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Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Sarah McInerney and political impartiality

offsite link Did RTE journalists collude against Sinn Fein? Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner bias Anthony

offsite link RTE: Propaganda ambush of Sinn Fein Anthony

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By Anthony Sheridan 23 Sep 2020 Sarah McInerney is one of RTEs top news and current affairs broadcasters.  As such she is required to exercise strict impartiality on all matters controversial but particularly in relation to political issues. The general public should not be able to tell the personal views of broadcasters such as McInerney.  … Continue reading "Sarah McInerney and political impartiality"

By Anthony Sheridan

23 Sep 2020

Sarah McInerney is one of RTEs top news and current affairs broadcasters.  As such she is required to exercise strict impartiality on all matters controversial but particularly in relation to political issues.

The general public should not be able to tell the personal views of broadcasters such as McInerney.  So my question is, why is she allowed to express strong personal political opinions in her column in the Sunday Times? 

Just last Sunday, for example, she expressed the opinion that the Taoiseach?s debilitating amiability is a liability in government

Martin has been too nice for too long; she thundered before going on to say that his softly, softly approach to challenges from his Parliamentary Party and Tanaiste Leo Varadkar was not good for Fianna Fail.

Her final paragraph could have come from the mouth of the Taoiseach?s most worried advisor:

You have to play the political game, no matter how distasteful it may be. If Martin wants to survive two years as Taoiseach, with his party still intact, it?s time for a mini makeover. No more Mr Nice Guy.

RTEs guidelines on impartiality are crystal clear: [Section 8.4 Impartiality]

Our audiences should not be able to tell from our output the personal views of our journalists or news and current affairs presenters on matters of public policy, political or industrial controversy, or on ?controversial subjects? in any other area.

And, more precisely:

?may not express personal views in RTÉ output, online or elsewhere, [my underline] and must be careful in their use of social media to avoid any perception of partiality.

Everyone who read the article now knows that McInerney is concerned about Michael Martin?s performance as Taoiseach and the continuing drop in support for Fianna Fail.

This is damaging to her credibility as a news and current affairs broadcaster.  Any robust questioning of opposition TDs will be seen as support for Fianna Fail.  Any perceived soft interview with Fianna Fail TDs or ministers will be seen in a similar light.

As one of the most popular and admired news broadcasters in the country McInerney has the potential to wield enormous political influence. 

She should not be allowed to do so.  Time RTE management had a word in her ear.

Copy to:

Sarah McInerney

RTE management

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan In an interview with Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald on RTEs This Week programme, David McCullagh quizzed her about the use of the word ?collusion? in the Dail during nominations for a new Taoiseach. You said the Government parties colluded in frustrating the voice of change, in what way was it collusion? McDonald … Continue reading "Did RTE journalists collude against Sinn Fein?"

By Anthony Sheridan

In an interview with Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald on RTEs This Week programme, David McCullagh quizzed her about the use of the word ?collusion? in the Dail during nominations for a new Taoiseach.

You said the Government parties colluded in frustrating the voice of change, in what way was it collusion?

McDonald confirmed her belief that there was collusion between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael but she didn?t get much further before being interrupted by McCullah who declared triumphantly that he had looked up the word in the Oxford English dictionary.

Secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others.

This type of ?journalism? is bizarre and disturbing.  McCullagh/RTE picked out one word, from one person in one political party and went to the bother of researching the exact meaning of that word with the obvious intention of embarrassing the leader of that party.

McDonald made the reasonable and correct argument that the word ?collusion? has a far wider application in the English language.

But McCullagh was determined in his attack:

Some people would see the use of the word as almost Trumpian.

McDonald, rightly, berated him:

Don?t be ridiculous.

The grilling was continued the next day on Today with Sarah McInerney.

Speaking with Sinn Fein?s Louise O?Reilly McInerney demanded to know why McDonald had used the ?collusion ? word.

As with Mary Lou McDonald, O?Reilly didn?t get far in her reply before being interrupted by McInerney who expressed her personal opinion that the word was used deliberatly by Sinn Fein.

The use of the word and this impression being given, deliberately, I think by Sinn Fein that the two parties were plotting.

O?Reilly, stating the obvious fact that Fianna Fail and Fine Gael did work together to keep Sinn Fein out was again interrupted by McInerney in her eagerness to support the establishment parties.

How do you know that, I mean they would say they came together because their party policies were more aligned than they were with yours.

