Whatever the schadenfreude some may feel, the spate of poisoning recently, at least one of them involves the Republic, if only indirectly. Today Yegor Gaidar tells his story of what happened to him that day he collapsed in Maynooth.
The phone call that apparently saved my life came at 5.10pm. A representative of the organisers reminded me that my book presentation was in five minutes. Would I be taking part? I considered saying no. Had I done so, and had I been alone in my room 15 minutes later, my chances of survival would have been zero. But I had come to Ireland to make a presentation on my book; I would not let some minor ailment get in the way. I stood up, went downstairs and began to speak.
Ten minutes into my speech, I realised I could not continue talking. I apologised to the audience and walked towards the exit. After I crossed the threshold of the conference hall, I collapsed in the university hallway.
I can remember very little about the events of the following several hours. Those who tended to me as I lay on the floor found me bleeding from the nose, with blood and vomit flowing from my mouth. I was pale, unconscious. It appeared as though I was dying.
He fast tracks out of Dublin and back to Russia, via the good offices of the Russian Embassy. By the time he gets a diagnosis, it is too late to determine whether or not he was poisoned. But, he contends, what else could it have been? And who could have done it?
Who of the Russian political circle needed my death on the 24th of November 2006, in Dublin? I rejected the idea of complicity of the Russian leadership almost immediately. After the death of Alexander Litvinenko on November 23 in London, another violent death of a famous Russian on the following day is the last thing that the Russian authorities would want. In case of an explosion or skirmish in Moscow, one would think about radical nationalistic thugs first of all. But Dublin? Poisoning? This is obviously not their style.
Most likely that means that some obvious or hidden adversaries of the Russian authorities stand behind the scenes of this event, those who are interested in further radical deterioration of relations between Russia and the west. Within several hours, comparing the dates of events that took place during the past six weeks, I formulated a rather logical and consistent hypothesis on the reasons behind this.
And another dozen conspiracy theories are born?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty