Saturday 20 January 2018

John-Paul McCarthy: A lesson in how to pay respects

Helmut Kohl's gracious tribute showed up the provincialism of events in Kenmare

John-Paul McCarthy

Two resonant images framed the Thatcher funeral last week. The first one came to us from Kerry. Monday's Six-One News explored Margaret Thatcher's Irish ancestry. The Fianna Fail senator Mark Daly spoke for the ages when he planted himself next to a black marble slab bearing what looked like a cheap sticker of the 1916 proclamation. As the world looked on, he explained that far from being a conduit of world-historical import, the Kenmare-Thatcher axis was marked by "mutual indifference". Could this be true?

Had the baroness's trip to Dublin Castle in 1980 gained no traction there? And what of her resurrection of the intergovernmental approach to Northern Ireland after Sunningdale? No dice.

Kenmare will not forgive her disobliging references to the Kerry Blue dog, itself "a very temperamental type of a dog", according to the senator. Rather like the baroness herself, right?

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