Monday 20 November 2017

Witch hunt takes focus off the real evils in our midst

Norris is on trial because of Irish shame and repression around sexuality, writes Eamon Keane

In 1994, Labour TD Emmet Stagg was caught in dubious circumstances in the Phoenix Park. Stagg was forgiven and went on to retain his Dail seat. Today Senator David Norris is in danger of being politically destroyed for comments he made nine years ago about sexual practices in ancient Greece. Welcome to our Salem Witch Trial.

We like to pride ourselves that we are a liberal, progressive country. The behaviour of some last week belied that notion. Consider this. In the same week that Norris was 'on trial' for indeterminate crimes, hundreds of teenagers remained in adult psychiatric wards across the country.

There they are vulnerable emotionally, and in other ways, to adults who themselves are in distress. In that same week we had the Pope reiterating the primacy of Canon law over our own national legislation.

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