Saturday 18 January 2020

I'll boycott paper if O'Brien wins

Madam -- Over the past few years, we, 'The plain people of Ireland' as the late Charlie Haughey liked to describe us, have had to observe expensive tribunals, which found nobody guilty but did show up a lot of 'dodgy dealings'.

And, just like our bankers who loaned vast amounts of borrowed money to builders and developers, with only one criterion -- they were invited guests at the tent in Ballybrit -- enough said.

The tribunals did show that lots of politicians and business people swam in very murky waters, and none more so than one Denis O'Brien, but --surprise, surprise -- when he emerged, he was squeaky clean. So clean in fact, that at Wall Street in New York City last St Patrick's Day, there he was with the cream of Ireland, ringing the stock market bell.

Let me relate an incident that happened back in the civil rights days in America.

A black woman, Rosa Parks, a seamstress, who was tired after a long day at work, got on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. When she refused to give up her seat to a white man, which was the law of the land then, she was put off the bus. Soon all black people in Montgomery, and indeed many of her white supporters, decided to boycott the bus company, and walk to work instead. After a few weeks the bus company was on the verge of financial collapse, and the law was changed.

Now Denis O'Brien, who can swim in the murkiest of waters and come out cleaner than he went in, could soon be the boss of Independent Newspapers. I can do nothing to change that, but I can do as Rosa Parks did. If Denis gets the 'Indo' crown, I will change papers.

Mike Kelleher,

Tramore, Co Waterford

Sunday Independent

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