Thursday 18 January 2018

Kevin Myers: Casting a cold, coherent eye over events in Listowel

Kevin Myers

It is axiomatic that there is no more derogatory group-term in modern English than "middle-aged white males". Thus, almost every single, female columnist writing on the Listowel sex-offence case belaboured the fact that those people who queued up to commiserate with Danny Foley, found guilty on a charge of sexual assault, were mostly middle-aged males. This is modern code for sexual bigots. Being from Kerry, they are also -- obviously -- backward culchies, mullahs and gobdaws.

Let me ask you: if 50 middle-aged women queued up to commiserate with a woman found guilty of a sexual crime, would that be considered proof that they actually approved of sexual crime? Would their age and gender be taken as confirmation that they were unregenerate sexual bigots? Or would their age and their sex be regarded as irrelevant to the issue, and properly so? And how much fire and flame would by now have consumed a male columnist if he had suggested the age and the sex of such female sympathisers fundam- entally diminished the value of their actions?

I don't expect cold, coherent thought on this subject. Indeed, I don't expect cold, coherent thought on almost anything these days: we are in a permanent condition of permanent hysteria on almost every subject. Rational analysis is almost impossible in the righteous condemnation-competition that now shrilly governs the Irish media.

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