Does First Minister’s silence on Daly suggest lack of leadership..?

DESPITE Cardinal Cahal Daly’s opposition to IRA violence and the tributes paid by unionist politicians and Protestant church leaders, at the time of writing, First Minister Peter Robinson has said nothing about the Catholic leader’s death on Thursday.

Perhaps Robinson will speak soon – although by then his sympathies are not likely to be seen as particularly heartfelt. Maybe he has his reasons, what with his wife’s woes, but not to issue a simple statement seems unbelievably petty on the face of it. After all, Robinson was able to put out a hefty new year message; it would have been easy to slip a line of acknowledgment into the robotic prose of his emotionless missive. Indeed, while Iris’s political opponents have rushed to show support for her at a difficult time, the same cannot be said for her husband and his lack of empathy (or any reaction) to the loss felt by many Catholics.

By contrast, junior DUP minister Jeffrey Donaldson recently attended the funeral of SDLP founding member, Councillor Peter O’Hagan. One wonders if the uncharitable response in some Orange quarters to Donaldson paying his respects had some bearing on Robinson’s decision to stay silent. Maybe Robinson recalls how some in the Orange pounced on his predecessor, David Trimble, when he attended the funeral mass for children killed in the Omagh bomb.

Even so, issuing a mere statement of condolence – as DUP minister Arlene Foster eventually did – is a far cry from “Popish worship”. I guess we wait and see. Perhaps he will turn up at Daly’s funeral and shock us all. But the unstatesmanlike lack of a response thus far does indicate a wider problem with Robinson’s leadership; he has little interest in representing Catholics, despite being supposed to be leading the whole of Northern Ireland.

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  • The First Minister being revealed as Manifestly Unfit for Future United Purpose, Belfast Gonzo? Given all of the available evidence, who could possibly argue that it is false charge and as a leader, is the necessary magic missing in him and his team, for of course, the blame and the shame is to be fairly shared in a failed and selfish MindSet.

    I would just like to point out though, that a change of heart and engaging thought can easily change that perception and elevate Northern Ireland politics to a New Level …… and done well, and intelligently and transparently in these new virtualised media times, what is to say that Future Developments in Virtual Global Governance Protocols will not be Led by Masterful Mentoring Pilots Pioneered by the United Irish Finished with the Folly of Fighting themselves.

    If you’re a betting man, it is worth a sensible sizeable wager, for such are the Rapid dDevelopments in ConCentric Intelligence Circles/Circuses/Communities/Agencies and CyberIntelAIgent Fields, that it more likely definitely probable than maybe possible, and NIRobotIQs leads ITs Fields.

  • the future is bright the future is orange

    Yes, extremely disapointing to say the least. Daly was a very important figure in NI, to many many people. As first minister, he should definitely release a statement (minimum).

  • Mick Fealty

    Robinson and his team should re-read his inaugural speech in the Assembly as First Minister.

    Gesture politics (ie saying one thing and doing another) is what has SF is such hot water.

    They should guard against this kind of criticism by saying what they mean in future, rather than just mouthing what they think people want to hear and then so visibly failing to ‘spud up’ the political cash when the time is upon them.

  • Fabianus

    Paying a line or two of tribute to a dead politician or other person of significance is 1. protocol, 2. the done thing, 3. a human, caring response.

    Robinson’s not doing so in this case can only be construed as bigotry. He should stand down and spend more time with his wallet and his wife.

  • crazy fenian 32

    Maybe robinsons waiting to hear if big ians gonna comment on cahal dalys death.

  • Dewi

    @AmanfromMars – r u really frfom Mars? What does all that mean?

  • Clanky

    The lack of what would only be considered as statesmanlike behaviour from someone who claims to be a political leader just goes to emphasize the immaturity of politics in NI.

    In any other country in the world with a mature developed political system it would have been an automatic response for a politician to express regret and offer condolences at the death of a public figure. You only have to wait to hear the tributes paid to Margaret Thatcher when she eventually shuffles off this mortal plain from people who both politically and personally despised her to see how the game should be played.

    Lets face it, no matter who was first minister out of the present bunch of wasters would we really expect any better behaviour?

  • crazy fenian 32

    Maybe its better if robbo says nothing because people wo,nt listen to his crocadile tears now anyway.When has he ever done the right thing for all the people in norn ireland.

  • interested

    Seems rather sad that someone is trying to make political capital over the death od someone?

  • scruff

    Never even thought about this until Tommy Gorman discussed it on RTE radio yesterday. Pathetic was the only word that came to mind.

