right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken
A fraud or a fool
Ruling by fooling is a great British art, especially with great Irish fools to practice on. - James Connolly
I can see that answering Deaglán Ó Donghaile is going to be difficult because he adopts a consistently hysterical style of refutation and perhaps not very enlightening for those who chance upon these words. Unlike O Donghaile, I do not feel obliged to respond. However, if the correspondence can provide an illustration of how political bitterness turns to sectarianism, and becomes the opposite of what it purports to promote, then some good may come of it.
First of all, I did not criticise Ó Donghailes suggestion that he compared Sinn Fein to the Arafat regime. Ó Donghaile did not make this comparison, so it is not what I deemed "barely worthy of a considered refutation". Instead I criticised what O Donghaile actually wrote: he stated that Martin McGuinnesss request that people not cooperate with biographers, Johnston and Clarke, was a form of censorship and likened it in addition to the systematic closure of bookshops. This, I repeat, is drivel and should not to be taken seriously.
Why does O Donghaile have such difficulty with a comment on Liam Clarke? Mr Clarke is free to write what he wishes in Rupert Murdocks organ and doubtless is happy to contribute the anti-provo tittle-tattle that seems to be the Sunday Timess stock in trade. It is unfortunate for Clarke that his attempts to rubbish Sean McPhilemys The Committee (which researched connections between British state forces, unionists and loyalist assassination squads) landed Clarke and the Sunday Times on the wrong end of a libel action from McPhilemy . McPhilemys standing as a professional journalist was upheld, as was that of the late Martin O Hagan, a Sunday World journalist who contributed to the information in The Committee, who was recently assassinated by the LVF. Another source for The Committee, the solicitor Rosemary Nelson, was also assassinated by the LVF.
The anti McPhilemy campaign was an unfortunate comment on the Sunday Times. It is equally unfortunate that last week in the Bloody Sunday inquiry, a witness said that his statement to solicitors to the enquiry had been leaked to Clarke and Johnston and misleadingly portrayed in their book as the result of an interview with him (the witness). I quote from the March 8 2002 Derry Journal account:
teacher and Labour party activist, William Breslin, told the
Inquiry that one of the reasons he had not signed his statement
until January of this year was that he had been told extracts
from an original draft of his evidence had appeared in the Clarke/Johnston
book, entitled "From Guns to Government".
told by Counsel to the Inquiry, Christopher Clarke QC, that
he was named as an interviewee in the acknowledgements of "From
Guns to Government", Mr. Breslin replied: "I would
not buy the book because of what it is about and also because
of the people who wrote it.
Mr Breslin, a former teacher and Labour party activist, said he would not by the book because of the people who wrote it. I leave others to draw their own conclusions.
While recently Mr Clarke has appeared to be in conflict with the British security services in relation to naming an undercover agent in the North, he has been remarkably well sourced from the British side over the years. Perhaps he was just over-reliant on his sources and that is why his stories appeared so one sided. It could happen to anyone trying to get the story out by the looming deadline, I suppose. However, O Donghaile hails Clarke as a friend in the fight against the common provo foe, and treats the pro-imperialist predilection of the media he has contributed to as an irrelevancy. O Donghaile is either so politically sectarian as not to see this as a relevant factor or, to be charitable, he is too naive to understand the point.
O Donghaile has quite a few gripes against Sinn Fein and throws a lot of them into the pot in an attempt to justify his inane suggestion that Sinn Fein cannot tolerate criticism of any kind. SF is clearly tolerating his criticism, that of Clarke and Johnston and the anti-republican propaganda that the pro-imperialist media regurgitate on a daily basis.
When I come across references to the romantic fantasy of evil journalists versus innocent Sinn Fein, I know that I am confronted by a simplistic pedant. It is obviously written by someone whose proclamation of the need of debate and discussion masks a completely closed mind capable of saying anything in support of his point of view, no matter how improbable or lacking in evidence. For instance, O Donghaile seriously suggests that Britain sustains the IRA (or private militia as he terms it, alongside John Bruton, Conor Cruise O Brien and David Trimble). So, the desperate attempts by the British, Unionist and Irish establishments to force republicans to decommission are just a joke then? I have not come across political insanity like this, that flies in the face of reality, for some time. All I can suggest to Mr O Donghaile is that perhaps he should get out more. If he can escape the attentions of the intolerant republicans who cannot bear his criticism, he might see that the world is quite different from his inverted perception of it.
Despite O Donghailes capacity for convincing himself completely that Sinn Féin have sold out, the imperialists do not necessarily agree. That is why they invented stories about Martin McGuinness on Bloody Sunday and suggested that a load of armed but dead provos (shot by the paras, you see) were magically spirited away on the day by Martin and his friends.
If anyone disputes what I wrote about Clarkes co-author, Johnston, then go and look at the Channel 4 discussion on Bloody Sunday (Jan 28 2002), after the screening of the Jimmy McGovern film. She functioned as a less scatter-brained version of fellow guest General Clutterbuck (or Clutterbrain as he was affectionately termed in the 1970s). She positioned herself effectively on the same side as the general and promoted an argument that could in logic justify firing by British Paratroopers, since they were reacting to planned IRA attacks (instigated according to Johnston by Martin McGuinness).
Thus a British propaganda lie is now effectively being promoted by Mr O Donghaile in his witless outpourings.
To sum up, Deaglán O Donghaile is either a fraud or a fool.
Note: O Donghaile keeps referring to my argument being romantic. Is this a phrase that he has learned somewhere and now throws around like confetti, because he is so (romantically) enamoured of it? The only other instant of this type of phraseology that I can recall was from members of the group that ended up as the anti-republican Workers Party. It was as unintelligible then as it is now. It is a curious coincidence in the light of O Donghailes praise of Liam Clarke.
finally, I promise, WB Yeatss poem, 1913,
was in praise of the Fenian John OLeary who took romantic
Ireland with him to the grave. Yeats was arguing against the
money grubbing William Martin Murphy (owner of the Irish Independent
which supported the 1916 executions) types by contrasting it
to the romantic views of OLeary (who was also
an iconoclast and an atheist by the way). Is O Donghaile suggesting
that he is siding with the moneygrubbers?
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