O’Rourke in victory speech controversy…

Well if Fiana Fail thought backing Mary O’Rourke, the current leader of the Seanad, to fight the next Dail election was risky, she has at least generated some headlines with her victory speech in which she thanked he campaign team for ‘working like blacks’. There’s little doubt it might have been taken as non pass remarkable ten years ago when no one was coming to the island to live and work, but now? Well, we’ll see…

  • Mick

    Richard has the best take on this that I’ve seen out there, not to mention a comprehensive round-up of the coverage.. and he asks the not unreasonable question –

    One final thought. If the remarks were made by, say, a Senator from Mississippi, rather than a Senator from Fianna Fail, would the world simply shrug and say, ah well?

    The answer is, of course, no.

  • Here’s hoping the electorate won’t let her away with it

  • Ringo

    And lets not forget she’s Conor ‘Kebabs’ Lenihan’s Auntie.

    Seriously – it is hard to get too worked up about it when it is Mary O’Rourke – ad it is telling that based on her track record she’s being defended by the likes of Peter O’Mahony, the head of the Irish Refugee Council and Michael D. Higgins.

    Still doesn’t come near being as noteworthy as her ‘in the bath’ comments.

  • While she may feel that it’s a harmless description from the past, she will be running in 21st century Ireland FFS where an increasing number of ‘blacks’ live (presumably ‘working like blacks’ too).
    Noticed that RTE couldn’t find a single non-white face to commnet though.

  • Ringo

    She will be running in 21st century Ireland

    No – she’s running in Westmeath, in circumstances unique in the country (which is why her convention race got front page and national news coverage). Her biggest battle is going to be in getting a more favourable carve-up of the constituency than the last time when she was cut a slice that she correctly pointed out was too thin. She’s not battling for the votes of non-nationals – she’s battling for the votes that went from her in 1997 to her running mate Donie Cassidy the last time. And the level of open animosity between them is unmatched in any other constituency.

  • elfinto

    Who are these ‘non-nationals’ then? Are they invisible people who don’t come from anywhere?

  • ta Pete – for those interested, i’ll be on RTE1’s Around Midnight, from 11.25pm, talking about this among other things…

  • J Kelly

    This shouldn’t be left to the electorate. FF should deal with it.

  • Coming from the constituency myself, I can’t see it hurting her too much. Not that we’re racists or anything like that, but we regularly use that expression!

    It’s Fianna Fail not Fiana btw.

  • páid

    Hmmmm. Call me an oul’ cynic( YOU OLD CYNIC!!!) but am I the only one wondering if this was a slip of the tongue.
    “Sure, she was praisin’ them really”
    “Can we not say our harmless oul’ sayings anymore?”
    I mean , comments on this site (and other media) are running 4 to 1 condemning her. A bit like the citizenship referendum result. A bit like it.
    Mary O’Rourke says an oul’ Irish harmless saying about the blacks and the Dublin liberal media come after her and she tells them where to go. That’ll really hit her vote down Athlone way, won’t it?

  • Keith M

    Yet another example of overpaid hacks latching onto another non-story. Put this with last week’s story of banning green shamrocks in the (sadly) increasing file marked “political correctness gone mad”.

  • smcgiff

    Well, it’s not as if she said ‘working like N*****s’ or maybe she intended to continue on with ‘Black… Protestants’.

    Really, folks, does anybody think she meant it in a derisory way?

  • Geoff W

    No, no, no,

    Richard has hit the nail firmly on the head.

    There are far to many FF and FG politicians in Ireland who have the political sensitivities of a nematode worm – and members of the DUP or UUP are often far worse. In any form, racism has to be kicked out the window.

    Such language is not acceptable in any modern state, but presumably O’Rourke doesn’t believe she lives in such. If so, heaven help her electorate.

  • elfinto

    Maybe Big Ron Atkinson is the right man for the Ireland job!

  • Ann

    As a blow-in from Chicago, this was the first time I’d ever heard such a saying and it sort of befuddled me. A senator from Mississippi would never say such a thing because, well, there’s no good way to put this delicately….During the 80s, the socio-political debate turned particularly nasty, with poor black women portrayed as welfare cheats and frauds and black men as dangerous thugs.

    Context does matter, but so does reaction. When everyone started to gasp, that should have been Ms. O’Rourke’s first clue. When the newspapers and television/radio programs started ringing, that should have been the next clue. At that point, the right thing to say is “oops, didn’t mean to cause offense, sorry if I hurt anyone” and leave it at that. Don’t try to justify it – that’s just throwing red meat to wolves.

  • Keith M

    Ann “At that point, the right thing to say is “oops, didn’t mean to cause offense, sorry if I hurt anyone” and leave it at that.”

    I’m sorry but that is most pathetic thing that O’Rourke could possibly do. It plays straight into the hands of the people who seem to go around seeking offence at the drop of a hat.

  • D’Oracle

    Mary has been of some service to Ireland ; at 68 time to retire-take up some golf or whatever

  • Gum

    Nah Keith, there are some things we just dont say. It’s not about taking offence at the drop of a hat – think about it! “Working like blacks”? This is someone looking to be taken as a serious politician! Blair or Cameron wouldn’t dream of saying something like that (because they would be repulsed by what it refers to as well as how it make them look) and Irish politicians (and all of us) should start taking some personal responsibility instead of hiding behind the old auck-we’re-a-small-wee-country-that-doesn’t-take-itself-too-seriously-and-aren’t-we-doing-well-all-things-considered. No serious politician would come out with outdated rubbish like this.

  • smcgiff

    So, where’s the outrage this morning, eh? What about the tabloids using the term White Knight (a play on Sir Bobby’s knighthood) to describe Bobby and Stan’s relationship. If White good – Black equals bad.
    Surely such a phrase is an outrage against… well something!

    If a slip of the tongue or an inadequate turn of phrase were a retirement offence then George W would be back on the ranch long ago. Come to think of it…