Iris Robinson has been attending hospital for ongoing acute condition

Just picked this up from Stephen Nolan on Twitter: “Found out in last few seconds. Iris Robinson receiving acute phyciatric treatment in a Belfast hospital.” Update: According to the BBC this evening it appears the story is slightly more complex than we first reported

This treatment is ongoing: ie it is not the result of the last few days but a part of the psychiatric condition she’s been suffering over a longer period

Looks like if the skiing holiday was planned that is not where she is now…


  • Slartibuckfast

    Anyway, it’s a nonsense to even contemplate for a moment that the richly deserved mocking of her has led to her hospitalisation. I’m pretty sure that she has other worries apart from a bit of sneering on the internet.

  • Alias

    “Seems to me then that all a humiliated politician would have to do in future is to claim then that they were depressed and at risk of suicide if people mocked them.” – Slartibuckfast

    That wouldn’t be a good tactic since it would have the unfortunate consequence of ending their political careers, so I don’t think that there is a duty on the public to humiliate Iris lest they encourage other politicians to escape their censure by that means in the future.

    Anyway, I’m not getting up on any pulpit here (a dangerous place to be when, like me, you have more skeletons in your closet than a natural history museum) or telling you not to use your right to free speech. Either you think it unkind and indecent to kick someone who is ill and in hospital or you don’t. I do. And, as I said, vicious and relentless public humiliation isn’t likely to be what the doctor proscribes at this time. 😉

  • Slartibuckfast

    Of course it’s unkind. That’s why we’re doing it 🙂


    We ought to be mature enough to separate the person from the public persona, it’s the persona we’re kicking, and with good reason.

  • 0b101010

    Either you think it unkind and indecent to kick someone who is ill and in hospital or you don’t. I do.

    Ill or not, the uncontested allegations are that she has been abusing her position and the public trust. Clinical depression is no excuse. She was fucking all of us, not just that lad.

    She has never done anything to warrant consideration of decency or kindness from me.

  • If you can’t have sympathy for Iris Robinson, at least consider the feelings of her immediate family. Take out the politics and this is a traumatic, devastating time for all of them. I’m a nationalist but I like to think I have a shred of decency in me for those who suffer, especially those who suffer through no fault of their own.

    There’s a time and place for political point scoring. This is not one of those times.

  • 0b101010

    Her immediate family are probably wondering where they’re going to be working from now on.

  • It is interesting to contemplate that if we are to be led to believe that a senior public figure, who is suffering from and/or receiving treatment for depression, is NOT to be a figure for media and public fun/speculation/interest/accurate reporting, which is the life blood of their chosen “profession” and that which they actively court for the spotlight and normally endure and accept as par for the course, and which vitally allows and assists them in performing their duties/public services, then they should not be in public office if a sufferer of depression, for they will be unable to perform as is required and expected, if they wish to keep such debilitating illnesses hidden. The feral rabid nature of the beast does NOT permit it.

    Which is an interesting viewpoint which may be a perfectly valid conclusion if one considers the history of well known depressives/manic depressives. And two very well known political ones would be Crash Gordon and Ali Campbell? One presiding with distinction in distinct limited vision over a country’s economic collapse into seismic crippling debt and ruin and the other a sad warmonger’s instrument.

    In a Smarter Society there would a Law against them entering the Political Arena, given the Damage and Death and Destruction that they do with the Media hanging on and following their every Public Word although God knows why whenever it is not worth following or reporting.

    Which reminds me …is AC starring on Chilcott this week?

    And just to put things in perspective here re treatment of acute depression, can you imagine how many needy cases there are in Northern Ireland by virtue of the murderous and violent traumas they have witnessed and had to endure because of “the Troubles” as opposed to being found out cheating on family and friends in a loveless dodgy business relationship? On a scale of one to ten in the bigger picture, that would be very low, surely.

  • Cynic2

    Iris is the author of her own misfortunes but I really do wish her a rapid return to full health. As for her husband, well he must make his own choices on wehre he stands and waht he does for his future but this press release in advance of the Party Officers meeting this morning seems somewhat ‘calculated’ shall I say.

    He must also know he’s in trouble when Woodward is frantically trying to prop him up as the only option in town. The reality is that he isn’t.

    Irrespective of the legal cheeseparing over what he should or should not have reported, this episode has brought ridicule on the DUP. It will stay while he does.

  • Eleanor Bull

    ‘Either you think it unkind and indecent to kick someone who is ill and in hospital or you don’t. I do. And, as I said, vicious and relentless public humiliation isn’t likely to be what the doctor proscribes at this time’

    I’m with Slarti on this. Of course it’s unkind, but more than any stupid ‘x’ placed on a ballot paper for any stupid candidate, the satirisation of politicians, the capacity to mock them mercilessly, whether as lay commentators or as Bremner, Bird and Fortune, is a valuable and necessary reminder to those divorced from all reality, in the Palace of Westminster or in Stormont (or any other parliament building around the globe) that we’re here and we’ve got their measure.

    Libel laws aside, I’m not convinced a case can be made for the censoring of remarks here or elsewhere and ‘illness’ is not really any reason to lay off the well-deserved sneering.

    If Gerry Adams were proven to have IRA membership and masterminded several murders, only to claim that, throughout the 1970s, he was ‘ill’, or if Tony Blair tells Chilcot he was ‘ill’ throughout the WMD debacle, would it wash with Slugger correspondents? I don’t think it would. In this case, it shouldn’t wash with Iris.

    Ill or not, it’s valuable to remember Mick’s credo to play the ball, and stay focussed on the REAL story here: alleged financial improprieties, and it’s wholly valid to keep those questions live whether she’s hospitalised or not. Those questions require an answer at some point.