As McDonald said, the word ?collusion? has a broad application in language but if we take McCullagh?s strict definition and apply it to his and McInerney?s behaviour we can see that the definition fits perfectly.

Secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy in order to deceive others.

Any objective observer could be forgiven for concluding that this was a [non] story generated behind closed doors by RTE journalists with the intention of deceiving listeners into believing that Mary Lou McDonald had done something wrong.

This is not journalism, it?s not professional reporting or analysis. It appears to be the deliberate targeting of a political party that poses a challenge to the fading power of the ruling political class.

Copy to:

David McCullagh

Sarah McInerney

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan Irish Examiner journalist Michael Clifford believes there is an organised social media campaign by some in politics to discredit mainstream media. Increasingly in some quarters of politics, social media is used to attempt to systemically discredit the media. This is designed to encourage the public to ignore anything negative that appears in … Continue reading "Irish Examiner bias"

By Anthony Sheridan

Irish Examiner journalist Michael Clifford believes there is an organised social media campaign by some in politics to discredit mainstream media.

Increasingly in some quarters of politics, social media is used to attempt to systemically discredit the media. This is designed to encourage the public to ignore anything negative that appears in the media about a particular politician or party.

This attack on the media, according to Clifford, encourages people to ignore facts and blame the messenger.  And, he warns, the tactic is undermining the media?s role in holding power to account.

Specifically, Clifford is writing about Sinn Fein supporters who allege that mainstream media is biased against the party.  He goes on to accuse those supporters of using the bias claim to discredit negative scrutiny of Sinn Fein.

Michael Clifford is wrong, as wrong as only an establishment journalist can be when faced with the uncomfortable truth of rampant mainstream media bias. 

There are any number of examples of this bias not just against Sinn Fein but against any person or organisation, such as the water protesters, who threaten the power of the ruling political establishment.

The following is just one example from Clifford’s newspaper, The Irish Examiner.

A few weeks ago the leader of the Green Party Eamon Ryan used the ?N? word during a speech in the Dail.  Ryan was referring to an article in the Irish Times by the writer Sean Gallen in which he described how racist abuse during his childhood affected his whole life.

Here?s how the political editor of the Irish Examiner, Daniel McConnell, responded: 

Daniel McConnell: Questionable rush to condemn Eamon Ryan

Eamon Ryan is not racist.

The reaction to {Ryan} was astonishing and, in places, downright nasty.

On social media, the great online sewer, he was slammed.

Was Ryan wrong to use it as opposed to saying ?the N-word? or some other variation when making his point?

Or was he justified in saying it within the context of highlighting the abuse suffered by Gallen?

The rush to condemn did on one level smack of the disturbing pattern of the left to preach to everyone as to what speech is acceptable and which is not.

The moral high priests and priestesses who seem to go out their way to take offence do little to progress the cause of inclusivity or equality.

Four years ago, in May 2016, the then leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams also used the ?N? word in the exact same manner as Ryan.  That is, he used the word in the context of the suffering of the nationalist population of Northern Ireland under British/Unionist rule, just as Ryan used it to highlight the abuse suffered by Gallen. 

The bias of the Irish Examiner is exposed for all to see when the favourable [and justified] defence of Ryan is contrasted against the damning judgement of Adams by an anonymous Irish Examiner journalist, hiding behind an editorial, for the very same thing.

[I have underlined what I consider to be the contradictions between the two responses]

While Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has defended using a racist word for a black person in a tweet, his judgement must be called into question.

As leader of a political party, he has a duty to guard against making gratuitously offensive references.

Whether he likes it or not, his Sunday night use of the six-letter N-word is the kind of word that is synonymous with the attitude towards black people in America?s deep south. Whether used unwittingly or not, it a deeply offensive term.

It is simply not good enough to tell his followers on the social media platform Twitter that he was watching a Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, comparing the struggle against slavery in the US to the struggle by Irish nationalists.

If it had been a film about US president Barack Obama, he would hardly have used such a racist term. So why did he use it? Having drawn criticism on both social media and the Washington Times, that is the right question which Mr Adams must ask himself.

The bias and hypocrisy of Irish Examiner journalists to the two incidents is clear to anybody with an ounce of objectivity.

Mr. Clifford tells us that the so-called tactic by ?some quarters of politics? on social media to discredit mainstream media is undermining the media?s role in holding power to account.

There?s no need of such a conspiracy. A declining standard of professionalism coupled with an obvious bias against those who challenge the ruling political establishment are doing more than enough to undermine trust in and credibility of mainstream media.

Copy to:

Michael Clifford

Daniel McConnell

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan Former RTE broadcaster Sean O?Rourke never made a secret of his contempt for Sinn Fein.  At times his contempt bordered on outright hatred as he interrogated and insulted members of that party at every opportunity.  For O?Rourke, journalistic objectivity was never as important as keeping Sinn Fein away from the levers of … Continue reading "RTE: Propaganda ambush of Sinn Fein"

By Anthony Sheridan

Former RTE broadcaster Sean O?Rourke never made a secret of his contempt for Sinn Fein.  At times his contempt bordered on outright hatred as he interrogated and insulted members of that party at every opportunity.  For O?Rourke, journalistic objectivity was never as important as keeping Sinn Fein away from the levers of power.

Sarah McInerney, O?Rourke?s replacement, seems intent on continuing in his biased footsteps.

We witnessed the latest example of this unprincipled journalism in what has become a regular RTE strategy when it come to Sinn Fein ? the propaganda ambush.

The ambush followed an interview of the Sinn Fein leader by the Sunday Independent.  The Independent is a propaganda newspaper with a rabid hatred of Sinn Fein so it was no surprise that the interview was manipulated to demonise Mary Lou McDonald and her party.

Someone in RTE then, apparently, decided to follow up on the Independent?s rogue journalism by setting up their own propaganda ambush, Sarah McInerney was more than happy to cooperate.

I should make clear, this article is not about Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Fein or the IRA.  Those interested in how McDonald handled the interview can listen back here on the RTE website.

This article is about how media organisations with a particular agenda, such as RTE, set out to damage the credibility or reputation of certain people and organisations who are considered a threat to the political status quo.

The form and delivery of questions asked are crucial if such ambushes are to be successful.  In this case the strategy used by RTE/McInerney can be broken down into three parts.

One: Ask a question that?s impossible to answer.

Two: Repeatedly and forcibly put the question in pursuit of self-condemnation while ignoring all answers given in defence.

Three: Include a deeply emotional element to the question.

The impossible to answer question consisted of two parts:

Was the IRA justified in killing people, and, would you have taken up arms in the conflict? 

While repeatedly putting the question RTE/McInerney introduced the emotional element of the ambush by exploiting the death of a 13 year child in the conflict.

Do you really think it was justified to kill a 13 year old child?

Over three thousand people died in the Northern Ireland conflict. Tens of thousands suffered serious physical and psychological injuries. British soldiers, police officers, Unionists militia, the IRA and the British Government all engaged in the killing. 

In a propaganda ambush it is important to leave out this bigger picture because it provides objective context that could weaken the damaging impact of the strategy.

RTE/McInerney didn?t need or indeed expect McDonald to actually say the killing of children was justified in the conflict.  It was only necessary to repeatedly throw the deceitful question at her to create an impression in the minds of listeners that McDonald was being dishonestly evasive and therefore guilty in some way ? damage done, mission accomplished.

We know this was a propaganda ambush because the Northern Ireland conflict ended 22 years ago with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.   To demand explanations from one party to the agreement so long after the conflict has ended without context and without demanding the same explanations from all other parties is clearly an exercise in propaganda.

Practically the entire world, including the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and the vast majority of citizens in the Republic and the United Kingdom, accepted the agreement and by so doing recognised Sinn Fein as a legitimate political party that was genuinely intent on pursuing its policies by peaceful means only. 

Only two groups rejected the agreement, the Democratic Unionist Party and the political establishment in the Republic.  Fianna Fail and Fine Gael along with fellow travellers such as right wing politician Michael McDowell have never accepted what the world has accepted, that Sinn Fein is a legitimate political party.  By so doing they are, effectively, rejecting the Good Friday Agreement.

Their motive is as cynical as it is self-serving ? Sinn Fein, as an outsider, poses a major threat to the exclusive power the established parties have wielded since independence.  A power they have consistently abused at great cost to the quality of Irish democracy and the interests of Irish citizens.

The Irish media, led by RTE, is overwhelmingly conservative and pro establishment.  The historic and, for the establishment, shocking public endorsement of Sinn Fein in the recent election has panicked them into abandoning all semblance of objectivity and professionalism in defence of that establishment.

Copy to:

Sarah McInerney

RTE

Mary Lou McDonald

Anthony
Anthony Sheridan Hong Kong belongs to the Chinese in exactly the same way as the Isle of Wight belongs to the British. Here?s how Britain came to own Hong Kong.  In the 19th century the British East Indian Company was making huge profits in the illegal smuggling of drugs [opium] into China.  This criminal activity … Continue reading "Hong Kong and democracy"

Anthony Sheridan

Hong Kong belongs to the Chinese in exactly the same way as the Isle of Wight belongs to the British.

Here?s how Britain came to own Hong Kong.  In the 19th century the British East Indian Company was making huge profits in the illegal smuggling of drugs [opium] into China. 

This criminal activity did serious damage to the Chinese economy and resulted in widespread drug addiction among the population. 

The Chinese authorities appealed to Queen Victoria to stop the drug trade, she ignored them.  The authorities then offered to allow the merchants to trade in tea in place of opium but this too was rejected.  As a last resort the authorities confiscated supplies of opium and imposed a blockade of foreign ships.

The British responded by going to war.  They defeated the Chinese and in the subsequent peace treaty demanded and were given ownership of Hong Kong.

For the next 150 years Hong Kong was ruled from London through a British appointed governor, there was no democracy under British rule.

Hong Kong citizens were never happy with this lack of democracy and frequently rebelled.  In 1856, for example, when a very limited form of democracy was suggested the Colonial Office rejected the idea on the grounds that:

Chinese residents had no respect for the principles upon which social order rests.

The current Chinese dictatorship holds the exact same anti-democratic view.

Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong before the territory was handed back to the Chinese in 1997, is outraged by this anti-democratic policy. 

Here?s some of what he had to say in a recent article:

The world simply cannot trust this Chinese regime. Liberal democracies and friends of Hong Kong everywhere must make it clear that they will stand up for this great, free and dynamic city.

But Patten?s complaints are futile and hypocritical. 

They are futile because China is now an empire and Britain a mere backwater on the world stage.  They are hypotcritical because the Chinese are not doing anything the British did not do during their occupation of Hong Kong.

And there?s another important point, Hong Kong is geographically and culturally part of China.  Britain, on the other hand is nearly six thousand miles away from its former colony.

Let?s imagine a reversal of history.  Let?s imagine that China was the most powerful empire in the world in the 19th century and went to war with Britain because it was prevented from selling illegal drugs to the British people.  Let?s imagine that after defeat the British were forced to hand over the Isle of Wight to the Chinese.

Fast forward to the present day and the Chinese, having lost their empire, are forced by the British to give the island back. 

How would the British respond if the former Chinese colonists, from six thousand miles away in Beijing, began to lecture London on how they should govern the newly liberated territory.  

I think we know the answer to that.

China agreed to give some political and social autonomy to Hong Kong through a ?one country, two systems? policy for a 50 year period. 

That a ruthless communist regime should actually honour that promise for nearly half that period is nothing short of a miracle.  Again, if the situation was reversed, would the UK honour such an agreement, particularly if its political and commercial interests were threatened – highly unlikely.

And it is principally commercial interests that lie behind the, so far, relatively benign response by the Chinese government to events in Hong Kong. The city is an extremely rich capitalist money-making machine and China is fast becoming the most powerful and richest capitalist country in the world. 

The Chinese government want two things, to continue sharing the wealth generated by Hong Kong but, at the same time, exercise total political power over its citizens.  In a word – they want capitalism but not democracy.

And that policy is a carbon-copy of the policy imposed by the British during their undemocratic rule of the territory.

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan Comedian Oliver Callan is a confused man and his confusion is getting him into all kinds of trouble. He?s in trouble because he doesn?t understand the difference between harmless political satire and serious political comment. If Callan was an ordinary Joe Soap comedian his confusion would not be a problem.  But Callan … Continue reading "Oliver Callan: Back in his box"

By Anthony Sheridan

Comedian Oliver Callan is a confused man and his confusion is getting him into all kinds of trouble.

He?s in trouble because he doesn?t understand the difference between harmless political satire and serious political comment.

If Callan was an ordinary Joe Soap comedian his confusion would not be a problem.  But Callan is not an ordinary Joe Soap, much of his income comes from powerful sources within the establishment such as RTE and the Irish Times.

The rule is simple:  If you work for the establishment, you don?t attack the establishment.

