Sunday 11 December 2016

Cult of the psychopath

Published 08/05/2011 | 05:00

Sir -- Many decades ago, eons before the arrival of political correctness, I worked with an eminent psychiatrist who used to routinely refer to the Irish as "a nation of psychopaths".

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I recalled this after reading Eoghan Harris's reference to Fine Gael cultivating "the cult of Michael Collins" (Sunday Independent, May 1, 2011). For after all if one is convinced, as I am and indeed many others, that Collins ticks all the boxes to qualify as a psychopath, the rationale could plausibly pass as an attempt to construct a kind of national identity or consciousness, in short, the cult of the psychopath.

On a more serious note however, one has to ask oneself why one's view of the matter almost amounts to the polar opposite of that of the regime in power. On reflection, it clearly boils down to a conflict of interests. As Mr Harris, with forensic precision, points out, "the national tradition still constitutes a (here quoting Dragoslav Dedovic) 'code for the distribution of posts and resources'".

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