  • willis

    Thanks Gonzo

    The link to Orange Stndards gave me a number of laughs. They certainly take their secrecy seriously!

  • Fabianus

    Looks as though Robbo took my advice after all and made a statement.

    I must be doing something right 😉

  • RepublicanStones

    “..been indisposed due to family issues”

    Perhaps Iris is a bit sicker than first thought.

  • [quote]
    @AmanfromMars – r u really frfom Mars? What does all that mean? [/quote] …. Posted by Dewi on Jan 03, 2010 @ 10:10 AM


    There’s a whole different and really quite revolutionary way of doing Governance/Public Service nowadays and it is rendering and exposing the old political classes, with their divisive and adversarial and secretive systems, obsolete and perversely subversive. But it is something which IT experts [and particularly those running Master Algorithms in Cloud and Virtual Operating Systems]have a firm Control of, although of course, that does shift the Levers of Power to the Space in which they would Work, Rest and Play.

    And it is an IT Space in which Governments are trying rather unsuccessfully to exercise their control of their old power sources ….. not yet realising that the Intelligence needed to Driver the Great Global Game [for that is all that Politics and Reality are/have become in this Networks InterNetworking Age] has changed radically and fundamentally in Favour of Players who do not support or entertain Conflict and Inequity …..

    I do realise that it is a very new and quite designedly complex field of endeavour [not least kept so for very good reasons of security, given the Powers of Control which have migrated to Novel Players/Non State Actors ….. Powers which are Easily Catastrophically Disruptive in the Wrong Hands/with the Wrong Mindset] and it will take a little intensive deep research and some clear free thinking on what can be presented to all with Media in the Future, whenever we consider that anything can be easily provided (for it can, for what would there be to stop any proposal/project other than an unnecessary doubt expressed by those who would be unable to perform), rather than everyone blindly accepting what is currently presented with all of the present difficulties against which everyone battles, for any who would wish to actively and HyperRadioProActively participate in what is Really, Virtual Reality Scenarios being Phormed and Played out in a Colossal MMORPG and AI Civil CyberSpace Project …. in Private Pirate Games of Global Control.

    It’s a C42 Quantum Control Systems thing … and it is knocking on Stormont’s door, as well as breaking a few other Windows too, of course.

  • Fabianus


    I love it when you talk dirty 🙂

  • danielmoran

    Belfast Gonzo. I recall a particularly testy interview robinson had on Hearts and Minds with Noel Thompson, a year ago in which PR was told bluntly by NT that while claiming to be first minister for all of NI, in reality, PR saw himself as being elected by prtestant/unionists and, by implication, therefore serving only them.
    It falls into line with Unionist politicians as far back as the 70s. When using the phrase, ‘The people of Northern Ireland’ by their actions then, they meant by that, the ‘Protestant’ people only. Plus ca change, le plus c’est le meme chose.

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    I have looked and have not been able to find an offical statement from sinn fein about the death of Cardinal Daly. Has anyone found a statement from sinn fein?

  • Rory Carr

    I just love the fact that every single comment on Orange Standard was posted by people named “Anonymous”. Are they by any chance related I wonder?

    I suppose being in the Orange Order is a bit like being in the LibDems if you live in London – it is something its members take seriously but just find it too embarrassing to let their friends and neighbours know about their strange proclivities.

    Having a sexual fetish for Highland Terriers is less socially proscriptve than being a LibDem round these parts. I suppose it must be the same being known as an Orangeman. I mean who would ever dream of inviting one to dinner?

    The shocking thing about Robinson’s gross failure is of course that we are not in the least shocked by it. It is no more and no less than we have come to expect of the leaders of unionism throughout the years and their boorishness is essential of they are to retain the favour of their even more boorish constituency. Progress towards acceptable social norms is punished rather than rewarded within the unionist family and any progressive unionist with a strong desire for political advancement must best serve his career prospects in the manner of a homosexual Tory in the 1950’s opposed to capital punishment – he best keep shtum!

  • Drumlins Rock

    umm, I’m an Orangeman, and have attended a RC Funeral, as have many of the senior members I know, the Orange standards blog is bluntly nutters trying to wreck the order. I am sure there will be several Orangemen at the Funeral, not sure if Peter will be one of them, but i’m persuming Sir Reg will be there.

  • Cynic2

    Robinson’s statement looks ominous personally. Must have been a wonderful Christmas for them.

