Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Taoiseach’s speech: This is not Rome… this is a republic of laws

Thu 21 July 2011, 1:55am

A sea-change in Irish government-Catholic Church relations took place yesterday.

In the government’s official response to the Cloyne Report, Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave an unprecedented speech to the Dáil, excoriating the Vatican for its efforts to block co-operation with the investigation by civil authorities of clerical child abuse:

… for the first time in Ireland, a report into child sexual-abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See, to frustrate an Inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic, as little as three years ago, not three decades ago.

And in doing so, the Cloyne Report excavates the dysfunction, disconnection, elitism… the narcissism that dominate the culture of the Vatican to this day.

He rebuked the Holy See for putting the position of the Church above consideration of the children abused by priests.

The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead, the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’.

There was anger, but it was controlled, as a steelily determined Taoiseach asserted the primacy of the Republic:

…this is not Rome.

Nor is it industrial-school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world.

This is the ‘Republic’ of Ireland 2011.

A Republic of laws… of rights and responsibilities… of proper civic order… where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version… of a particular kind of ‘morality’… will no longer be tolerated or ignored.

In case the Vatican wasn’t hearing him clearly enough, Kenny saved the killer blow for last. This was the ‘kicking Bishop Brennan up the arse’ moment.

But the Taoiseach was aiming higher. Much higher:

Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said: ‘Standards of conduct appropriate to civil society or the workings of a democracy cannot be purely and simply applied to the Church.’

As the Holy See prepares its considered response to the Cloyne Report, as Taoiseach, I am making it absolutely clear, that when it comes to the protection of the children of this State, the standards of conduct which the Church deems appropriate to itself, cannot and will not, be applied to the workings of democracy and civil society in this republic.

Not purely, or simply or otherwise.

If Enda Kenny never manages to do another memorable thing as Taoiseach, he will still be remembered.

For this speech. (See full text and video.)

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Comments (43)

  1. JoeBryce (profile) says:

    The politics of the islands are changing profoundly.

    The 26 has changed its position to the Vatican.

    Scotland is changing its relationship to the Union.

    We need a forum, IMHO, (other than Slugger!) for people from different traditions to come together to discuss a joint future.

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  2. If the Vatican refuses to co-operate fully with the state, Ireland could declare war on the Vatican. Then it could seize the assets of religious orders to pay compensation to the victims of church child abuse. It might even be tempted to go further, and follow Henry VIII’s solution to economic problems.

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  3. Deeds, not words, Taoiseach.

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  4. It is of course something that has been pointed up a lot over the past year or so.
    The Primacy of the Republic…..maybe even the Primacy of the Second Republic.
    In this context as stated by An Taoiseach magnificently today, the Primacy of the Republic refers to Primacy over the (Catholic) Churchs rules…..but the primacy of the Republic needs to be enforced over Banks, the IMF and Yoorp.
    In all those senses Enda Kenny could sieze the mood of the Nation.

    Just what Oliver J Flanagan the old Blueshirt would have thought is anybodys guess but Id argue that a Fianna Fáil, Labour or Sinn Féin politician would have been criticised for making the speech.
    FG represents mainstream Ireland rather tha the “stroke” Ireland, “socialist” Ireland, or “republican” Ireland or “anticatholic” liberal Ireland.

    Long time Sluggerites will know that the evolving nature of the Church and Politics in post Enlightenment Europe is one of my long time interests.
    Suffice to say that there is a historical context.
    Ireland….as an independent identity is not actually well thought of in Rome going back to “Laudabiliter” which effectively spells out Irelands status as a second rate territory.
    The post Reformation Irish Catholic Church is peasant based and traditionally of the hedge school mentality.Unlike the aristocratic nature of the French, Spanish, English or “Bavarian” Churches. To this day the Irish Church is not considered on a par with these aristocrats. “Semper Fidelis”…..my arse.

    Even at the birth of Republicanism in Ireland, Maynooth was set up 1795 by the British as a barrier against anti monarchy and anti Catholic France.
    While 19th century Ireland produced an alliance between the Church and nationalism (and later Republicanism), the fact is that the 1922, 1937 and 1948 compromises produced an (often) nominal Republic with a defacto monarch in the shape of the Pope.

    Thats no longer tenable.
    Yes by all means…….assert the primacy of our Republic……against Churches, Banks, Europe.
    Can An Taoiseach show he is an even better Republican than he proved today?