There?s just one exception to this rule. If you?re a comedian you can slag off the establishment if, and only if, your comments are made within the strict confines of comedy.

Clearly, Callan doesn?t understand this rule.  Recently he tweeted a very strong criticism of the leader of the establishment itself ? Leo Varadkar. 

The arrogance is astounding.  As covid19 kills scores and puts 500k on dole, Taoiseach [on full pay & exp] alleges without proof that workers are seeking layoffs to exploit benefits.  The SF leader gloats the crisis proves she?s ??right?.  Are we in  this together or not??? FFS

Somebody must have had a word in is ear.  Perhaps a call from RTE or the Irish Times or maybe even a call from the Great Leader himself.

In any case, Callan quickly deleted the tweet with the following seriously pathetic excuse.

Ok ok, so I deleted my tweet referencing Leo?s comments on welfare applicants and Mary Lou?s opinion piece in IT.  I wasn?t fair to either of them and if we are in this together, I?ll have to simmer down too.

This wimpish but unstandably self-interested climbdown was rightfully torn to shreds on twitter.

So let?s have a look at the difference between Varadkar?s comments and McDonald?s Irish Times article.

McDonald wrote a well balanced, well informed article on the current political situation focusing particularly on the disgraceful, anti-democratic exclusion of Sinn Fein from government formation talks by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

Varadkar, on the other hand, obnoxiously and without any proof accused citizens of exploiting layoff benefits.

But, according to Callan?s flaky logic, Varadkar?s vile accusation is no worse than McDonald?s reasoned political analysis. 

This is the mindset of a man running in fear of those with power to damage his interests.

All went quiet then?for a while.  Callan probably thought he was off the hook, that he was still in the establishment?s good books. 

But, once again, he made the massive error of mixing up satire with serious political comment.

In another tweet he described a speech delivered by the Great Leader as wooden and robotic. 

Clearly, Callan was not getting the message ? If you work for the establishment you cannot criticise the establishment. 

To hammer home that message, the mistress of the establishment?s high moral ground was called into action, Irish Times columnist Kathy Sheridan.

Personally naming Callan, Sheridan did not mince her words:

Cheap, personal shots at politicians demean everyone involved.

Callan, at last, got the message.

In an article that would embarrass even the most toadying, most servile supporter of the establishment Callan prostrated himself in a spineless effort to regain favour.

The Great Leader, who just days before was described by Callan as  an arrogant robot, suddenly morphed into a man of passion for his country, a man who was going to deal with the [evil] ?shinners?, a man who was determined to leave a legacy of greatness on history.  

Climbdowns as abject as this only happen after a serious slap on the wrist has been delivered.

And to copper-fasten his total allegiance to his masters, Callan jumped on the bandwagon that is the establishment?s hatred of social media, a hatred second only to its loathing for Sinn Fein:

Here?s Sheridan?s comment:

Just the kind of hot take that characterises the swamplands of social media along with idiotic #notmyTaoiseach hashtags.

And Callan?s servile parrot:

Social media?a place where the cringey hashtag ?Not My Taoiseach? trends with regularity.

Ah yes, I think we can safely conclude – Callan has definitely been put back in his box. 

Copy to:

Oliver Callan

Kathy Sheridan

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan Establishment commentator Elaine Byrne believes Mary Lou McDonald and her party are lacking in moral courage and are therefore unfit to govern. Sinn Fein does not deserve a pass until Mary Lou and her leadership demonstrate genuine moral courage. Byrne is not alone in holding such an intolerant, undemocratic and hypocritical view.  … Continue reading "Elaine Byrne: Lacking moral courage to name names"

By Anthony Sheridan

Establishment commentator Elaine Byrne believes Mary Lou McDonald and her party are lacking in moral courage and are therefore unfit to govern.

Sinn Fein does not deserve a pass until Mary Lou and her leadership demonstrate genuine moral courage.

Byrne is not alone in holding such an intolerant, undemocratic and hypocritical view.  The entire horde of establishment journalists have been scrambling around in panic ever since polls indicated that Sinn Fein have become a major force in Irish politics.

This development comes as no surprise to ordinary citizens who have suffered catastrophe after catastrophe as a direct result of political corruption in Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.  

The very fact that Ms. Byrne obviously believes that these two parties are in possession of any semblance of moral courage destroys her credibility as an objective commentator.  

