IT DOESN’T TAKE COURAGE TO JOIN A LYNCH MOB, MR. MURPHY – by Donal Kennedy

I’m assailed by one Larry Murphy for what I wrote in a blog.

At 15 I told a fib about my age to join An Forsa Cosanta Aitiuil and at 18 applied for a cadetship in Oglaigh na hEireann. I failed the eye test but completed 7 years in the FCA and hold a Long Service Medal. I have never been on active service, thanks to the principled and prudent foreign policies pursued by Ireland’s elected Governments particularly when directed by  Eamon de Valera and Frank Aiken.

I have taken a stand against lying journalism and spent nearly a year (1981-1982) in getting Britain’s Press Council to condemn a lying piece in THE TIMES of London published the day after the funeral of Bobby Sands. The news of the condemnation was not carried by the BBC which led with the story that the Press Council was dealing with a complaint that a tabloid paper had carried a photo of Princess Diana in an early stage of pregnancy in a bikini. The photo was neither indecent nor indecorous nor scandalous. A physically healthy, pretty, young married woman is hardly a cause for disquiet. But the Press Council condemned the paper within hours, That night I turned on the TV to see Harold Evans, editor of THE TIMES presented with the award “EDITOR OF THE YEAR” by the editors of Britain’s leading newspapers. Evans was later Knighted.

Amongst them was the Editor-in-Chief of the Observer, Conor Cruise O’Brien, a fellow-traveller of my youth on the Hill of Howth Tram, once a hero of mine.

But “The Cruiser”  forsook his principles and became a turncoat and a shameless liar. 

I’ve reached the age of 80 and have modified some of my youthful opinions. But I have retained, I think, my principles and nobody will call me a turncoat.

The 1916 Leaders did not call on the civilians of Dublin to die fighting the British, neither did they call on the Volunteers to go continue fighting when there was no hope of military victory. They did not mistreat prisoners. They did not call for people with pro-British sentiments to be murdered. They had nothing in common with the Ukraine regime. They had not been supplied with military supplies and training and billions of pounds/dollars/marks or gold by a powerful alliance. And they didn’t seek to ban British newspapers and journals. Indeed Patrick Pearse in his War News, published in the GPO, quoted  from that week’s New Statesman. Nor did the Insurgents depict the British Prime Minister as a pig.

I live in London, and have done so these past 57 years. I have no quarrel with any nation, only Government policies which fall below ethical standards. 

What have you got to say for YOURSELF, Larry Murphy?  You have a right to speak up which I would not wish to deny you.

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