Monday 24 October 2016

Thanks, Phil – but we don't need you to lecture us about free speech

Published 04/03/2014 | 02:30

Holy show: Linda Martin reacts to Billy McGuinness' comments live on the Eurosong special
Holy show: Linda Martin reacts to Billy McGuinness' comments live on the Eurosong special
Tom McFeely

Riddle me this – is Tom McFeely the most loathed man in this country?

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I know, I know, we have plenty of contenders for that particular crown of scorn. In fact, if we could power the country simply on the levels of rage that every citizen feels, then we could turn off the national grid and just run every home on bile and resentment.

But even amidst the usual suspects, McFeely holds a particular place in the dark hearts of the average punter. After all, when it comes to this scrote, there is a state of baffled fury that anybody could build a place as demonstrably unfit for human habitation as Priory Hall, blithely destroying countless lives in the process.

Then, rather than show even a basic level of human contrition or empathy for the plight of his former residents, he has managed to portray them as the bullies and himself as the victim.

He's a victim of a callous and uncaring media who want to demonise him just because he is an honest builder who got caught up in the madness of the time. He's a victim of an organised group of families who – were we to be believe this morally bankrupt toerag – only bought the apartments so they could then cause trouble for poor Tom.

And, most incredibly, he likes to portray himself as the victim of anti-Republican resentment from Free Staters who don't show sufficient adulation for his 'war' record.

In fact, McFeely perfectly encapsulates that whiny, whingeing Provo chippiness that sluices from their top down like effluent seeping into the water table. Of course, he's hardly the only cowboy developer who shouldn't be allowed near a Lego set, let alone be given the responsibility to build a place for people to raise their kids. But what sets him apart from the others is that this destructive chancer, who prides himself on his Republican credentials, was so quick to high-tail it to the courts of the hated Brits to grab himself a better bankruptcy deal. Tiocfaidh ár mooLá, indeed.

In fact, he is such a genuinely disgusting, contemptible, loathsome scrote that even his former fellow travellers want nothing to do with him. Which, I'm sure you'll agree, is a bit like being shunned by the Khmer Rouge.

And, as you would expect, his interview on the BBC was a typical example of the psychotic solipsism that characterises him and his ilk. It was fatuous, insulting, nauseating and enough to have even the most even-tempered soul reaching for the sick bucket. Or their revolver. In other words, it was nothing we weren't expecting.

You could make the argument – and I shall – that the more this malignant cretin talks, the better it is for all of us. Because people get to see the ugly, unvarnished, unmanipulated truth of a vile little bully who deserves all the derision and contempt that has been directed his way.

Indeed, you could argue that the only service he has ever done to this country was talking publicly and shaming himself in such a crass, amateur fashion.

But not Big Phil.

No, the Cabinet's self- styled hard man with the serious case of electile dysfunction is desperate to find some common ground with the public. And his desperate efforts tried to tap into that reservoir of popular resentment came with his denunciation of the Spotlight interview as "an outrageous waste of free speech... the McFeelys of this world stand for everything that Fine Gael is against".

I'm sure you're as relieved as I am to learn that Fine Gael are against dodgy developers building death traps. But does anyone else tremble when a government minister decides what's a good use of free speech and what is a "waste"?

Because the last time anybody checked, when politicians decide what is acceptable to say, it seldom ends well.

The travesty of our system isn't that McFeely is allowed to talk – it's that he was allowed to walk.

Maybe Big Phil is just embarrassed that he couldn't do anything about that, and decided to have a pop at free speech instead.

Well done, that man.


Righteous indignation is always funny. But when it's from a gangster's moll the humour comes straight from the gallows.

As the not yet late, but still unlamented, John Gilligan recuperates from another botched hit – proving that you just can't find good help these days – his lovely daughter Tracey railed against the reporters from this paper who turned up at the hospital to do their job."Just turn around and go. I don't know how you sleep at night."

Well, unlike her father, I imagine most of them can sleep without the need for armed protection following a failed assassination attempt from rivals.

Thankfully, the ultra-competitive newspaper market hasn't become quite that bad.



How ironic that a thoroughly ridiculous and hugely entertaining row over the Eurovision, of all things, could yet be the saving of the Late Late.

Forget about the celebrities, forget about the Heated Debate slot (which seems to have been shelved in recent times). No, give the punters what they want – a good scrap between two Irish showbiz veterans.

Full disclosure: I have nothing but respect for Billy McGuinness and Linda Martin got my dogs for me, so I'd go to the ends of the earth for her.

But was I the only person looking on as the row descended into delightful farce to spare a thought for the singer, Laura, and be reminded of the sheer mortification of a kid watching on in horror as her father screams at her teacher?

Anywho – the public demands Round 2.

Is this what we pay our licence fee for?

On this issue, I'd say... yes.

Yes it is.

Irish Independent

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