Monday 5 December 2016

Eoghan Harris: Fair play is the least I should expect for my licence fee

Published 19/06/2011 | 05:00

Last Monday, my wife Gwen called out to where I sat at the computer: "What's Tom McGurk doing on Frontline talking about the presidential election?" To which I replied, "He's waiting to remind people that I called Mary McAleese a tribal time bomb."

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A few minutes later, Gwen gave a yelp. "Omigod, he just dragged it in by the hair of the head!" The playback shows it was by the hair on the ham, too. Hammily is how McGurk broke into Pat Kenny talking about Mary McAleese and Albert Reynolds to ask: "What was it that Eoghan Harris called her again?", followed by an equally hammy pause until Pat Kenny ritually responded: "A tribal time bomb."

And that was that. The man who shot Bambi's mother. No context. No reminder that my remark came in the heat of the 1997 presidential campaign, after newspaper reports of a Department of Foreign Affairs document depicting McAleese as sympathetic to Sinn Fein, after Gerry Adams had endorsed her candidacy, and while the IRA were still murdering and maiming.

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