“Extremists, he said, had no hesitation about lying..”

In the Irish Times Dan Keenan notes Garret Fitzgerald’s address to the second annual McCluskey Civil Rights Summer School in Carlingford, Co Louth.

Turning to the limitations on freedom of speech, notably Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act between 1971 and 1993, Dr FitzGerald argued against what he said was “a liberal fallacy” that the broadcasting ban against members of proscribed organisations prevented their “exposure”.

Citing Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and former DUP leader the Rev Ian Paisley, Dr FitzGerald said they tended to “get the better of interviewers and to gain support and prestige rather than being exposed by access to these media”.

Extremists, he said, had no hesitation about lying and interviewers, given their normal experience with democratic politicians, have simply not proved capable of challenging this.

Old habits…