SPOOKS AND THE TIMES – CAN YOU TRUST EITHER? by Donal Kennedy


THE TIMES has been publishing, at least since 2014, daily extracts from its editions of one hundred years previously.

Last year it republished a damning report on the behaviour and character of Sir Michael O’Dwyer as Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, as murderous a blackguard as ever drew breath. O’Dwyer was shot dead in London in 1940 and his obituary included in the paper’s volume “GREAT IRISH LIVES” would have one believe that he combined the genius of an Einstein with the piety of St Francis of Assisi.

This informs us that  David Cornwell who served in both MI5 and MI6 and wrote  under the nom de plume John La Carre, became an Irish citizen. Apparently he discovered that one of his grandmothers came from West Cork.As his own father was a swindler and a chancer you might doubt he got the story right.

Anyhow it seems he became increasingly disenchanted with Britain and Brexit was the last straw. An Irish passport was for him that of a European endowing him with rights on the continent now denied to mere Britons.

My passport is that of an Irish citizen, bound not only by sentiment, but by the Constitution, to fidelity to the Nation and loyalty to the State. 

In an RTE interview two years ago Cornwell/Le Carre said he had been enchanted by West Cork, whence his alleged grandmother, aged 16 migrated to become a lady’s maid in England. According to THE TIMES “all hell broke out in West Cork two years later.  I don’t think THE TIMES or even the local papers in Cork reported that trouble. Nor was there in the following decade “a terrible religious war and carnage there.”  There was conflict when  a largely unarmed citizenry of a democratically establlshed republic refused to kow-tow to British repression. But there was no inter-communal fighting in Leinster, Munster or Connacht during the War of Independence or Civil War.

Cornwell/Le Carre may have  carried an Irish passport, as did US Colonel Oliver North and as have Mossad assassins. But he was neither by birth nor by allegiance an Irishman.

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