McAleese defends 'hate' comment…

PRESIDENT McAleese answers her critics in the ongoing row over controversial comments she made about Protestants being taught to hate Catholics. Talkback listeners had a field day.

Press Association reported:

[A] spokesperson for President McAleese said her comments, which come ahead of a planned visit to Belfast next month, were in the context of a discussion on the Holocaust.

“The President was speaking about how the effects of hatred and intolerance are seen around the world and how they can impact on our children and one of the examples she used was Northern Ireland,” she said.

“Her comments were never intended to single out the Protestant people of Northern Ireland.

“The President`s record of equal and sincere support of both communities in Northern Ireland is well-documented.

“Throughout her career she had continually tried to transcend the barriers of sectarianism.”

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Davros.

    Not least yourself. We should really have some sort of a blogger of the year prize. Maybe Mick could organise an online poll?

  • Davros

    LOL Billy – a sort of Golden Globes Award ? Would it be sexist to suggest the name the Golden Balls awards ?

  • maca

    Some quotres from sites relating to deV and the Jewish community:

    “de Valera is alleged by critics to have kept Ireland under the influence of Catholic conservatism, though to his credit his constitution did explicitly recognise the existence and rights of the Jewish community in Ireland in 1937, at a time when much of Europe was beginning the process of wholesale extermination of Jews.”

    ” In 1942 Rabbi Herzog warned de Valera that Jews were being systematically exterminated in German prison camps. The Taoiseach and his government made efforts to rescue various groups, especially groups including children, and bring them to Ireland. These included a large group of German Jews held at Vittel in Vichy France, who already possessed visas for various South American countries. De Valera, together with the Irish ministers in Berlin, Vichy, and at the Vatican worked to rescue the Vittel Jews, and later groups of Italian, Dutch, Hungarian, and Slovakian Jews, but without success.”

    ” It is heartening to note de Valera’s successful intervention to bring nearly 150 refugee Jewish children to Ireland in 1948, against the advice of the still uncooperative Department of Justice and with apparently muted support from the Jewish Representative Council. In 1952 he again overrode Justice to admit five Orthodox families who were fleeing the Communists. In 1966, the Dublin Jewish community arranged the planting and dedication of the Eamon de Valera Forest in Israel, near Nazareth, in recognition of his consistent support for Ireland’s Jews.”

  • Davros

    There was a get-out clause in the constitution – de Valera was a very clever man

    Article 44 –

    Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality , guaranteed to every citizen.

  • IJP

    BP

    the suggestion that she – being not only one of the most brilliant intellectuals in this country but also a hardened and streetwise wee girl from Ardoyne – could not have predicted the unionist reaction to such a statement is farcical.

    I never made that suggestion, and agree that it is farcical.

    I suggested that she thought out what she was going to say and got it wrong. Happens to us all, you should see the pained look on my face when I see what I’ve written on here!!!

    Furthermore, I like idea of ignoring the ‘both sides’ platitude. But in this case she was being general and it would’ve been better to say ‘different religion’ in the same way she referred to ‘colour’ (rather than specifically, say, blacks), and if you have to choose one side the diplomatic thing to do is pick on your own.

    I personally entirely accept her apology and I’m glad many people came out and did so. My point, though, is that where trust is at a premium it may take a while for that trust to rebuild and bridge-building to restart. Not that that’s entirely the President’s responsibility, it’s to do with the nature of society here.

  • ShayPaul

    WF

    Er ?

    I have nothing to prove regarding DeValera’s appreciation by the jewish community. If you don’t believe me that’s your problem, maca gave you a clue, but why not ask the people in question ?

    A spokesman has already reacted to the controversy created by the present Presidents error, and when questioned on DeValeras gaffe in paying condolences when Hitler died, the gentleman replied that he understood the situation and regretted it but would not let that affect the very high esteem in which he and his community held President DeValera.

    Others may suggest by innuendo that DeValera was a very clever man or other things, thus tarnishing without really stating. These suggestions are factually untrue and require proof – none will be forthcoming.

    My statement stands simply because it is a commonly known fact.

  • Davros

    My statement stands simply because it is a commonly known fact.

    a dangerous claim.

    it’s a commonly known “fact” that SF members sit on the IRA army council.
    Go back a hundred few years and it was “commonly known” that that the earth was flat.

  • Davros

    Others may suggest by innuendo that DeValera was a very clever man or other things, thus tarnishing without really stating. These suggestions are factually untrue and require proof – none will be forthcoming.

    My proof is in the constitution, article 44.
    My proof is in the transcripts of Oireachtas debates , which are available online, Dáil Éireann Volume 50 02 March, 1934, that de Valera described the notion that he might have Jewish blood as ” dirty innuendo”, “filthy propaganda” and “vile propaganda”.

