‘Judas complex poet shouldn’t have spoken’

CATHAL Ó Searcaigh’s decision to break his silence on the Fairytale of Kathmandu documentary reignited the heated controversy yesterday with his former media adviser describing him as having a “Judas complex”.

Liam Gaskin said the poet should never have given an interview to Raidió Na Gaeltachta and it was fanciful for him to compare himself to Oscar Wilde.

Mr Gaskin was worried about Ó Searcaigh’s emotional state: “I would suggest, correctly or incorrectly he believes he has a Judas complex at the moment. Cathal is open and honest and blatant. He invited people he thought were his friends to see his work and the culture of the country and finds that it has completely turned on its head. I would have asked him, or not allowed him to do that interview, as he needs a couple of more weeks.”

Mr Gaskin, a media and brands consultant, was interviewed by Newstalk for the Lunchtime with Eamon Keane show. The recording is due to be broadcast today.

He said it was likely that Mr Ó Searcaigh was not asked “the most difficult questions” on Raidió na Gaeltachta, questions that he believed the poet could have answered.

“The viewer level for the documentary was 250,000, but for Raidió Na Gaeltachta it would be minuscule. I was actually speaking to people close to him and I advised them to veto it until such time as he did simultaneous interviews to get to a bigger audience to explain himself,” he said. “If I was to refer to myself as Oscar Wilde, I would be laughed at. But from Cathal’s viewpoint he’s a Gaelgeoir, he’s a poet and he’s homosexual so he’s fairly marginal-ised, but Oscar Wilde... it’s a bit far-fetched.”

Reacting to criticism from the Rape Crisis Network, which the poet said had led to him being branded a rapist, Mr Gaskin agreed with Mr Ó Searcaigh: “There was no rape, no question of sexual violence to these people, yet the Rape Crisis Network did get involved. It is most unfortunate.”

Last night, RCN director Fiona Neary rejected that criticism outright. “In his first interview since Fairytale of Kathmandu was shown by RTÉ... Cathal Ó Searcaigh fails to recognise that having sex with very poor teenagers that you are giving charity to, and who have relatively very little sexual knowledge, is sexual exploitation. Citing the age of consent as a defence is very neat, but Ó Searcaigh is unable to recognise that he exploited a situation where others were very vulnerable and where he had great power over them... Consent is not just about age,” she said.

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