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  5. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    “….A Republic of laws… of rights and responsibilities… of proper civic order… where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version… of a particular kind of ‘morality’… will no longer be tolerated or ignored…..”

    Hogwash, Bull S*** and hypocrisy !

    So the man that lied to the public about Roscommon Hospital and then lied about the fact that he lied, now has the moral authority to hold the Roman Catholic Church to account ?

    Indeed ‘ is feidir linn mo thon’ !

    Over twenty years ago William O’Hara was killed in a Garda operation in Cork involving over forty Gardai. Information was withheld from the Coroner and not one member of the Gardai was called to the inquest. During the last general election campaign there was a picket on the Fianna Fail election HQ for half a day calling for the inquest to be reopened. ( Micheal Martin was Lord Mayor Of Cork when it happened)

    As the Late Billy Flynn Private Investigator frequently pointed out, in Donegal, bad and all as the scandal was, people who were unlawfully jailed, were freed and compensated. In Cork a citizen of the Republic of Ireland was unlawfully killed with as yet no accountability from the State Forces involved in the killings.

    Just as the Roman Catholic Church lined up behind the Bishops in their wrongdoing and cover up, successive Southern Governments have lined up behind the Commissioners and Superintendents in their cover up.

    In the mid to late eighties a Garda informer, a UK time served jailbird with a long criminal history over there and an active pedophile was allowed to bugger at will in in a Southern city, because of this individuals personal access to and trust with certain individuals that the Gardai regarded as having access people they claimed were leading subversives of the day.

    In legal proceedings arising from this event the Irish Supreme Court made an Order with the consent of the Department Of Health and inter alia the State to be placed before the English Courts where parallel proceedings were in being ( the pedophile having fled there).

    The Irish Dep of Justice through the Department of Foreign Affairs send a secret memorandum ( copies of which are available) to the same British Court claiming that the Irish Supreme Court quote ‘ Did not have the authority to make the Order that it did ‘ despite the fact that it was a consent order made with the agreement of the Health Board concerned and the knowledge of all relevant State parties including the Attorney General’s Office who were closely monitoring these particular proceedings.

    In simple layman’s language the Dep Of Justice and the Dep Of Foreign Affairs with the knowledge and support of the Government of the day subverted the Irish Supreme Court as State interests were at stake !

    This is the same State that is now getting worked up into a lather of righteous indignation because the Roman Curia shafted in like manner a judicial enquiry that was far down the pecking order from the Supreme Court in relative ipmortance ?

    To repeat my opening remarks ‘ Hogwash, Bull S*** and hypocrisy ‘!

    Some weeks ago a large Settled Traveller site in Limerick was jointly raided by Gardai, Customs and Excise and County Council Dep of Environment in a day long exercise regarding the operation of a large unlicensed scrapyard. No warrant was given by the enforcing party ( who had one) and neither was any receipts for the seized goods or quantified list of the many truckloads of items taken from the site, given to any of the owners. Repeated requests for these receipts were met with threats of arrests for obstruction !

    How did Taoiseach Kennys balderdash go again……. “..A Republic of laws… of rights and responsibilities… of proper civic order… where the delinquency and arrogance of a particular version… of a particular kind of ‘morality’… will no longer be tolerated or ignored…..”

    Tell that to the O’Hara family, to the mother of a victim of the garda informer who used her son as a child prostitute or to the recent Limerick Traveller family victims who had their constitutional rights trucked out the halting site gate with their goods and scrap!

    I, for one, do not believe that the Southern State Leopard has changed its spots and I also believe that this all out opportunistic attack on the privileged, State collusive, and abused position of the Roman Catholic Church have far more to do with political expediences and a monumental attempted diversion than any concern about the Roman Catholic Church Curia per se and the way it did business in relation to Irish issues!

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  6. Sekonda (profile) says:

    Comment longer than the article. Strong words, let’s see iif his actions are stronger.

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  7. Reader (profile) says:

    Munsterview: neither was any receipts for the seized goods or quantified list of the many truckloads of items taken from the site, given to any of the owners. Repeated requests for these receipts were met with threats of arrests for obstruction !
    The owners should simply have presented the guards with an inventory. Don’t forget to include the chassis numbers.

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  8. pippakin (profile) says:

    It makes no difference what Enda Kenny said or did before. It was a good speech and long overdue from a leader of this country. It acknowledges the huge change that has taken
    place as the south grows in confident in independence.

