Kevin Myers: Ireland is facing a future of hardship and we cannot allow false narratives to lure us back into violence
Published 10/01/2012 | 17:00
Enough. Last week we saw a new double-nadir in Irish broadcasting history. Not merely did TG4 broadcast a ludicrous piece of IRA propaganda in its profile of Rose Dugdale, in which it actually called her "saighdiuir/soldier", but RTE Radio One promoted it in advance with a truly supine and abject 45-minute interview with the criminal lunatic herself. Better still, little you and me, through our television licence fees, subsidised both of these grisly little travesties.
Without disrespect for TG4, which has produced some really fine programmes, the station has a relatively small audience. Not so John Murray, who broadcasts in the popular crossover slot between 'Morning Ireland' and mid-morning.
Now no-one ever chanced onto John Murray and concluded that here was a new heavyweight of the airwaves. But in its utterly abject and simpering servility, his interview with this vain, demented harridan must surely constitute a new broadcasting nadir.
As it happened, Ronald Searle, the inventor of the St Trinian's cartoons, died around the time of the broadcasts: only he could have captured the ghastly absurdity of this jolly hockey-sticks grotesque, as she bubbled joyfully about her attempted murder of Irish police officers in Strabane -- not on Radio na Phoblachata, but by state-authorised and subsidised broadcasters.
Almost worse than his appalling interview were the comments that John Murray read out from "listeners"; in other words, Shinners whose thumbs already were primed from the off. One declared how wonderful it was to hear the truth about the Troubles, and about the real and murderous history of the British. Which means that John Murray was not alone in this abysmal folly. His programme has researchers and a producer who record and pass on the public's comments. Did not one of them reflect; no, it's simply wrong to broadcast such virulent anti-British propaganda?
And would not the Irish embassy in London be complaining vigorously if comparable abuse about the Irish had been broadcast on BBC?
They haven't gone away you know: let those seminal words by Gerry Adams stay with us yet. For when Sinn Fein-IRA are not actually fighting a war of blood, they are fighting a war of culture. Thirty years ago, SFIRA began the long-term infiltration by Provo-moles of many institutions of Irish life. IRA sympathisers joined radio and television stations, the civil service, trade unions, newspapers, the Army, an Garda Siochana and Irish language organisations: their job was to act as agents of influence, without ever disclosing their true allegiance.
The IRA military war might be over, but their cultural war is not. You can see it in the endless reiteration of a SFIRA narrative on Wikipedia. You can see it in the remorseless letter-writing and internet campaign by Provo sympathisers. You could see it in the unsupported and unverified tweeted lie on RTE television, broadcast live, about Sean Gallagher that cost him the presidential election campaign. You can see it in the way the term "West Brit" -- not long ago marginalised as crude and racist -- is being re-introduced into the political lexicon. You can see it in the disgraceful proposal to erect a statue in Enniscorthy to the IRA men who were killed in 1956 by their own bomb as they set out to bomb a Remembrance Day service.
Now, I'm not saying that the RTE producers who allowed the Shinner lie about Sean Gallagher to be broadcast are stooges of or sympathetic to the IRA, merely that the deplorable standards that now reign in RTE can allow such a lethal falsehood to be broadcast so close to election time. Do we have an RTE Authority any more? If so, do its members know what the word "authority" actually means?
Three-and-a-half years ago, the Republic fell into a hole that was dug by bankers, but their fatal work went unstopped by the very inspectors appointed to protect us. The idle but nonetheless pensionable delinquency of these "public servants" has brought about the ruination of our economy, and despair for hundreds of thousands. So, have we not learnt that such a failure to do one's duty can have abominable consequences?
It was bad enough that we have done the ignoble and unprincipled deal of the peace process to bring Sinn Fein in from the cold. That we are now allowing the cultural warr-iors of Sinn Fein to sedulou-sly create a false narrative about the terrorist tragedy of 1969-1996 is a criminal folly that might in the longer term match anything done by the feckless banking inspectorate.
For remember this: we are entering a new and quite terrible era. The capital transfers from England that have sustained the fiction that is the Northern Ireland economy will soon be coming to an end. The island of Ireland is facing a future of unimaginable hardship, and unlike any time since the 1930s, there is almost nowhere abroad for the unskilled to find work. We cannot allow false narratives to emerge that will lure the poor, the deluded and the impressionable into a return to violence. Otherwise, war will once more be our true Sinn Fein harvest, as self-righteously, self-pityingly, and self-indulgently, we again destroy ourselves alone.