Thursday 14 December 2017

Ó Ríordáin saying nothing at maximum volume

Liam Fay

Quick to nail his colours to the mast, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin exemplifies the fearlessly progressive politics we have come to expect from Labour's back benches. "I utterly condemn the shooting that took place in my constituency yesterday evening," Ó Ríordáin tweeted last Monday, following an incident in north Dublin.

Even in an age of ceaseless twittering, some things should go without saying. Most of us take it for granted that, on balance, our elected representatives are opposed to gangland warfare. The felt-need to "condemn" or indeed "utterly condemn" acts of violence is a throwback to the days of the Troubles when clarifications by politicians about their attitude to violence actually meant something.

Here and now, however, pious political denunciations of criminal brutality are an exercise in saying nothing at maximum volume.

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