Kevin Myers: Addiction is easily the worst of man's chosen woes and I should know, for I was an addict
IMAKE no observation upon the merits of the recent case against PJ Carroll Ltd, which was charged before Judge Bridget Reilly in the Dublin District Court with the illegal promotion of its goods. Though, of course, nothing that I might ever say could ever make any impact whatever upon Judge Reilly -- I am more likely to cause the Andromeda galaxy to depart from its stately pirouette through the heavens than I could influence her.
However, the case did get me thinking: what kind of person wants to become an executive of a tobacco company? Yes, we all make choices in life which involve compromises of some kind and we can argue that, on balance, some good might come of whatever it is we do. But what possible good can ever come of cigarette manufacturing? It shortens life; ages people; inflicts the most appalling injuries on its victims -- and, most sinister of all, it is incredibly and almost irresistibly addictive.
I've reached the point in my life where I can look back on some achievements with a certain amount of pride. I do not talk about the time I won the Military Medal for Gallantry with Honour (the only one ever awarded) during my time with the Rangers, when I disarmed and overpowered a squad of suicide bombers as they were about to blow up a contingent of Danish Playboy Bunnies at Shannon. My lips are sealed about the night that followed -- only that I now know how gratitjude is spelt in Danish.