Saturday 18 August 2018

Sensationalist Dunphy is simply wrong to dismiss Ireland as a kip

Late-night TV viewers would be better off going for a kip than listening to Dunphy’s withering dismissal of the country, writes Eilis O’Hanlon

Total wind-up: Footballer turned pundit Eamon Dunphy holding forth on ‘The Tonight Show’ last week
Total wind-up: Footballer turned pundit Eamon Dunphy holding forth on ‘The Tonight Show’ last week

Eilis O’Hanlon

Eamon Dunphy posed a surprising question during his appearance last week on The Tonight Show, TV3's new drop-in centre for nocturnal political junkies: "What on earth did we fight for our independence for?"

Viewers could be forgiven some bafflement at this sudden revelation of the former Millwall footballer-turned- pundit and all-round media sensationalist's role in the struggle for Irish freedom. How had his presence at the GPO in 1916 been overlooked by historians? Could it be because he hadn't been born yet, and wouldn't, in fact, be so for some decades to come?

Dunphy, naturally, meant the Irish people collectively. The "we" is all of us, who are meant to be doubtful of the value of independence unless everything afterwards is perfect. The only problem is that this is not what "we" are thinking at all. It's what Dunphy is thinking. He's fallen again into the classic error of mistaking his own neuroses for the national mood, as he went on to demand that a "state of emergency" be declared because of homelessness and hospital waiting lists, before concluding, not for the first time, that Ireland is "a kip".

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