But Ms. Byrne will not recognise this criticism because, like all establishment commentators, she operates from within the extremely restricted realm of the political establishment.

Looking out from that bubble Ms. Byrne can see and is indeed very angry at the massive damage inflicted on Ireland and its people by the disease of political corruption.

We know this because she wrote a book outlining in great detail every major incident of political corruption perpetuated principally by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael since the formation of the state.  

Unfortunately, Ms. Byrne does not, for whatever reason, possess the moral courage to name the guilty.

Instead, she falls in with the rest of the baying mob of ?journalists? in passing judgement on those who challenge the power and privilege of our corrupt ruling political class. 

Copy to:

Ms.Byrne

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan In a functional democracy like the UK the will of the people in a referendum is supreme no matter how inconvenient or disruptive the outcome is to the ruling political class. In a dysfunctional democracy like Ireland the will of the people in a referendum is supreme only on the strict condition … Continue reading "Real democracies and referendums"

By Anthony Sheridan

(Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Sky UK)

In a functional democracy like the UK the will of the people in a referendum is supreme no matter how inconvenient or disruptive the outcome is to the ruling political class.

In a dysfunctional democracy like Ireland the will of the people in a referendum is supreme only on the strict condition that the outcome is in line with the wishes of the ruling political class.

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan Two years ago I qualified for the Free Travel Pass but was denied the entitlement because I refused to accept the legitimacy of the Public Services Card.  The Data Protection Commissioner [DPC] has now ruled on the issue: The Department does not have a legal basis for processing personal data when it’s … Continue reading "Public Services Card: Some still forced to comply"

By Anthony Sheridan

Two years ago I qualified for the Free Travel Pass but was denied the entitlement because I refused to accept the legitimacy of the Public Services Card.  The Data Protection Commissioner [DPC] has now ruled on the issue:

The Department does not have a legal basis for processing personal data when it’s in the case of a person who’s seeking to avail of a service with the public sector body other than the department itself.

But?there?s always a ?but?, the DPC has also ruled that:

The legislation only allows the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to insist on its use for its own services.

They [the ID cards] can continue to be used in the context of availing of free travel or availing of benefits that a person is claiming from the department.

So, not withstanding further clarifications, my current understanding is:

All citizens outside the remit of the Department of Social Welfare now have the option of using the card as identification if they so choose.

Those citizens within the remit of the Department of Social Welfare are not granted the right of choice, they must accept this illegal and very dangerous card if they want to receive their entitlements.

I will not be accepting this card until I am granted the same rights as all other citizens.

Anthony
By Anthony Sheridan Letter in today?s Irish Examiner. The editor decided to remove a section from the final sentence.  I?ve reinstated the section in brackets. There has been a great deal of outrage expressed at the treatment of former Garda Majella Moynihan. Much of the comment has focused on the apparent cosy relationship between the … Continue reading "Catholic Church: Dark influence still active"

By Anthony Sheridan

Letter in today?s Irish Examiner.

The editor decided to remove a section from the final sentence.  I?ve reinstated the section in brackets.

There has been a great deal of outrage expressed at the treatment of former Garda Majella Moynihan.

Much of the comment has focused on the apparent cosy relationship between the An Garda Síochána and the Catholic Church, particularly on sexual and moral issues.

You might think that that dark period of Irish history has been firmly consigned to the past but current events tell a different story:

According to Social Democrat TD Roisin Shorthall, the State is awaiting a series of approvals from the Vatican before the new National Maternity Hospital can be handed over to state control.

Just two weeks ago, during the RTÉ documentary Divorcing God, we learned that a diocesan advisor monitors the teaching of sex education in Athenry Presentation College and reports his findings to the local bishop.

At the same school a religious teacher admitted that sex education is only taught because of a directive from the Department of Education. 

She went on to give an example of how the school flagrantly contradicts this State directive:

?I remind my students that this is a Catholic school and as a Catholic, you do not use contraceptives.?

So, as outpourings of outrage fill the air about the oppressive religious culture of decades ago we are currently appealing to a theocratic foreign state for permission to open a maternity hospital and instructing our children, on the brink of adulthood, not to use contraceptives.

Once again we are witnessing a strain of hypocrisy unique to Irish culture that expresses outrage about religious abuses so long as they are safely buried in the past. [?while tolerating current abuses without lifting a finger to protect its victims.]

Anthony Sheridan

Cobh

Co Cork

Public Inquiry >>

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