Last Tuesday, Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan cravenly condemned as "misogynistic" Jim Cogan's cartoon attached to my column in the Sunday Independent. There was no media pressure on them to do so. RTÉ did not cover the story, possibly because it would mean breaking their ban on me.
Andrea Gilligan, irreverent presenter of Newstalk's Lunchtime Live, and guests Terry Prone and cartoonist Niall O'Loughlin refused to follow the woke agenda that depicting Mary Lou McDonald as a strong political witch was misogynistic.
Terry: "I would have no problem being portrayed as a witch, and neither should you and neither should Mary Lou: witches in the Middle Ages were the powerful women."
She added what should have been clear to the three cowardly government leaders: "I don't see this going anywhere, because it's a cartoon."
Cartoonist Niall O'Loughlin took a professional view: "The cartoon fit the narrative of the piece - it opens with a witch-hunt on Leo Varadkar."
Likewise, there was no political pressure on Martin or Varadkar to condemn it, even if some of Ryan's greenier Greens supported SF's line.
Before I show how last Sunday Sinn Féin HQ cynically used the cartoon as cover to attack my column, let me deal with the SF slur on Twitter that I am "misogynistic" - that is, a woman hater.
First, I was almost alone, apart from Stephen Collins, in supporting Máiría Cahill's successful campaign for Alan Rusbridger to step down from the Future of Media Commission, following his failure while he was editor of The Guardian to protect her from Roy Greenslade's slurs.
Second, many of my readers are women. Some of the younger ones think I suffer from a dated sense of old-fashioned courtesy in my reluctance to attack women politicians like the hapless Maria Bailey.
Far from hating Mary Lou McDonald, older readers still remember how on Questions and Answers I gallantly tried to separate her from Sinn Féin by saying she was like "a rose on a dunghill".
Trawl through my past columns and you find my favourite writers are lesbian feminists, that I supported abortion and same-sex marriage, and called out racist taxi drivers on the spot. If not woke, I am awake.
But none of this counts when Sinn Féin mobilises its mighty social media machine to trash a political critic, using a satirical cartoon as cover.
Last December, The Irish Times exposed an abusive Facebook group followed by 16,000 Sinn Féin supporters, including Sinn Féin TDs Martin Kenny and Violet-Anne Wynne.
In early 2020, Fianna Fáil senator Malcolm Byrne wrote to Eoin Ó Broin - without result - to complain that the Facebook group repeatedly called Labour's Joan Burton a c**t, and an "ugly bitch".
All of which strikes me as more misogynistic than depicting Mary Lou McDonald as a powerful witch stirring the political pot.
Let me now give you a small sample of how the Sinn Féin Twitter machine worked hour by hour last Sunday.
At the start of the day, it was the politics of my column that bothered Sinn Féin - not the cartoon.
9.21am: Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, no mention of the cartoon, claimed to be "amused" by my belief that over the past 30 years it was likely Sinn Féin had planted sleepers in State institutions.
11.37am: Sinn Féin was still focused on the column. SF TD Mairéad Farrell tweeted a photo of the headline with a relaxed: "You OK hun?"
Noon: SF HQ shifted focus from the column to the cartoon as Áine Downes, a Sinn Féin 'political co- ordinator', arrived to whip up a "woke" campaign that in hundreds of tweets continually used the word 'misogynistic'.
"I hope women will come out strongly and condemn the disgraceful misogynistic portrayal of the female leader of the Opposition in the Sunday Independent today."
2.26pm: Luke O'Riordan, another SF media official, repeated: "Such shameful levels of sexism and misogyny in 2021 is breathtaking."
3.18pm: Sinn Féin TD Réada Cronin - who last year had to apologise for anti-Semitic tweets and for referring to people as a "bitch" - tweeted with some brazenness: "a cynical, misogynistic trope."
3.21pm: Mairéad Farrell TD was back again. This time no cheerful 'hun'. This time she was firmly on message about witches and misogyny.
So far, the campaign was mostly confined to Sinn Féin. For impact, it needed "neutral" politicians, journalists and lobbyists to support it.
Enter the gullible radical wing of the Green Party which increasingly behaves like a political colony of Empress Mary Lou McDonald.
At 4.05pm Green Party councillor Una Power tweeted that the cartoon was a "misogynistic disgrace". Neasa Hourigan was not far behind.
4.32pm: Emboldened by Greens, Siobhán Fenton, a SF adviser with an MPhil in gender studies, denounced "base misogyny".
5.03pm: Journalist Alison O'Connor endorsed the Green tweets and criticised the cartoon.
5.33pm: The National Women's Council of Ireland weighed in to tweet the cartoon was " deeply sexist".
8.08pm: Fine Gael TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill tweeted to say that, while she didn't agree with Mary Lou McDonald's politics, she didn't want her portrayed as a witch.
Her tweet encouraged Sinn Féin to continue smearing her FG party colleague, Charlie Flanagan, whom it falsely accused of misogyny when he had only endorsed the centrist politics of my column.
Let me pause here to note that, unlike me, neither Sinn Féin, the Green politicians, Alison O'Connor, the National Women's Council nor Jennifer Carroll MacNeill had said one public word in support of Máiría Cahill during the Rusbridger-Greenslade controversy.
The above case history is a classic example of just one Sinn Féin campaign in its continual targeting of its political opponents on Twitter - last Sunday, I was the target of hundreds of abusive SF tweets.
But the brute fact is that Sinn Féin can only carry out these campaigns with the help of gullible liberals who believe themselves to be "woke" but have not yet woken to the fact that Sinn Féin is a manipulative front for a conspiracy to subvert our State.
Behind the Sinn Féin targeting is a censoring culture. Seán Mac Brádaigh, former adviser to Gerry Adams, retweeted: "Eoghan Harris is a poisonous toad. Best banished to the bin as we did with Myers, Hook etc."
Leo Varadkar kicked Kevin Myers when he was down. Last Tuesday, he opportunistically attacked a political cartoon attached to my column defending him! In doing so, he subverted freedom of the press as if Charlie Hebdo had never happened.
Luckily, my employers believe in press freedom. So I am free to point out that Sinn Féin now knows it just takes a Twitter campaign to cause this Government to cave in on a basic principle like press freedom - and in passing hang one of its strongest supporters out to dry.
Given the Government's gutless lack of political courage on a freedom of the press issue, if Professor Kieran McQuinn, of the ESRI, is correct and this risk-averse regime continues to lock down domestic construction - and consequently fails to build the 25,000 houses promised for 2021 - then democrats can only dread what SF will do with that failure on social media.