TDs deserve a drop of the craytur, given how hard they work? Finally, there’s talk of taking away the crucifixes and other symbols of Catholicism from schools in the south. Is this an effort to erase the past, anti-Catholicism or an attempt to have schools reflect the current  population in the south? Have a gleek and see if we’re talking 95% or 100% guff…

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