YOU CAN TAKE IT FROM ME THAT FINTAN O’TOOLE IS NOT A PRIG by Donal Kennedy
I’ve read , listened to, and seen commentary by Fintan O’Toole in or on various media for decades. Like myself he was born in Dublin and schooled by the Irish Christian Brothers. Unlike myself he’s a University Graduate, He is sixteeen years my junior.
I have referred to Fintan in at least 2 BLOGS “Sense, Sensibility and Fintan O’Toole” and “Its not about Fintan: He coulda fooled Ya?
Though I presume he carries an Irish Passport and know he speaks with a Dublin accent I think of him as an alien, and suspect he would think similarly of me.
Indeed, if I didn’t know that his acclaimed “A Traitor’s Kiss” was a study of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, I’d have assumed it was his own autobiography.
It seems that he believes that the exercise of self-determination by the Irish electorate in 1918 and subsequently was not just an unfortunate blunder but a monstrous crime deserving of severe punishment by our British neighbours, who are invested with the authority which a religious believer would attribute to God.
I believe that Fintan’s father, like many a fine man, drove a CIE Bus. And I am inclined to believe, as the best informed Dubliners did, that the bomb which killed two bus conductors behind the CIE club in Sackville Place Dublin in December 1972 was the work of British agents. I ate lunch there regularly in the late 1950s and early 1960s and danced there too.
But it seems to me that Fintan saves much of his invective for those who have striven to serve Ireland in peace and in war.
Apparently he was awestruck to find, on his first visit to England that the ordinary people were friendly. That’s how I have always found them in 56 years here. But the people who run the British State, MI5, MI6, the hard-nosed war-mongers and arms merchants are friends neither to ordinary English folk or us lesser breeds. But they’ll co-opt collaborators from anywhere.
I’ve just revisited Fintan’s IRISH TIMES piece “How I dicovered what I felt about Abortion” about a decision he made when he was eighteen, and, in his own words, very ignorant. His article was written when he was 60, forty-two years later after he had studied Philosophy (love of wisdom, which puts more emphasis on thought than feelings).
I quote from O’Toole’s article which can be googled –
” I was eighteen when I was asked to help a girl get an abortion. I knew that it was not about me. It was about her. It was her mind, her will and her right to make the decision she had come to. I knew I’d be a pompous little prig if I walked out.”
Even in his ignorant youth Fintan must have realised that the future life of a younger individual than the girl would was in the balance. He admits that he “had a vague feeling that” abortion “was a bad thing” but tells us that it took only thirty seconds to decide to help the bad thing come about.
He feared that if he didn’t he’d be thought “a pompous little prig.” Principles and ethics might be jettisoned lest Fintan be called names.
Fintan, I hope, will be gratified to know that I don’t consider him a prig.
He is a prick. A prick without a conscience. Not an upstanding one. But a flaccid little prick.