Sunday 11 December 2016

We need context, not lyrics, about Paris

In the Dail, Enda made a silly speech. He said nothing about sending troops to Mali, writes Gene Kerrigan

Published 22/11/2015 | 02:30

Illustration by Tom Halliday
Illustration by Tom Halliday

Last Tuesday, the Dail put time aside for lengthy statements on the Paris atrocities. The speeches got hardly any coverage. But they said a lot about our parliament - some of it good, and some of it depressingly bad.

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One impressive quality was the total absence of paranoia about refugees. There seems to be an understanding that the horrors inflicted on Paris are precisely what refugees are trying to get their families away from - with this difference: in the war zones, those horrors are much worse and happen every day, laying waste to whole areas.

Mostly, the speeches were lightweight to the point of inanity. Of 36 speakers, only six mentioned Saudi Arabia. David Quinn was the only journalist I've seen comment on Enda Kenny's bizarre speech. And Quinn was exactly right in remarking on the failure of the Taoiseach to identify Saudi Arabia's role in funding some of those who commit atrocities.

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