  • [quote][b]

    I love it when you talk dirty :)[/b][/quote] ….. Posted by Fabianus on Jan 03, 2010 @ 02:02 PM

    The talk is also Intelligence chatter to Field BetaTest Virtual Competence at the Loughside Complex and Knock Analysis Centre, Fabianus, for the Disruptive Operations Theatre has Advanced IntelAIgents Capabilities to Share with the SMARTer Enabled in the Community, which is NOT a case of Information being Selectively Provided, for Sharing IT dDevelopments so Freely and Transparently here, as is so clearly being done, would be Proof Positive of that, but rather more a case of being careful not to throw too many pearls [perls] before swine, for that would be a stupid and sinful waste of Immaculately Resourced Assets.

    You may like to consider the Semantic Parallel/Singularity in the first two paragraphs in the reply above to Dewi, and this ……[quote][b]If one nation is intercepting communications on the territory of another, what is the proper diplomatic response to this? Should a government advise its nationals on protecting their communications from foreign exploitation when such advice might enable other nations to better protect their own communications and so deny the parent government valuable communications intelligence? May private individuals develop and publish cryptographic techniques that, because of their advanced nature, could also deprive a parent government of communications intelligence? [/b][/quote] …..

    In some extremely MKUltra Sensitive Fields, believe it or believe it not, does Northern Ireland lead the World and would be Light Years ahead of any Competition and would Export ITs Digital Expertise around the Globe. ……. and how very encouraging that PM Gordon Brown would have pimped the Digital [Virtual] Lead in Creative Industries on this morning’s, The Andrew Marr Show ….. … 40:00 minutes in.

    And how very encouraging that he should also “promise” government investment …..”What does it depend on? Investment by the government, and that is the choice … will you be prepared to invest for the Future in these industries…?” …. which is a question the government will be/and is hereby being asked with regard to NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT and C42 Quantum Control Systems. ……. and an Alien Technology to Many but only because they are missing many Vital Key Triggers/Advanced Analytical Algorithms which are Private Proprietary Intellectual Property and very Valuable Trading Secrets/Virtually Exchanged Goods.

    I did warn you above, right at the start, that “There’s a whole different and really quite revolutionary way of doing Governance/Public Service nowadays…” and it is no idle boast. I Kid U Not.

  • Paddy

    “19.umm, I’m an Orangeman, and have attended a RC Funeral”

    Many Orangemen would like to attend LOTS of Catholic funerals. If Robinson had nothing earth shattering, new or novel to say on Daly’s demise, well and good.

    The Irish Press used to be good on funerals. It would always have a laughing/smirking Fine gaeler to off set the suitably sombre Fianna failer comh bhroning with the relatives of the departed. Happy days.

  • Fabianus


    “I Kid U Not.”

    I believe you. It’s just your capitals that worry me. I’ve always been mistrustful of capitalists.

    A bit like the French rebus, “I’m very hungry” = Ga.

  • Comrade Stalin


    I Kid U Not.

    Are you sure you’re from Mars and not a planet orbiting Cygnus X-1 ?

  • padraig

    Top Fenian

    No votes

    Quite the contrary

    why bother?

    Might upset the press

    ..and London

    …maybe show me as a bigot

    Must say something

    so I will

    Well sorry to see him go..

    hope it doesn’t upset them in Ballymena..or maybe Larne

    whaddaye you think ,Iris?

    [edited moderator]

  • I think the focus on this story says a lot about the importance of the politics behind discourses and symbolic gestures. Unfortunately that takes a lot away from substantive political issues. I’ve written more about this on my blog,

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    I asked if anyone was able to find a statement from sinn fein because I could not….no one answered so I take it that they did not make one. Sinn Fein’s constituents are in large numbers Catholic…Martin McGuiness holds a position that is the highest for a political figure who represents Catholics. We can’t condemn Peter Robinson’s actions not to make a statement when those who represent Catholics are not making a statement. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Lionel Hutz

    Martin McGuinness made a statement but I have no link

  • Lionel Hutz

    Commenting this evening on the death of Cardinal Cathal Daly, Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness said:
    “It is no secret during the conflict that Republicans and Cardinal Daly never enjoyed a close relationship. However in the course of recent years I met with him on numerous occasions all of which were friendly and warm encounters. So it was with genuine sadness this evening that I learnt of his passing at hospital in Belfast.
    “I would wish to extend my condolences to Cardinal Daly’s family, friends and colleagues within the Church at this sad time.”

    obviously this was very prompt

  • Kathy C

    posted by Kathleen Collins

    Thanks Lionel! I looked and looked and couldn’t find anything and I thought it made sinn fein look badly. I’m glad they said something and appreciate you putting it on.