sprawling Irish Cultural Center of Canton, Massachusetts
is located just south of Boston in a corporate industrial
park just off of Route 138 on the aptly named New
is the procreative genius of native and descendant
Irish who in 1989 saw the need to establish their
own little nationalist Mecca much like Jewish Community
Centers that dot the outer perimeters of many major
metropolitan American cities.
implicit in the proud design and structure of the
place is (maybe) the Irish equivalent of Jewish signs
that strategically hang in many JCCs expressly
stating Where ever we stand, we stand with Israel.
well, hope springs eternal.
until our day comes, we must all of us make it a point
to read widely and read critically. For instance,
I found buried in the back pages of last weeks
Boston Globe weekend Calendar Magazine
a bottom blurb barely mentioning the coming of Ed
Moloney, Irish Journalist and Author here to speak
at the ICC in Canton about his latest best seller
The Secret History of the IRA.
Talk about finally panning a nugget from this inky
murk. And so off I went with his book in hand eager
to hear and be heard.
Moloney gave us a very good summary of his excellent
book. And he also added an interesting analogy about
George Washington and Lord Cornwallis. He pointing
out that if George Washington had quietly opened up
a back channel of communication with Cornwallis as
Adams had done with Tom King signaling defeat without
anyone else knowing it at the time then things would
have turned out differently here in the US.
And says Moloney -Washington would have been accused
of treason, whereas Gerry Adams is or should be properly
credited as a clever Irish statesman and strategist
very much in the Irish historical tradition of Collins
question and answer time I asked Mr. Moloney (who
is English born & accented) if it really is all
just a matter of perspective, that is, is treason
here statesmanship there and if so why?
answer, which struck me as both articulate and rambling,
was something along the lines of one man's traitor
is another's statesman.
follow up question to him was: "Well then, are
you implying perhaps an unpalatable truth, that the
ends justify the means?" He seemed bothered by
that question and adroitly replied that he was a professional
journalist and so not in a position to make such personal
get me wrong, Ed Moloney seemed like a nice enough
fellow and I really enjoyed reading his book (and
told him so), but he isn't the first Journalist I
have seen genuflect to that professional cover. Like
Journalists don't have or give their opinions. And
he did after all just credit Adams with being a clever
Statesman and Strategist. Was that opinion or description
or merely descriptive opinion?
colleague of mine who was present suggested that since
the guy lives in Ireland he must watch what he says.
But I reminded my friend that Moloney (according to
the ICC Official who introduced him) lives in New
York City. Moreover, lots of people live and have
lived (like myself) in Ireland and don't seem to mind
running the risk of having an unpopular opinion. Moloney
did after all write not just one politically risky
book or column about Gerry Adams and various others,
but also wrote an earlier unpopular (for Loyalists)
book about Ian Paisley (which I have also read and
fellow (with an Irish accent) in the room (which was
pleasantly packed) asked if the GFA was in fact not
working since the British had whimsically suspended
the Stormont Government and Loyalists were attacking
and killing Catholics. Moloney answered that while
that was all true, the British suspended Stormont
to save it and while stupid Loyalists were killing
Catholics - they weren't killing as many as they used
fact, he thought (lest you think he was damning the
GFA with faint praise) that a lot of the Loyalists
were finally copping on to what a good deal the GFA
was for them given the obvious compromises the Provisionals
had to make. Moreover, Moloney thought one manifestation
of this Loyalist realization was the ejection of Johnny
Adair and company from the Loyalist body politic,
which he says would never have happened just a few
the end of the question and answer period, Ed Moloney
sat at a side table to sign our (his) books. When
it was my turn I suggested he write in it "Fuck
he replied smiling "Theyre the ones who
make history you know."
I retorted "Yeah, like Eric Honniker and Nguyan
stopped smiling and asked me my name and its correct
spelling and quietly signed my book. I shook his hand
and said thanks for coming.
lest you think I didnt mean it, buy his book
and read it
or be damned by another mans
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