Out, out, out: the deportations list
We should now consider how Ireland could be improved by intelligent culling, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
It's the time of year when I try to make our island a better place by nominating people for deportation. Having a democratic cast of mind, I consult friends and foes in real life and on Twitter and Facebook.
What became clear this year was how increasingly intellectually partitionist is Ireland, for many of the suggestions for Northern Ireland would mean nothing south of the Border and vice versa.
Two exceptions are Roy's "recently discovered, and previously thought to be dead, army council and its entire membership" (for though the IRA army council is based north of the Border, it controls Sinn Fein islandwide), and Thomas 'Slab' Murphy - nominated by many - a shy, retiring Louth/Armagh farmer who for years has been a legend in Northern Ireland for his unusual portfolio of business and political activities. Wearing a pink shirt to show his feminine side, this macho man has lately achieved fame in the South at the Special Criminal Court for his reluctance to pay tax to the State which Sinn Fein wishes to rule.
"Don't suppose there's any point deporting Slab now," said one tweet. "Anyway, didn't he always deport himself across the Border when necessary?"
Indeed he did, Bernie, for Slab's house just happens to straddle the Border, thus enabling him to skip merrily from one front door to the other when wishing to avoid being pestered by intrusive cops from either jurisdiction.
I suggest he be deported to his favourite source of knick-knacks and toys for the IRA.
Libya, here he comes.
Gerry Adams was on many wish lists, with Póló proposing he be escorted out of the country accompanied by his teddy bears. I think that's harsh.
Tom and Ted are innocent. They have been groomed and exploited, not just to be the playthings of a man apparently in his second childhood, but also have been humiliatingly displayed publicly as political props. Adams can go off with Slab, but the bears should be taken into care and de-radicalised.
Perhaps because of its recent embarrassments, there was quite an emphasis on Sinn Fein, but Enda Kenny, Joan Burton and Micheal Martin all received nominations, as did Michael Lowry of brass-neck fame and Eamon O Cuiv.
Frank wants Alan Kelly booted out "in the interests of lowering the waffle factor" and "every special advisor, apart from the man who advises the Taoiseach, sacked and deported".
Bean fingers Michael McDowell, but since, without the provisions in McDowell's 2006 Criminal Justice Act dealing with witnesses' mysterious changes of mind, Slab would not be in trouble, I'm keeping McDowell at home and garlanding him with laurel wreaths.
The Senate was in danger, but I'm honouring Mairia Cahill's plea for a reprieve on the grounds that she is enjoying it, and anyway I think we need a second chamber.
There was a slew of other nominees, but lest he think we've forgotten him, there's a place booked for John Delaney of the FAI (for an absurd salary) and Joe Brolly for attention-seeking. Julian scores a double with "Pat Smith, former boss of the IFA, and Ryan Tubridy again for unrelenting acute fogeyish wittering banter".
Guy wanted Ireland to see the back of Tim Pat Coogan (and no, Guy, I can't include your nickname for him here: he has feelings too).
I liked the majestic sweep of such nominations as James's Irish Water, Martin's "Hugh McElvaney and all gombeens" and Polo's of the whole Conference of Irish Bishops, but have to draw the line at the call to "simply deport the Irish people, both sorts" and replace them with "small cuddly animals", including snakes. Nature abhors a vacuum, Marcas, and there are no guarantees that the next wave of invaders would be an improvement.
Jim wants the expulsion of "priests, monks and nuns as the remaining vestiges of medievalism" and all religious fundamentalists. However, in fairness, the secular fundamentalists like himself would have to go too and there are so many of them around these days in various guises (Colm nominates Minister Jan O'Sullivan) that the weeding process would be far too cumbersome.
My favourite was Michael's "As a living, breathing bacon-and-cabbage-munching culchie myself, I think that County Roscommon is too small to accommodate both me and that curmudgeonly professional culchie John Waters, who, like De Valera, believes that he only has to look into his own heart to find out what it is that the plain people of Ireland are thinking, and like De Valera is almost invariably wrong. I think that he should be issued with an exit visa."
Waters is being allowed to stay, as I find him a necessary antidote to smug media group-think, but I'm ending with my own nomination of those hysterical and ignorant students who dishonour all past warriors for free speech by demanding trigger warnings for any potentially distressing topic, 'no platforming' of anyone they think would disagree with them, the toppling of statues of anyone who didn't share the prejudices of 2015, and who demand safe spaces where they can suck their thumbs and babble together about topics like gender reassignment as millions of desperate refugees flee war zones. I'm consigning them to a desert island where they can chant "check your privilege" and see where that gets them. Being kind, and partial to the young, there will then be air-drops of fine literature and proper history to teach them the error of their ways.
Preceding them out of the country, though, with no access to the appeal process, are any academics who humour their charges, instead of robustly telling them to work hard and learn something. I've nothing against Rory O'Neill or, indeed, Panti Bliss, but whoever decided that Trinity College Dublin should pander to fashion by giving a Doctorate of Laws to a drag queen because he was eloquent in the gay marriage campaign will be at the head of the procession.