McDowell: true Republicanism set back

Michael McDowell adds his (not inconsiderable) weight to the criticism of Sinn Fein in the wake of the Northern Bank raid. Brevity is not one of his better qualities, but nevertheless he got his sound bites for this morning’s radio in at the end:

The true republican imperative of reconciling orange and green has been set back for decades by their actions. The door into exclusively democratic and peaceful politics is open for them and will remain open. But it is not a threshold which can be straddled or camped on by those who want to put one foot into democracy while leaving the other foot planted in terrorism.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    Here’s a man who’s entirely lost the run of himself, intoxicated no doubt by the poisonous and falsely based tide of criticism agains Sinn Féin unleashed by Hugh Orde’s prejudicial claim that, in his opinion, the IRA carried out the Northern Bank raid.

    McDowell is the best advertisment Sinn Féin have. It’s like the Kitchener ad in the first world war – except every time he opens his mouth he drives people to join who he perceives as the enemy.

    His attack on the Daily Ireland project will have a similar effect. What an amount ol free advertising that statement is worth. Just the thing a prominent member of the supposedly pro business PDs should do to help the Daily Ireland get off the ground successfully.

    Incidentally, the one rag he does support, the truly facist Nazi organ, the Sunday Dodo, is losing readers all the time. Long may it continue.

  • Mick Fealty

    Oilbhear: ball not man!

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    The fact is Mick that McDowell is attacking peoples’ credibilbity therefore his own credibility comes into the target zone.

    He believes Hugh Orde, perhaps because he wants it to be true that the IRA carried out the robbery, but that alone doesn’t make it true.

    I don’t believe Hugh Orde -however I don’t know who carried out the robbery. I have posited various theories but that’s all they are.

    Here’s a minister for JUSTICE and EQUALITY (not to mention LAW REFORM) launching such a prejudicial and, in some instances, libellous attack on SF and Daily Ireland that he invites the personalised criticism.

    That’s my opinion. McDowell seems to have allowed political power warp his judgement. As a trained lawyer he should know better ….

  • peteb

    That’s the Daily Ireland the supposed newspaper which Mairtin O’Muilleoir, speaking on Talkback today, described as a political project.

  • Henry94


    Every newspaper is a political project on some level.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I heard that interview also, PB, and perhaps you missed the bit where O Muilleoir said it was a wonderful political project because of what it could contribute to providing a diversity of political opinion in the media – which is fairly monotonous at the moment it has to be said – as well as a wonderful business opportunity.

    Are you against a diversity of political opinion in the media?

  • peteb

    Yes Henry, “on some level” – so glad you’re there to provide such a useful piece of information.

  • Mick Fealty

    Your point Pete?

  • cg

    Every paper is overtly political; some just hide it better 😉

  • peteb

    My point, Mick, is that the political opinion that O Muillear and Oilbhéar (hmmm..?) are championing will be a party-political opinion – that won’t be any contribution to developing the kind of media that questions and analyses to the degree I would like to see.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Early last year Mc Dowell stated that there was rampant ‘Provo’ crime at Dublin docks. However when asked for a comment the Garda press office stated that they hadn’t a clue what the Minister for Justice was on about.
    Then late last year the Minister stated that all ‘Provo’ crime in the 26 counties had ceased. Now a couple of months later he goes off on one of his benders.

    If he is consistent about one thing it is his inconsistency.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    You must despise Independent Newspapers then, there is only one political line allowed re the North. Sir Anthony really does insist.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I accidently blogged the McDowell statement earlier, but since Mick did it, it is now deleted.

    The PDs seem to have tried long to redefine republicanism, so it’s interesting stuff.

    For the record, I said: MANY Unionists were forced to look south for the only party in government – the Progressive Democrats – that was prepared not to turn a blind eye to the fact that IRA criminality was not covered in the ‘comprehensive agreement’.

  • George

    Apparently, not all are happy with McDowell’s comments, with the secretary of the NUJ saying his remarks could risk the lives of journalists:


    “The National Union of Journalists has criticised Minister for Justice Michael McDowell for comparing a new daily newspaper in the North to Nazi propaganda.

    In the midst of a vitriolic attack on Sinn Féin yesterday, Mr McDowell compared the Daily Ireland newspaper, due to begin publication in February, to a Nazi newssheet.

    NUJ secretary Seamus Dooley said today that he was disturbed by the comments, which went beyond the limits of normal political discourse.

    He said the Minister’s remarks could put journalists’ lives at risk in the North.

    Mr McDowell also criticised what he called a small minority of journalists who pandered to the Provisional IRA agenda, but Mr Dooley said all journalists had a duty to report all the news and it was outrageous and unacceptable for the minister to link them to the IRA.”

  • Jimmy Sands

    Is the spokesman worried about real NUJ members or pretend ones?

  • Davros

    Whoops, I posted on the wrong thread:

    Publishers seek advice over McDowell comments

    14 January 2005 19:50

    The Belfast based publishers of a new daily newspaper to be launched next month say they are seeking legal advice over comments made by the Justice Minister.

    The publishers described Michael McDowell’s comments about the newspaper as ‘scurrilous and dangerous’.

    The minister, in a statement published on the Justice Department’s website, said the new paper, Daily Ireland, had the backing of the Provisional IRA, and compared it to a Nazi propaganda sheet.

    Mairtin O’Muilleoir, the Managing Director of Daily Ireland, who also sits on a Government sponsored Irish Language body, said he was seeking a meeting with the minister in regard to the remarks.

    Mr O’Muilleoir said the newspaper would be pro-united Ireland, anti-violence and pro-peace process. The publication is backed by a number of business people including the former GAA President, Peter Quinn.

    The minister’s statement has also been condemned by the National Union of Journalists. The NUJ’s Irish Organiser, Seamus Dooley, said Mr McDowell’s remarks could endanger the lives of journalists and staff on the paper.

    Last month in a letter, the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, sent his best wishes to the publishers of the new paper.

  • Henry94

    Interesting quote from Countess Markievicz at the 1917 Sinn Féin Ard Fheis referring to the present Minister for Justice, Michael McDowells grandfather, Eoin McNeill:

    “The Proclamation had to be reprinted at Liberty Hall on Sunday to take his name off it!”