    He was not speaking as a TD on the up. He was speaking as the leader of this country and he made his point and I think he had the people with him.

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  9. The ordinary Irishman in the Street yearns to have a State and a political system which is ethical and secular in its functions and dealings and puts the national interest first.

    Mr. Kenny’s speech may have been primarily about the placement of Church-State relations but his reference to “a Republic of laws, of rights and responsibilities… of proper civic order” will heighten expectations that Irish Politics is about to embark on a new era that is largely free from Haugheyesque corruption that was a feature of the past.

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  10. Framer (profile) says:

    Without Rome Rule what’s the point of Home Rule?

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  11. Skinner (profile) says:

    I don’t mean to divert the thread but this caught my eye:

    “Nor is it industrial-school or Magdalene Ireland, where the swish of a soutane smothered conscience and humanity and the swing of a thurible ruled the Irish-Catholic world.”

    Only in Ireland could a politician speak so poetically and still hope to reach his people.

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  12. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    I thought what Enda said yesterday was good. I’ll be careful as I don’t know enough about the politics of the Republic to speak meaningfully about MVs accusations.

    The treatment of the RC church towards child abuse victims has been shameful and I saw a retired senior cleric on the news this week trying to justify their behaviour – which is wholly inexcusable. There may be a special place in hell for their kind.

    I remember a film called The Magdalene Sisters which showed the intolerable conditions that young girls were forced into by the Church, if only a portion were true that would also be henious.

    I suppose the power of the RC church has always been greater than the individual Protestant churches. On our side of the fence if you’re not happy you move. For some people [friends who are RC] that is not [even now] possible as it seems your card is marked. This appears to be more the case in the past.

    If the Irish government are serious about opening up this can of worms fair play to them. Let’s hope that in Northern Ireland we’re also serious about a commission to investigate these disgusting relevations and the watch word is ‘no stone unturned’.

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  13. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    Munsterview

    Kenny wasn’t Taoiseach for the majority of the significant events you refer to and one would tend to doubt whether he’s been comprehensively briefed on the Traveller issue you mention. I’d be disappointed if he was even aware of that (wouldn’t you ?).

    What people are responding to here is Kenny’s appeal to the common feeling on this issue. If what he’s suggesting is even halfway to becoming a reality then it will have the support of the people.

    I am unimpressed by what Kenny’s done and how he’s done it this far in his premiership. This is the first speech that he’s made which has, it seems to me, caught the mood of the people. He has an enormous opportunity to push for real meaningful change in the country, constitutionally and otherwise, the door has never felt quite so adjar. To secularize, to democratize, to reinvent the Republic in the likeness of something resembling what a true Republic should be. If he refuses to try to do so history will be very unkind to him, as, in the much shorter term, will the electorate.

    We, the citizen jury, will not be returning a verdict though until he produces evidence which backs these pretty sounding words up. As such, it’s too early to say whether your initial description of what he says is true or not.

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  14. Greenflag (profile) says:

    Well said Mr Kenny and not before time . Those words could have been uttered by any of the previous administrations -but were’nt . Why not ? The RC church hierarchy kept a more than discreet silence as former taoiseach Bert Ahern maintained a live in partner while separated from his wife . I can’t imagine any other leading politician in the history of the Republic NOT receiving a belt of the crozier had they transgressed the ‘norms’ of conventional Irish society . But then during Bertie’s ‘reign’ the hierarchy were too busy fleeing from revelation after revelation on their murky corruption to condemn anybody from the pulpit when they themselves would have been so obviously hypocritical .

    So again congratulations to Taoiseach Kenny for speaking the words that needed spoken !.

    But was it just political expedience as MV suggests above? -I think not – But as Mark Dowling and Sekonda state above -lets wait and see if Mr Kenny’s actions speak as loud as his words.

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  15. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ van helsing,

    ‘On our side of the fence if you’re not happy you move. For some people [friends who are RC] that is not [even now] possible as it seems your card is marked.’

    Because ‘religion ‘ or more specifically denomination is linked in Ireland (North & South ) with political identity and allegiance and history changing one’s faith for personal reasons even philosophical reasons has never been a practical consideration at least for RC’s . This is not to say it never happened . It did but it was usually accompanied by family shame , ostracism and eventual emigration . Irish emigrants found it easier to change their ‘religion’ as the political connotations of such a change were largely absent in their new abodes .