  • willowfield

    ShayPauk

    I have nothing to prove regarding DeValera’s appreciation by the jewish community.If you don’t believe me that’s your problem, maca gave you a clue, but why not ask the people in question ?

    Er, you made the claim, so obviously the onus is on you to back it up! Dear me.

    Try this analogy and maybe you’ll understand:

    WF: “Roman Catholics appreciate and support Ian Paisley.”

    SP: Have you any evidence for your claim?

    WF: I have nothing to prove regarding Paisley’s appreciation by the RC community. If you don’t believe that’s your problem.

  • willowfield

    ShayPauk

    I have nothing to prove regarding DeValera’s appreciation by the jewish community.If you don’t believe me that’s your problem, maca gave you a clue, but why not ask the people in question ?

    Er, you made the claim, so obviously the onus is on you to back it up! Dear me.

    Try this analogy and maybe you’ll understand:

    WF: “Roman Catholics appreciate and support Ian Paisley.”

    SP: Have you any evidence for your claim?

    WF: I have nothing to prove regarding Paisley’s appreciation by the RC community. If you don’t believe me that’s your problem.

  • maca

    Willow
    Is there any particular reason why you ignore the Jewish communitys opinion on this but instead demand that ShayPaul prove his case? Simply a dislike of Shay perhaps?

    He’s already stated what the Jewish community said in his 07:42 post, and it’s even in the papers from last weekend so you can actually go and read it yourself. Plus the fact that they chose to name the forest in Israel after him in ’66. A strange act if they thought little of him.

  • willowfield

    That’s great maca, but the point of my post is to highlight Shay Paul’s ridiculous reasoning that it was up to *me* to disprove his point and not up to him to prove it.

  • maca

    Though, why should he have to prove what is “commonly known”? 😉

  • willowfield

    You shouldn’t.

  • Rebecca Black

    “WF: “Roman Catholics appreciate and support Ian Paisley.”

    Some of them do indeed, an outspoken example is Suzanne Breen of the Newsletter.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Rebecca.

    “Some of them do indeed, an outspoken example is Suzanne Breen of the Newsletter.”

    Not that it matters but just for the sake of accuracy, Suzanne Breen is not a Catholic. I only know this because she sued the Irish Times last year in a fairly high-profile case that was covered in most media. She accused the paper of religious discrimination on the grounds that she as a Protestant.

    Any other examples of Catholics who are fans of Paisley?

  • Rebecca Black

    oh really? I’ve been told by a few people she is catholic. Well, I know a couple of fairly eccentric friends of mine in Dublin who support Paisley despite being catholic.

    Otherwise there are catholic supporters of Paisley in Ballymena I have heard because he is/or at least was an excellent local politician and worked hard for his constituents, no matter their religion.

  • willowfield

    Suzanne Breen is not a Protestant.

    AFAIK, she won a case on the grounds of fair employment and sex discrimination. However, note that fair employment legislation covers political beliefs as well as religious.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Willow

    According to the Sindo on 16 May last year Breen won her case and was paid a record €250,000 by the Irish Times.

    “THE Irish Times has paid a reported €250,000 to its former senior Northern Ireland correspondent, Suzanne Breen, who sued the newspaper for RELIGIOUS (my emphasis), sexual and political discrimination and victimisation,” wrote Jim Cusack.

    You’ll find the link at: http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1182729&issue_id=10880

    But I stress again: it doesn’t matter what Breen’s religion is.

  • willowfield

    So why are you going on about it?

    AFAIK, Breen is an RC – by upbringing. Maybe the Irish Independent is wrong, or the religious discrimination related to her being an atheist or something.

  • maca

    Willow
    “You shouldn’t” I know. I said he.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    “AFAIK, Breen is an RC – by upbringing. Maybe the Irish Independent is wrong, or the religious discrimination related to her being an atheist or something.”

    Maybe you’re right Willow. I’m sorry we have both wasted our time on this. As far as you know is good enough for me.

    Let’s move on.

  • willowfield

    He shouldn’t either.

  • tebzz3

    how long before someone on this thread brings up king james ii as proof that northern catholics hate protestents and are of course criminals and because of the outragous actions of king james we will not share power with papists until a suitable sanitation period is concluded say another thousand years,
    unionists seem to be claiming that they can go on punishing catholics for years and years and years for some age old incident. When you look at the date of these historical issues been raised you see how important the 12th is, it must seem like only yesterday to a lot of posters here. for goodness sake grow up and move, that ten years into a peace process you lot are dragging up the same old whinging stories. fado fado bloody fado.

  • Davros

    It’s not as if Republicans ever mention the past , is it ? 😉 They are still whinging about the 12th century!

  • Rebecca Black

    tebzz3

    maybe if you took the trouble to read earlier comments on the thread you’d see it was Billy Pilgrim who brought up the issue of religion. Willowfield and I were merely responding to his question.