Sunday 18 March 2018

Gilmore a no-show at own senator's book launch

WARNED: John Gilroy chose Taoiseach over party leader
WARNED: John Gilroy chose Taoiseach over party leader

DANIEL McCONNELL Political Correspondent

TANAISTE Eamon Gilmore did not attend his own party Senator John Gilroy's book launch last week.

Mr Gilroy's book, A Cry in the Morning – the global search for Sanotic Koniste, was launched in the ante room beside the members' restaurant in Leinster House on Wednesday night.

And eyebrows were raised at Mr Gilroy's choice of Taoiseach Enda Kenny as the man to launch the tome.

Senior figures within Labour urged Mr Gilroy to extend an invite to Mr Gilmore to "co-launch" the book, warning "or there will be war".

But Mr Gilroy, who was elected to the Cultural and Educational Panel, refused, saying he didn't want his launch to become "a party political matter".

Mr Gilmore was extended a general invite like all of his colleagues, but despite being in the vicinity of the book launch, he failed to appear.

Indeed, it has been established that Mr Gilmore was dining in the members' restaurant next door as the Taoiseach pressed the flesh throughout the room, including with Mr Gilroy's mother Nora.

The launch itself was a slightly chaotic affair, as the Taoiseach was delayed at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting, so it fell to Senator Mary Louise O'Donnell to say a few passionate words before introducing the author.

The event was temporarily broken up to allow the vote in the Seanad to hold a referendum to abolish the upper house, and Mr Kenny eventually arrived. Rather than address the gathering, he went around the room, chatting informally to ministers, TDs, senators and Mr Gilroy's friends and family.

Mr Gilroy has garnered some considerable praise for publishing the book, which he has been researching since 1997.

The politician endured significant adversity in researching the book, with civil wars, bombings, earthquakes and fires seemingly erasing all record of the story forever.

"But out of the blue, I got a call from Toyoko Takihashi in Tokyo, who had obtained a copy of my first effort and had begun researching it over there. I also got a call from Ralph Browne in Washington who also got a copy and had been researching the American leg of it, and amazingly a woman called Flea Fitzgerald in Botswana also saw it and began looking into it. So this is really a combination of all our work," Mr Gilroy told the Sunday Independent.

The book tells the fascinating story of the murder of a Japanese man servant in Athboy, Co Meath, 100 years ago. Sanotic Koniste was servant to multi-millionaire Welsh coalminer John Morgan Mordecai.

Mr Mordecai was a hedonistic party man and adventurer, and after years of living the high life and gallivanting across the globe, including America, Alaska and Africa, he settled in Athboy having bought up a former earl's estate.

Mr Mordecai later drank himself to death in 1913, and just three weeks later, on July 26, his loyal man servant Mr Kinosite, known locally as "the Jap", was murdered.

The book also reveals how, because of the Dublin Lockout, police resources were stretched to the maximum and meant the case was never properly investigated.

However, Mr Gilroy identifies who he considers to be the real killer. The servant, fittingly, was buried in the grave alongside his master in the cemetery of St James's Church, Athboy. His death will be commemorated by Mr Gilroy and others on his 100th anniversary on Friday.

Irish Independent

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