    Ironically then Irish ‘nationalism ‘ in the modern era post 1750 was largely the creation of Protestants in Ireland . The Irish were not listened to much less understood by the growing British Empire as long as they remained Catholic and spoke predominantly Irish . It seems from Fitzjameshorse 1745 comment above that they were also ignored by the Vatican going as far back as ‘Laudabiliter’ another piece of Vatican skullduggery ;)

    As to the prospect of ‘movement ‘ for those Irish Roman Catholics who feel abused by Vatican duplicity they could of course go for ‘spiritual ‘ independence and form their own Church ‘free’ of the Vatican which of course contrast with some sections of the Church of England who are ‘returning ‘ to Rome.

    Alternatively there are other Christian churches in Ireland who would I suspect be welcoming of new congregations perhaps . This would be ‘politically ‘ easier in the Republic than in the North . One can only imagine the ‘horror ‘ of some poor Orangeman being asked to make space in the pews by a bunch of newly ‘transferred ‘ refugee Fenian Catholics looking for a new spiritual abode . And then there would be the question of the transfer of ‘political allegiance’ which would imo be a more problematical issue than just the religious moniker in NI at least.

    But overall I suspect that the majority of Irish Catholics are moving into more secular territory not unlike the movement of the English 50 years ago . The RC Church will hang on just like the Anglicans but more as the ‘appendix’ of history rather than as an institution that cannot be ignored by elected politicians in Ireland .

    ‘This appears to be more the case in the past.’

    Indeed but Ireland is nowhere near the ‘supermarket shopping choice of religion ‘ as now seems the norm for the USA -ironically the only major power that ‘God’ retains a significant and more than symbolic role . I read that more than half of Americans who are churchgoers now belong to or are members of Churches which they were not brought up in . The market branding of ‘denomination ‘ for sale or rent has now reached Wal Mart dimensions where the choice of one’s ‘faith’ is all about presentation , shelf space and the ‘niceness ‘ of the pastor or preacher and of course the market ‘sectioning ‘ of the congregation and the ‘neighbourhood ‘ ambience socio economic of course .

    For those Irish Catholics North or South who need or are considering a spiritual leap to another denomination I would recommend Methodism mainly because it’s the least numerous of the major protestant brands and I’ve never yet met a Methodist I did’nt like -Can’t say the same for RC’s , Anglicans or others ;)

    I’ll keep faith with Charles Darwin and his modern day ilk who continue to bring ‘enlightenment ‘ to a world that could do with a lot more and not just in Ireland .

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  16. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    In reality for many in Ireland who’d still be upset not to be considered ‘proper catholics’, it’s been an a la carte matter for a very long time now. Many are embarrassed to be asked whether they actually literally believe the bits that the church insists are literally true. For many, the whole confession bit is just something they’ll not quite bring themelves to buy any longer. Increasingly, in my experience so many are now of the view that they believe so little of it in substantial terms anyway, to the point where unthinkable no-nos like missing mass are no longer considered that huge a deal, that they’re effectively only catholics in the communal identity sense of it. To that extent, the child rape outrage has only pushed them further and perhaps more quickly to where they were probably inevitably going anyway in terms of dimissing the whole thing as empty and not only worthless but morally unsound even in its truest manifestations. But for the sectarian rivalry playing out still as a background, many more would already have done so and with considerable permanence of intention, with a, if you will, firm purpose of amendment never to darken their doors again.

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  17. I appreciate Van Helsings mature comments here.
    Essentially the issue of the relationship between Republic and (Catholic or any Church)is a matter for those of us who are citizens of the Republic and those who might still consider themselves Catholic….fewer by the day.
    I acknowledge that there is a spill over problem in the North where the Church structures are cross border especially in Derry, Clogher and Armagh.
    By an odd coincidence there was a Gaelic language documentary on the Magdalene survivors last night which was very moving.

    Going back to 1789 there has been a fractious relationship between the Catholic Church and (European) Republicanism. And Ireland has been something of neither fish nor fowl in Church structure. To that extent a citizen and/or Catholic would welcome the new reality.
    The ability of the Church to actually reform has been undermined not just by Bishops and Vicar Generals in Cloyne second guessing Bishops Conferences and doing their own thing but the lack of quality clergy and laity (and most are demoralised anyway) to really tackle the problem.

