Thursday 22 February 2018

Lessons in doublespeak from a looking-glass land

Straight-talking is still in short supply from the Republican leadership

Moral Giant: Seamus Mallon - compared to him the Sinn Fein leadership are moral pygmies
Moral Giant: Seamus Mallon - compared to him the Sinn Fein leadership are moral pygmies
Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

At a British-Irish conference I used to attend, there was often a comedy moment when a senior Sinn Fein representative denied knowing anything at all about the IRA. Sometimes, even though the audience was stuffed with nice, polite liberals, an incredulous titter would break out. A complaint would follow.

Please don't complain, Padraig Mac Lochlainn, but I tittered when I read that in the Dail you asked the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald if the Garda had the necessary resources "to tackle the criminal gangs involved in diesel laundering, cigarette smuggling and petrol stretching throughout the island."

Mac Lochlainn - who is less given to weasel language than most of his colleagues - then addressed what everyone was thinking: "the people involved in these activities, despite comments from some journalists, just one or two, are not the IRA that supported the peace process and that have gone away… Anyone with information should assist the PSNI and an Garda Síochána in tackling them."

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