Dear Sir... Readers' Views (30/09/16)

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Dear Sir... Readers' Views (30/09/16)

Producers of ‘Spotlight’ have lost all credibility

The Producers of Spotlight, the at-times infamous BBC programme, reached a new low recently when we had to endure an interview with an anonymous individual who claimed without a shred of evidence that Gerry Adams sanctioned the killing of Dennis Donaldson, a British spy inside the IRA who was murdered in 2006 after he was exposed as being a secret agent.

For all we know the producers could have just picked at random someone from the side of the street, gave him a few pounds after telling him what they wanted him to say. Many would agree that the makers of the programme have now lost all credibility and we the viewers deserve better.

Liam Burke


Co Kilkenny

Truth to told, truth is a victim here also

“Viewed in isolation, the accusations against, and attacks on, Gerry Adams this week were unfair.”

Ruminating on the ‘Adams -involvement’ conundrum, your columnist, Michael Clifford, opens with at least this one searingly honest comment, albeit using the word ‘unfair’, where ‘outrageous’ might have been more apt. The BBC Spotlight ‘revelation’ regarding the Donaldson murder, was not only shoddy, vindictive and dangerous, it was a blinkered and stunted broadcast, prepared and perpetrated by darker forces than we could easily imagine. An unidentified, self-confessed ‘double-agent’ surmising that ‘probably’ Adams gave the nod for the deadly deed. Is that convincing journalistic non-bias?

Given the fact that the Donaldson family solicitor, the PSNI and the Garda investigations do not support that same theoretical implication leaves the ‘accusation’ somewhat ‘dead-in-the-water’ so to speak.

Everybody who cares to know, knows effectively at least, almost all about Gerry Adams’ past, despite what Michael Clifford hoists as his core theme. What almost everybody also constantly contrives to avoid parsing and contextualising is the full ‘on-the-ground/under-the radar’ violent and aggressive subterfuge which has pervaded the past half-century ‘goings-on’ in the north of this island (yes, this very same island!). All sides played a deadly part in a murky theatre of terrorising mayhem.

If one starts from a non-violent, stable democratic prescience one cannot hope to begin to appraise the scenario pertaining (past and present) with any degree of either candour or authenticity. The corruptive propaganda and murderous intent emanating from all sides, (every single side, that is and, not least the British state-forces) is both patent and blatant for all who want to ‘see’.

If one, for instance highlights some of the disturbing elements in such state-sponsored/state complicit travesties such as Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, the Miami showband, the Dublin-Monaghan bombings, shoot-to-kill policies, Stalker affair etc, etc, one at least can try to grasp the debilitative destruction being wrought by the very state-forces which with typical perfidy and duplicity was an equal player in the whole malevolent charade. So much for fair-play from the esteemed ‘powers-that-be’.

One could of course also legitimately query the Republic’s own security forces’ paltry ‘non-investigation’ of self-same Dublin-Monaghan tragedies, and wonder at the avoidances and camouflages at play there.

Thus, Adams will, just as Michael Clifford surmises, always remain a covert conundrum with an overt presence in the ongoing politicisation of the republican movement, despite all the malignant baggage accrued. While Sinn Fein play the prevailing political poker games, along with the rest of the Dáil outfits/misfits, they will obviously always have a major blind-spot of concealments, which will never be paraded, until perhaps all the other dramatis-personae of the conflict are prepared to bare their sullied souls in unison with the full, unadulterated truth and nothing but the truth.

Sadly, truth is the first (and lasting) victim of any war, and this one was and is no exception.

Jim Cosgrove

Chapel Street


Presidential show or vanity show?

Don’t you just get orgasmic watching The American Presidential Reality Show? Both candidates promising to lead the people to The Promised Land. However, in reality it’s a narcissistic, power-mad, vanity show, and should be treated as such with people in the audience being paid to wave those silly flags around like at a kindergarten birthday party. And as for the verbology from both ventriloquists, it makes Pinocchio seem like a choir boy in comparison. When are people going to cop on, that in this reality show, candidates will rock your world with any tune you want to hear. It makes no difference whether you vote left, or right. At the end of the day your high hopes will end in — “Oops! there goes another problem, kerplop.”

Anthony Woods

Marian Ave


Co Clare

Living in denial or maybe real life issue

In the Irish Examiner edition of September 24, Sorcha Ní Choileáin in an article on the Abortion rights marches, quotes one of the organisers as saying that ‘The Easter Rising sought sovereignty and self determination for Ireland. Today we seek the same control over our own bodies’.

It is a scientific fact the foetus is biologically distinct from its mother, acquiring half of its genetic makeup from its father. Given it is also biologically equal to the mother, the idea of affording it an equal right not to have its life ended, hardly seems far fetched. Yet given the language used by many who seek the right to unrestricted abortion, the status of the unborn should be roughly equivalent to that of a cancerous tumour or an ingrowing toenail, along with a matching right to life. The number of children surviving birth at 23 weeks gestation has increased considerably in recent years. If we accept their humanity at this stage of development, how can abortions be carried out at later stages with the justification the lives are subhuman? Perhaps by living in denial!

Rory O’Donovan


Co Cork

Time to investigate ‘consultancy’ fees

It might surprise some of your readers that in the period since 2014, Cork City Council will have spent upwards of €9 million on consultancy services.

Freedom of Information documents show that the council spent, on average, a staggering €3.4m in 2014 and 2015 across all departments. Housing and Community alone spent €1.25m in both years, despite little or no building activity at the time. €480,050 was spent on legal consultants in the same period.

While such dependence on outside consultants clearly raises serious questions about the calibre and competence of management in Cork City Council, it also raises the question of authorisation, oversight and value-for-money for this expenditure.

It is reasonable to project the outlay by Cork City Council across the 30 or so other local authorities, which would indicate something of the order of €100,000,000 is spent on consultancy services nationally every year. This figure probably pales into insignificance if all Government departments, advisers and all state bodies are included. It is time for the Comptroller and Auditor General to investigate such expenditure of public funds on what appears to be, if not a gravy train, then certainly a lucrative industry for the consultancy profession.

John Leahy

Wilton Road


Children’s minister biased opinion

The fact that the Minister for Children, Catherine Zappone, called for what amounts to full blown abortion on demand and not for just the so-called “hard cases” at a pro-abortion rally on Saturday, ought to be considered as being totally reprehensible.

Her attendance even ought to be also considered as being inappropriate. By openly expressing her opinion on the matter ought to be seen as compromising the work of the Citizens Assembly, which has the subject at the top of their agenda for debate. Her intervention could be seen to be influencing its recommendations.

She is supposed to be a voice for children, representing their interests, which ought to include those born as well as those unborn. Her attitude certainly does not represent the interest of all unborn children. Instead her attitude towards the unborn, as proclaimed on Saturday is despicable and she should either resign or be dismissed from her position in cabinet. Her as Minister for Children is akin to putting a fox guarding the chickens.

Imagine what would happen in government if Shane Ross stood on the picket line in support of the striking bus workers, or if any other minister openly supported the demands of those under their remit. Would they still be considered as being suitable to continue in cabinet? I should think not.

We recently listened to her having a crisis of conscience moment over the Apple tax affairs, which involved money that is deemed to be due to the state, but her conscience does not seem to bother her when the life of the unborn is at stake, since she is seemingly prepared to deny them the right to life. It is difficult to understand how Enda Kenny even appointed her to cabinet while knowing her position on this subject.

Christy Kelly


Co Limerick

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