    Consider this simple Truth. There are more priests in Ireland in their 90s than in their 30s. Consider that effect onn demoralisation and simple resources as well as energy levels. Or the generational effect. A believing Catholic in his her 30s is usually but not always different from a man of 90.
    (asctually theres a surprising number of “liberal” elderly folks around).
    But the lessons I have taken from the last decade include the fact that so many priests and laity (who could have been of use in Church renewal) voted with their feet in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and left.
    The irony is that the battles that were fought over married priests, women priests, gay priests, contraception, and even abortion have been largely and quietly accepted if not acted upon.
    As a leading Protestant clergyman in the North memorably put it “the best Protestants in Ireland are the Catholics”.
    While attendance continues to plummet, there is a large number of non attenders, who still oddly call themselves Catholic. Four wheel Catholics as they used to be called……a pram for Baptism, a limo for Wedding, a hearse for a funeral……are now a part of the Church. I base this on conversations with priests recently (I suppose they take what they can get).
    But there are simply too many ex-Bishop Magees who have chosen to ignore the will of the Irish Church. Bishops and Clergy who embrace the Past.
    There are too many Cardinal Bradys who is a beaurocrat trying to keep two wings together, a foot in the Past and a responsibility to the Future. A Failure.
    There are not enough Archbishop Martins, whos anguish is plain to see for any fair-minded person.

    For a political parallel, Id look to the British Labour Party and the SDP rise in the 1980s.
    An institution unable to renew itself, lost contact with its core, the defection of once-solid Labourites to a rival. The agonising Foot/Kinnock years before John Smith came thru. Subsequently a different but electable labour party emerged (probably in the image of those who had defected 15 years previously).
    Of course that was a comparative short time span.
    Alas there is no real evidence to suggest a Change.
    It has been put to me (by both liberal and conservative Catholics that it needs to get much worse……before it starts to get better. Both liberals and conservatives tend to believe that no Church can or should be a mass (no pun intended) movement. It needs to bea minority interest, marginalised rather than part of a power structure.
    Frankly Enda Kenny made the speech against not just the weakness of the Catholic Church (he could not have made it ten years ago) . He made the speech against the background of the inevitability of the Church becoming still weaker.

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  18. maybe Mr Kenny seen the BBC Panorama program, ‘sex crimes and the Vatican’

    Its about time.

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  19. vanhelsing (profile) says:

    @ Greenflag

    From you posts and I would have concluded you were darwinesque even before I checked out your profile:) Good comments btw and they give insight into an area I’m fairly unfamiliar with.

    “One can only imagine the ‘horror ‘ of some poor Orangeman being asked to make space in the pews by a bunch of newly ‘transferred ‘ refugee Fenian Catholics looking for a new spiritual abode ” :) v good

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  20. Eglise en bois (profile) says:

    greenfalg & vanhelsing -

    Curiously of course all true orangemen should bunch up the pew and welcome thier new “brethren” should a dislocated cathlic seek a new church! They do of course claim to pray that this very thing will happen at their meetings! Maybe now we’ll see if thier prayers have been answers and if they are up for such an answer!

    As for Kenny, I’m sure some lodge may even want to offer him honory membership

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  21. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Framer,

    I notice no one took your bait. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing. It’s a good question though and one that should get some airing in the constitutional debate that’s about to rise.

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  22. JoeBryce (profile) says:

    Framer’s question does not arise in Scotland which nevertheless just elected a majority nationalist government – in a proportional representation system. Home rule as a good in itself. Federalism all round, anyone?

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  23. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ nunoftheabove,

    Your comment above at 2.58 pm describes imo the actuality for a lot of people in Ireland today.Obviously at some point in the not too distant future a critical mass -no pun intended – will be reached and the mostly non church going Irishman/Irishwoman will be seen as the norm just as it is today in the UK (outside NI) , France , Germany , Sweden etc .

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  24. Nunoftheabove (profile) says:

    Greenflag

    If you’ll pardon the expression….’god’ speed the day ;-)

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  25. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @van helsing ,

    For those of a spiritual bent which needs continual or occasional nurturing there is also the Unitarians on Stephen’s Green – a church with a broad a la carte menu to satisfy every taste and also has quite a history .

