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Taoiseach’s critics prone to ‘virus of perfection’

WHAT have we become?

Our Taoiseach Brian Cowen cannot light up a cigarette without reams of paper being written in a condemning way; he cannot sit and enjoy a few drinks with his companions without an onslaught of ridicule.

Whatever we think of his political performance, let us be somewhat realistic about him personally. St Paul, commenting on the Gentiles, said that among their worst vices was that of lack of compassion.

The late John O’Donoghue spoke about the “virus of perfection” that many of us carry with us these days and he spoke also about “the beauty of the flaw”.

At times I feel ashamed that we have lost our ‘Irishness,’ meaning we seem to be obsessed with finding fault, obsessed with political correctness – an Irishman cannot have a drink or a smoke without being subject to ridicule and abuse.

David, in the Old Testament, cried out “let me fall into the hands of the living God, not the hands of my people; they are without mercy.”

Some of our journalists and media presenters seem to have no sense of balance, rather they concentrate on the critical. I’m sure they themselves have now and then been the worst for wear.

So to end: sure let us be healthily critical of our leaders in their political roles, but let us also be courteous whenever we deal with people, be they leaders or not.

They are individuals, they have family, they have friends – they deserve courtesy.

Fr Bill Ryan OFM CAP


Bon Secours Hospital,


Dublin 9


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