‘Paramilitaries’ march in Dublin - Clowns, and not in our name

Members of Saoradh marching on Barrack St, Cork, yesterday. The group held marches in Dublin and Cork at the weekend. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Even the darkest moments, even the most critical situations offer opportunities for sanity-saving levity. 

Brexit, the very epitome of unchecked lunacy, offers those moments through the drum-beating of retired hobby soldier Mark Francois who won’t, because his father wasn’t, “be bullied by Germans”. 

Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen, who thought all British citizens were entitled to an Irish passport, is another empty-bucket clown stalking the corridors of power.

Britain is not uniquely blessed in this regard, we have our share of clowns willing to step over the boundaries of rational, acceptable behaviour to harrumph odious views. 

Unfortunately, that willingness to offend, to defy the clear democratically expressed view of the vast majority of Irish people on this island and to promote a toxic culture was alive in Dublin on Saturday when the “revolutionary party” Saoradh, paraded in paramilitary style. 

If they were not so pathetic they would be simple as laughable as the daftest of Brexiteers or the paint-ball warriors they probably are.

Context, however, is everything. That these clowns marched within hours of the murder of Lyra McKee in Derry puts it in an entirely different frame. 

Free speech is a right and we must protect it but it was abused in Dublin on Saturday by these fantasists who, by their “parading” showed they are someone’s insensitive, anti-democratic useful fools. 

So soon after Derry the phrase: “not in our name” is relevant.

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