What Paddy said and didn’t say


I’ve never met Paddy Harte, the chairman of the International Fund for Ireland. From his photograph in the Irish media, he looks a pleasant and intelligent man. But a recent statement from him has left me worried.

Paddy (I hope that’s not overly intimate)  says that “It is the responsibility of paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland themselves to leave the stage”.  That’s an odd statement. Not untrue, but odd. It’s like saying that the Israeli Defence Force has the responsibility to leave Gaza.  You can’t deny that it makes sense, but so much is left unsaid. Like, that the UN doesn’t have a responsibility in this matter, or that the US supplying Israel with money and arms is beside the point, or that the IDF is engaged in genocide.

“We’re more than happy to speak to people who are transitioning and therefore have the credentials to move the paramilitaries out of the space…. It’s not that communities’ responsibility that they’re there, it’s not the police’s responsibility that they’re there, it’s not the government’s responsibility – it’s the paramilitaries responsibility to leave and allow people to have the hope to lead normal lives.”

FFS, Paddy. “People who are transitioning”?  The Good Friday Agreement was over 25 years ago – what sort of slow-motion strip-tease transition are these people doing?  And “it’s not the police’s responsibility that they’re there, it’s not the government’s responsibility” – in the words of John McEnroe, you have got to be kidding.  Of course it’s the police’s responsibility to get rid of paramilitary groups, of course it’s the government’s responsibility. That’s what we pay them to do – keep order in society, enforce the law. Just as surely as it’s the government and the police’s responsibility to catch thieves, detect embezzlers, imprison murderers, it’s the responsibility of the well-paid powers that be to deal with these criminals who, by your own admission, Paddy, are holding communities in their unlawful grip.

Maybe think of it this way, Paddy: we’re just hours away from  1 January, not 1 April.

2 Responses to What Paddy said and didn’t say

  1. Nosichanaplace December 31, 2023 at 2:30 pm #

    Transitioning for slow learners? If they are put under any pressure they might start killing Catholics again. Sooo, let’s not put them under pressure or humiliate them or you know what will happen.

  2. James Hunter December 31, 2023 at 7:20 pm #

    Very good jude free Palestine