Wednesday 23 May 2018

Eoghan Harris: Mac Giolla was a true pioneer of good politics

Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

THE death of Tomas Mac Giolla barely made the back of the RTE bulletin. But his benign ghost hovered over Hillsborough.

Because Mac Giolla was a pioneer of the principle of good authority — the ability to walk away from dogmas deeply held by your own side — which lies behind the Good Friday Agreement.

I worked with Mac Giolla for more than 40 years. In the early years he sometimes drove me mad by dragging his feet for years on matters like dropping the name “Sinn Fein” in favour of the “Workers’ Party”. But by the ard fheis of 1988 we were broadly, if briefly, on the same page. So I would like to say a few things about him to balance the empty rhetoric about “republican socialism” you will hear at his funeral.

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