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In her staunch support for Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin as a politician of some substance, Terry Prone made claims regarding his ard fheis speech that simply do not stand up (Opinion, March 5).
On Mr Martin’s apology she claims: “He said he was sorry. No hiding behind global factors: Fianna Fáil had been in government. No reliance on the weasel word ‘mistake’: they’d done wrong.”
This is a complete misreading of what Mr Martin actually said. By including the world recession, the eurozone crisis and the opposition in his apology, Mr Martin was actually blaming those factors. This is one of the oldest tricks in the speechwriter’s guidebook for politicians. At no point in his speech did Mr Martin admit that either he or Fianna Fáil had done any wrong, as Ms. Prone claims.
He did use the weasel word ‘mistake’ and admitted that his party had got things wrong. But there is a world of difference between making mistakes or getting things wrong and doing wrong. One is an error made under the best of intentions; the other is a deliberate action with a particular agenda in mind.
I can only conclude that Ms. Prone is either a closet admirer of Micheál Martin, or she’s an innocent abroad when it comes to free-floating political guff.
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