    Interestingly the founder of the first Unitarian church in central London “was a former Anglican minister called Theophilus Lindsey, who felt he could no longer accept the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus, and started an openly Unitarian chapel in central London. One of the earliest members of his congregation was the scientist Joseph Priestly, the discoverer of oxygen.

    http://www.nowpublic.com/health/unitarian-church-st-stephens-green-dublin

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  26. Munsterview (profile) black spot says:

    Reader : this is not the first time where you have sought to diffuse or deflect from matters exposing Gardai and State illegalities, in fact it is seems to be a consistent practice of yours where any police services or securicrats in these Islands are adversely discussed.

    This has long been noted by me and just not in relation to my own posts either. I hope others also note and draw their own conclusions as to your ‘impartiality’ in these matters.

    Greenflag : in the main news RTC lunchtime radio news some RTE reporter made the very same point that I did that when the Dail will now rise, people will go away talking about the attack on the Roman Catholic Curia rather than the closure of Roscommon Hospital and that the suspicion of expediency must be there!

    I was in Mallow yesterday and the anger there against Government and especially the local elected representative have to be experienced to be appreciated. Most of the local politicians came to prominence by fighting Fianna Fail attempts at downgrading and now in Government they are fully supporting the downgrading. Where is the integrity in that ?

    Nunof……

    Re the Limerick raid : the Government are indeed directly involved and it is very much hands on!

    1) The Irish Government was convicted of serious breeches of Environmental issues in 2010, they did little or nothing about the situation.
    2) The incoming Government inherited a situation where fines of somewhere in the region of a million euros a day could have been imposed after the one year time lapse review.
    3) The Minister with responsibility for the environment called in batches of environment Dep senior personnel from the various Council and demanded a report on the real local situations.
    4) The Government then demanded action : to ensure that the message was driven home the various councils and corporations were informed that in regard to any sites not dealt with, there would be a pro-rata reduction in Central funds paid out to these bodies from August on.

    These operations were centrally ordered, the Government, the back-room guys and gals and the Yes Ministers knew all about the scale and extent of the raids. In these circumstances I would be very surprised indeed if the legal difficulties were not raised and someone decided to just motor on !

    This Government have not just learned to lie like Fianna Failed, they are also it seems into the ‘get it done and to hell with the consequences’ mode ! Since any Traveller heading to the High Court to challenge the various illegalities, which is the only effective route opened for them to get accountability, would also need 50K plus to get a case against the State underway, The State took a calculated gambol that they would get away with any illegalities.

    Just the same is back in the days of the attempted suppression of the Provos anything that could be done was and neither the elected politicians ( the people we were challenging) or the Court Judges, the people placed there by the likes of Ray Burke, jailed for corruption were too worried about the methodologies.

    Ferris had something like seventeen sets of Road Traffic Summons against him prior to election, all seem to disappear once he became a TD and likewise it seems that his driving underwent a most remarkable transformation as he did not pick up too many since!

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  27. Alias (profile) says:

    “Without Rome Rule what’s the point of Home Rule?” – Framer

    Home Rule only exists in Northern Ireland, mainly because unionists objected to it on the basis that it would become Rome Rule. If Rome Rule no longer applies, then what is the point of Home Rule?

    Ireland, on the other hand, is a sovereign state, therefore it has self-determination. That is the point of it. As expressed in Article 1 of the UN’s ICCPR “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    It is also expressed as the first article of Bunreacht na hÉireann as: “The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable, indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form of Government, to determine its relations with other nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and cultural, in accordance with its own genius and traditions.”

    The state is simply the sovereign territorial entity wherein the nation exercises its right to self-determination.

    Since the state did not exist for the purpose of allowing a religious group to run its schools, hosipals, and other institutions, it does not cease to exist simply because a religious group is no longer running them. Oh, wait… it still is. I guess some hack must have been blowing hot air to distract from his failure to deliver a concession from tthe ECB today and a few folks mistook it for institutional reform.

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  28. Framer (profile) says:

    I wrote, “Without Rome Rule what’s the point of Home Rule?” and Mick spotted my unanswered provocation.

    Perhaps I should have added and subsequent revolutionary separation/Scottish pre-separation.

    Ireland is independent because it fought to be different and distinctive, then the subsequent dominant culture turned out not to be Gaelic but Roman (as suspected).

    Now that era is over, what is it that distinguishes Ireland from Britain (history aside)?