    In the meantime, the Simon and Garfunkel lampooning is also valid comment in any proper, free society and there should be no attempt to censor that, either in old or new media. Otherwise we become part of politicians’ media manipulation and news management.

  • As a fellow human being I have sympathy for Iris Robinson and hopes she gets well soon.

    Having had mild stress related illness ten years ago, I had some taster of mental illness and it’s appalling.

    If someone was off a normal job because they were ill, we would not demand for them to resign and they would be on long term sick as required.

    First of all, I doubt whether Iris Robinson is reading any of the ridicule, unless her carers are incompetent – which I very much doubt. Indeed, when I was ill I didn’t read any newspapers or listen/watch to any media or log into the internet. You can’t when you’re ill. Gentle Radio Three classical music was about the limit for me. So there shouldn’t be censorship – but obviously carers for an ill person will make sure that they are not exposed to something that will make them more ill or impede their recovery.

    Secondly, I very much doubt whether receiving any ridicule can be as bad as bearing depression.

    Thirdly, we ought to remember that political life – even just being a councillor – can play havoc with family life – and Iris has had to be married to a politician for years. Believe me, it’s enough to disrupt any marriage in some sort of way. It’s just not natural – all the meetings, long hours and pressure – and the Robinsons have had the extra danger and pressure of the NI world surrounding them.

    But all this leads me to conclude that Peter Robinson would be best advised to do a bit of chilling on the back benches, take a load of pressure off himself and his wife in the process and concentrate on getting his wife back to full health and enjoying his marriage.

    As to the wider picture of the “Peace Process”, I don’t see that it would have much of a future as it stands if PR stays on anyway. So him going would perhaps be the least worse of two bad situations.

    One last point on the ridicule. Quite frankly, there seems to be more satisfaction for the soul to be sympathetic to someone, even if they haven’t come across as particularly sympathetic to others in the past. -Occupying a sort of moral higher ground, if you like. Carrying on and on with schadenfreude tends to sully or debase the humanity of the person dishing it out, more than the person who is the object of the ridicule. I mean, why carry on? She’s got depression. It can’t get much worse than that for a human being.

  • Wabbits

    The DUP have cast out the “whore of Babylon”. So much for their Christian principles. I think it disgraceful that they should terminate her membership. They are a bunch of self serving hypocrits. People are human and they have human frailties. We all make mistakes. We all deserve forgiveness too.

    It should have been enough for them that she has agreed to relinquish all of her public positions. Why humiliate her any further ?

    The simple answer to that question is that they are more interested in saving their own political necks than assisting in the recovery of someone who is, reportedly, ill.

    That said, Mrs Robinson has been the architect of her own downfall and many will feel that the riducule is well deserved. That is an understandable reaction.

  • Blair

    “22.Let us not forget as to why Mrs Robinson is so loathed in the first place, and as to why her fall from grace is being greeted with such glee and derision.

    If it is shown that she is suffering from some form of diagnosable mental illness, will we be able to relate her mental illness to her being a an ultra-nationalist religio-fascist? I say not, I say she just is that and that any depression, real or otherwise, can’t be linked to that. And as that is why everyone hates her in the first place, unless her supporters can show us that her Bible bashing and ultra-nationalism is actually linked to, say a bi-polar disorder, then I see no reason to feel guilty for mocking her and her fall.

    Over to her supporters. Is her horrible religio-fascism and ultra nationalism related to her perceived mental illness? And if so is it the same with all her type?”

    You loathe her because she is a Protestant, and because she is a unionist. This isn’t the place to go into your gross hypocrisy in any detail, ball not man and all that, but if you are not human enough to see that mocking a woman who is seriously mentally ill is wrong, then perhaps you need to seek some help yourself.

  • Mr Crowley

    Of course it’s unkind. That’s why we’re doing it 🙂
    Posted by Slartibuckfast on Jan 11, 2010 @ 03:38 AM

    And rightly so.
    The Daily Maily is also reporting today that Iris had an affair with Kirk McCambley’s father as well as two further affairs including one with a DUP colleague witnessed by RUC men protecting the Robinson home in the ’80s.
    It has also been reported that those RUC men were there voluntarily after protection was withdrawn following the Clontibret incident.
    This is the same era as when Peter alleges British intelligence started rumours of him physically abusing Iris; to ‘damage his reputation.’
    It would propably be most presumptious on my part to suspect that there could be any possible connection between DUP-friendly RUC men allegedly witnessing Iris engaged in infidelity and rumours of spousal abuse beginning to circulate. No doubt this is a purely unconnected coincidence.

  • Slartibuckfast

    Perhaps I should instead mock a woman who was blown up in a car bomb and laugh about the pain she suffered before death. That couldn’t be wrong, could it, Blair?

    Maybe I should even laugh about how many children were sexually abused by priests.

    Or laugh about Gordon Brown’s depression, calling him ‘too mad to run the UK’.

    But, as you say, it isn’t the case to go into gross hypocrisy. And handbagging is frowned upon on here as well.

    Of course we are all in the gutter as regards mocking those we don’t like, their deaths and their earthly problems, it’s just that some of us know it and some of us do it and then laughably cry on Slugger about others doing it.

    Suck it up. If Iris was a Catholic you’d be loving it.

  • Blair

    Well I’m glad that you do acknowledge that you are a tosser.

  • Blair

    Well I’m glad that you do acknowledge that you are a tosser.

  • Blair

    Well I’m glad that you do acknowledge that you are a tosser.

  • Blair

    Indeed you are in the gutter.