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Comrade Kenny's Lenin blunder

Just what did Taoiseach Enda Kenny have in mind when he claimed in his speech at Beal na mBlath last weekend marking the 90th anniversary of the death of Michael Collins that General Collins had brought the Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin to Ireland?



The Taoiseach's claim certainly came as news to historians of the Irish revolutionary period.

Apart from being factually incorrect -- there is no record of Comrade Lenin having ever visited this country -- the Taoiseach's claim struck entirely the wrong note for the gathering he was addressing.

Fine Gael is, after all, the party that was founded by General Eoin O'Duffy of Blueshirt fame in 1933 and none of the many legends that have grown up around General Collins' memory would ascribe Bolshevik tendencies to him.

The attendance at the annual Beal na mBlath commemoration might best be described as predominantly conservative with a small "c". While all are welcome, socialists of any description have traditionally been thin on the ground at the event.

So does our Taoiseach merely have a tin ear or is there something more sinister afoot? Maybe Mr Kenny has been in government with his cabinet colleagues Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte, both formerly of the Workers' Party, for too long.

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