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  29. Alias (profile) says:

    The nation state isn’t an issue here, since the UK is a nation state for the British nation and I don’t see you challenging that. If some mebers of the Welsh and Scottish nations want to continue to exchange the self-determination they would otherwise be entitled to as members of those nations for British sovereignty instead then good luck to them but the evidence is that British sovereignty is a failed entity with a majority of Scottish people no longer expressing a preference for the existing exchange. I see no reason to become British than I see to become French or Japanese, preferring instead to live within a sovereign state wherein my taxes are paid to promote the interests of my nation and not some foreign nation that is of no concern or interest to me.

    The issue is whether or not the unionist reason adavanced for its seperatism from the rest of the Irish nation is still valid (assuming it ever was), i.e. that Home Rule would equal Rome Rule. If Rome Rule no longer applies, then why are unionists allowed to hold onto their veto in their form of Home Rule?

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  30. Greenflag (profile) says:

    framer

    ‘Ireland is independent because it fought to be different and distinctive, ‘

    Only part of the reason . The Irish fight for independence was part of a much wider struggle of the smaller nations in Europe in the mid 19th century who sought to rule themselves instead of being part of Empires such as the Austro Hungarian , Ottoman and Russian . The examples of the earlier American and French Revolutions and their ideas of liberty , equality and fraternity etc were the watchwords of national political developments .

    Ireland’s course of national political development was ‘interrupted ‘ by the Great Famine and the subsequent loss of much of it’s population which has still not recovered to the level of pre famine days . But the struggle continued on a constitutional path and the unfortunate fact of World War 1 and it’s aftermath led to the current constitutional situation.

    One might as well ask what is it that distinguishes Germany from Austria or Serbia from Croatia or the USA from Canada or Norway from Sweden (the Norwegians will say oil ) .

    You might well have asked what is the point of any rule Dublin , London or Brussels when it’s obvious to anybody who has their eyes open and ears unwaxed that our supposed democratically elected rulers are mostly pawns in the fleshy hands of the financial services sector and the worldwide banking fraternity with it’s power centres in Wall St , the City of London and Frankfurt :(

    The point of Home Rule was as much about a ‘restoration of national pride as about anything else . That ‘restoration’ has taken a bit of a knock back with the economic crisis and the RC Church never ending story -but these too will hopefully prove to be lessons learned as the country picks up the pieces .

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  31. joeCanuck (profile) says:

    I, like others, applaud the Taoiseach’s words but will await actions. The Justice Minister of the previous government promised action against the criminals, irrespective of their age, but I can’t seem to recollect any prosecutions.

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  32. Alias (profile) says:

    Greenie, the Irish nation does not have to justify its right to self-determination. It is established. On the other hand, the non-sovereign nations that form the UK has no such established right.

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  33. gréagóir o frainclín (profile) says:

    Bout time a Taoiseach emphazied a core concept of a Republic.

    Too bad it was never really understood or practised by it’s cabbaged headed citizens.

    We never had an intellectual bedrock to endorse such ideological views!

    Should have run out the Popish lot as well as the English!

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  34. Alias (profile) says:

    Yeah, but don’t hold your breath for a “This is not Brussels” variation on the theme.

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  35. Alias (profile) says:

    Incidentally, while issue of Ireland surrendering sovereignty over its corporation tax rate to the EU had no legitimate link to the seperate issue of Ireland surrendering sovereignty over its debt management to the EU, these eurosquislings have allowed them to be linked and have duly traded a reduction in the interest rate on eurosystem debt that the EU forced the state to underwrite for Ireland surrendering sovereignty over its corporation tax rate. Noonan gave a committment that the Irish state would proactively and constructively engage with the Consolidated Corporate Tax Base for the express purpose of adopting the CCCTB. It is that de jure surrender of sovereignty that these euroquislings are attempting to bury with this non-story.

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  36. Reader (profile) says:

    Alias: …and have duly traded a reduction in the interest rate on eurosystem debt that the EU forced the state to underwrite for Ireland surrendering sovereignty over its corporation tax rate.
    All countries other than the immensely powerful or suicidal have recognised constraints on their sovereignty. One of these constraints is normally informally represented as “Beggars can’t be choosers”
    However, are you sure that a lot has actually been conceded this time round? “constructively engage” is classic weasel wording, and FG/Lab could maybe spin everything out to decommissioning timescales.

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  37. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ greagoir o frainclin

    ‘Bout time a Taoiseach emphazied a core concept of a Republic.’

    Indeed and irelandic in that it took a non Republican in the political party sense to do so .

    ‘Too bad it was never really understood or practised by it’s cabbaged headed citizens.’

