Gerry O'Carroll: Fr McVerry, don't waste your time on this killer Derek Hutch
I have been aware of the work of Fr Peter McVerry since I worked in An Garda Siochana.
I have the utmost respect for him and I often witnessed him in District Courts to represent young criminals and tearaways.
Fr McVerry lives in a flat in Ballymun and has devoted his time to the welfare of people on the margins of society.
Nonetheless, I have to question his actions in submitting a letter on behalf of convicted killer Derek 'Del Boy' Hutch. There are times when you simply have to accept that a killer is rotten to the core.
Hutch was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week for killing Barry Maguire on December 26, 2007. The innocent young man had intervened in an altercation and received a fatal knife wound.
Hutch and a co-accused were found guilty of manslaughter, but this wasn't Hutch's only brush with the law. The 26-year-old is serving a sentence for firearms offences and has a total of 39 previous convictions.
Following the trial, Fr McVerry interceded with a letter to the court, detailing Hutch's drug problems and alcohol abuse, which coincided with the most serious phase of his offending.
I am utterly incensed by this letter, because it serves only to help a man who took the life of another.
Hutch has a long history of criminal behaviour, and the killing of Mr Maguire was described by counsel for the State as being at the higher end of the scale for manslaughter.
Hutch is a callous scumbag and Fr McVerry is wasting his time and compassion on such a worthless human being.
The priest would do well to realise that the only victims in this case are Barry Maguire and his family.
The sickening cop-killer, Sinn Fein and the IRA
IT should be encouraging to see this man take such a keen interest in the workings of democracy.
But somehow, this image sends a chill through me.
This is no ordinary tallyman, poring over the figures to see how the candidates are doing.
This is garda killer Pearse McAuley, keeping an eye on the Cavan/Monaghan count on behalf of Sinn Fein.
Just to remind you, McAuley was one of the gang charged with the murder of Garda Jerry McCabe, shot down in the course of a robbery in 1996.
IRA intimidation resulted in key witnesses refusing to co-operate.
And so, the murder charge was dropped and McAuley and three others then pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Of course McAuley, may have had a long-running interest in some aspects of democracy - though not obviously the bits about upholding the laws of the state.
Another Republican whose rather a la carte view of democracy was brought to light this week is Councillor Louise Minihan, a member of the hardline republican organisation Eirigi.
She's the woman who threw a can of red paint at the then health minister Mary Harney - and who now seems determined to earn her stripes by going to jail rather than making a donation to charity.
While she and her 'crime' are far removed from McAuley and his violent history don't forget, this woman was democratically elected to Dublin City Council.
This country has a long history of certain people, taking advantage of democracy and the law when it suits - but resorting to other means when it doesn't. That strategy hasn't gone away, you know
1916 heroes deserve better than a junkies' shooting gallery on Moore Street
AND so the Battle of Moore Street rumbles on.
The descendants of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation are appealing to the board of NAMA to preserve the iconic Rising buildings on Moore Lane in Dublin's inner city.
It is in a row of four buildings that the leaders took refuge in during the 1916 Rising, but they are part of a site that is earmarked for redevelopment.
Naturally, the families of the leaders would like to see the area preserved, but I believe it's utterly unrealistic.
I have enormous respect for those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. But we must be practical. These buildings are so dilapidated and decayed that they cannot be preserved.
They are graffiti-ridden, rat-infested eyesore and a shooting gallery for junkies.
Surely this is not the sort of monument we should wish to preserve to honour our fallen heroes?
I believe we should do justice to the memory of the 1916 leaders with a memorial like the Garden of Remembrance, or a new interpretive centre at the scene.
Surely this would be a better plan instead of wasting energy and resources to preserve a run-down, dilapidated site.
I've enough of Bandits...
Andy Warhol said everybody would have 15 minutes of fame, and so the Rubberbandits became the unlikely sensations of 2010.
But now their time is up, even if they've hired another Irish beauty, Holly Pienaar, left, to spice up their latest video.
These guys, with their bizarre head gear and catchy lyrics, are attempting to capitalise on fame with the release of a new single, the interestingly-titled, I Wanna Fight Your Father. Lads, Horse Outside was funny, and we all enjoyed the novelty. But the joke is over now and we've all had enough.