wails Fintan O’Toole in THE IRISH TIMES.

As if slander had ever died. O’Toole poses as the defender of local papers which can be sued for libel against social media which are not subject to legal restraints.

 I may be wrong but I thought that most local papers were owned by powerful corporations, in the way most “public intellectuals”  are owned by unscrupulous interests and happily serve them.

For years Kevin Myers in the Irish Times (the paper which welcomed Hitler’s accession to power in 1933) slandered Frank Ryan, a hero* of the anti-Fascist war in Spain, and other Irishmen who fought the good fight there.

Myers moved on to another rag, but up to his death last month The Irish Times was spiking letters from Manus O’Riordan, the son of Michael O’Riordan. one of the most gallant men the human race has produced.

Manus O’Riordan’s contribution to life in Ireland in the promotion of the co-operation of Trade Unions, Employers and State, transformed Ireland bringing full employment, the end of forced emigration and the Celtic Tiger, derided by Fintan O’Toole. Leading that transformation was Charles Haughey O’Toole would have us believe that Haughey posed as a saint. I suppose because Charlie never made stupid frontal assaults on the Catholic Church.

 Amongst those who knew him in the FCA, Charlie had a reputation as a Jack the Lad. I don’t think Fintan ever served with those unpaid volunteer patriots.

Anyhow  children and unmarried mothers were disgracefully abused in Ireland both in Catholic-run and Church of Ireland-run institutions. Some of the latter had close relations with the Irish Times.

But renegade Catholics in the Irish Times have shamelessly ensured that the Catholic Church alone has got the blame.

The Irish Times can, however, enlist at least one ordained Catholic in its chief concern, looking after British interests in Ireland. A Jesuit with the combined ethics of Richard Pigott and Titus Oates.

In its “Rite and Reason”  section Seamus Murphy SJ  (a self-professed Liberation Theologian) liberated himself from the shackles of fact in a guttersnipe assault on the leaders of the 1916 Rising.

He chose to compare Daniel O’Connell’s character to that of Patrick Pearse, to the latter’s disadvantage.

As it happens, I honour the memory of both men for the service they gave to Ireland. Pearse was the more effective in the end than the Benthamite Utilitarian O’Connell.

But Pearse was a great sinner according to Murphy, for Daniel O’Connell  “never shot a man.”

I have never heard that Pearse shot anybody but in 1815 O’Connell shot  John Norcot d’Esterre dead in a duel in County Kildare, and was arrested later the same year at Ostend on his way to meet Robert Peel who had challenged him to a duel.

I do not recall either Seamus Murphy or the Irish Times retracting, correcting, or apologising for such bilious claptrap.

It would be unreasonable to expect contrition from and organ allegedly controlled by a secretive oath-bound trust established by the crooked Lord Arnold Goodman, on the instructions of Harold Wilson, on the advice of Sir Andrew Gilchrist, who masterminded the lying propaganda which culminated in the genocidal coup in Indonesia in 1965.

* Ryan’s heroic leadership is recalled by James Yates in his brilliant memoir “From Mississippi to Madrid” 

Yates, who served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was a founder member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored  People

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