    A harsh comment but given the history of the country and it’s long association in , with and under the British & Vatican Empires you might conclude that the powers that were and still are albeit to a lesser extent did not exactly encourage ‘republican’ thinking. And of course even today the ‘cabbage headed English’ still largely recoil from ‘republican ‘ thinking and instead favour their monarchy and unwritten constitution for fear of something worse ;)
    The old Gaelic tradition was not ‘republican ‘ in it’s ethos either which is why many of the so called wild geese found themselves serving the degenerate aristocratic despots of Europe instead of supporting ‘les citoyens’ at the barricades.

    ‘We never had an intellectual bedrock to endorse such ideological views!’

    Or more accurately were never permitted to have . Most Irish people only had access to a rudimentary education well into the 20th century and third level education was for those priviliged either by religion or wealth . The eh Penal Laws were real .

    ‘Should have run out the Popish lot as well as the English!’

    Not possible . There would not have been anyone left ;)

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  38. Greenflag (profile) says:

    @ Alias ,

    ‘Greenie, the Irish nation does not have to justify its right to self-determination.’

    I did’nt state it did merely explained some background . Lucky the nation that does not have to fight for it’s independence – a fact which we should be reminded of by the recent arrival of South Sudan as the world’s 193rd ‘independent’ state after wars civil and uncivil lasting 20 years or more and 2 million deaths .

    In a world ruled by and for global financial interests who are unelected but self appointed any past meanings or conventional understandings of words like ‘sovereign’ or ‘independence’ or ‘self determination ‘ have to seen as passe.

    As Reader states above there are constraints on most nations and then there is the golden rule that those who have the gold make the rules -that is until bloody revolution occurs and the ‘new ‘ owners of the gold make new rules .

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  39. dwatch (profile) says:

    Vatican ‘stung’ by Irish PM Enda Kenny’s rebuke
    Holy See reeling from Taoiseach’s amazing attack

    Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/vatican-stung-by-irish-pm-enda-kennys-rebuke-16026400.html#ixzz1SpNr0TC8

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  40. Brian (profile) says:

    Munster

    This thread isnt about what happened in Limerick anymore than is it about your beloved Provos who murdered hundreds of innocent people for a futile and hopeless cause, and who refuse to apologize even to this day. I don’t recall your comrades worrying too much about laws or due process when they bombed old age pensioners or innocent shoppers in England. What makes you care about some Travellers?

    Give it a rest.

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  41. Paul of Glasgow (profile) says:

    It is interesting that many attack the catholic church for being overbearing in the Irish Republic but like all states it demeans the catholic church as it recognises it as a secondary power in their country.
    It is intensely sad that any Irishman would spout the lies of British propaganda especially when said country is tied to the European Union which if anything is much more of a threat to Irish independence than the church. Also these cases of child abuse are also a failing of the Irish state and the Irish state should not seek to cower behind the protection of a church which is used to taking hits.
    The attacks on the church are all a call for fascism words of throwing out the church confiscating land and generally attacking the church for a quick buck is as sick as it is to claim you are doing it for the victims of child abuse.
    The Irish state I belief is a weak wreck which has no moral authority it has become another Britain another France another country with self-determination but no determination.

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  42. Paul of Glasgow (profile) says:

    The Idealism of a Republic is of course nonsense your view of a secular Republic is nonsense. If you have a catholic in your state even one then the state is not secular because as a voter that man has the power to vote on his beliefs. Not only that but as religion is an inseperable part of humanity it is entirely impossible. A secular society is imposibble due to the fact that you can not ban belief. Belief in God belief inanything really it doesn’t matter the fact is the state is not the Dail or any other governmental body first and formost it is the people.
    The people are many things each in a modern republic has a vote. The vote is essentially a vote on the beliefs of that person although after only one other vote that beliefs is merged with another so the electorate has two beliefs then multiplied to the many electorates most time the beliefs and wants are so varied all that remains are the one belief and that is the believes of the elected.
    Secularism is also a massive failure in trying to establish such a system. The french revolution led to the setting up of a number of alternatives to the church which were doomed to fail the church of Liberty was not to the liking of the French people. But much like in modern Ireland anger with the church boiled into hatred and lead to the slaughtering of the clergy and the destruction of churches.
    I would say this the worst anti-catholic is a catholic.

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  43. [...] Roman Catholic Church has had a well-documented recent history of child abuse – as well as it would seem, at least according to some in the Irish Republic, a certain [...]

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