We have no opinion on mass slaughter
We're truly sorry about the dead children, but we have other priorities in foreign affairs, writes Gene Kerrigan
You'd have to have a heart of stone not to feel just a little sympathy for Charlie Flanagan, the Foreign Affairs Minister. It's true that the murdered Palestinian children and their distraught relatives have a greater claim on our solidarity - but, Charlie Flanagan, at this stage of his life, well, he's been finding out how humiliating it can be to be an Irish minister.
Last week, Charlie had to stand over the Irish Government's decision to abstain on a United Nations vote on the Gaza slaughter. UN member states had a choice - intervene in the slaughter or stand idly by. Intervening by resolution mightn't achieve much, but there was a stark difference between voting for the resolution and not doing so.
It really doesn't matter how appalled and shocked we say we are about the deliberate slaughter of civilians. If we're asked to allow the UN to hold a formal inquiry and we shrug our shoulders we're saying, yeah, sorry about the dead kids - appalled, shocked - but we have other fish to fry.