Taoiseach’s speech: Unmediated and unspun…

The first I heard of Enda Kenny’s speech was on the excellent Broadsheet.ie. Just the text and no comment. Here’s a nice observation from Noel Whelan on the unspun nature of Enda Kenny’s speech to the Dail:

The Taoiseach and his advisers will have been conscious that his remarks would be portrayed as populist grandstanding by those who don’t want to accept the point he was making. By playing it straight in media management terms they did much to undermine that suggestion.

Instinctively, political handlers might have preferred to ensure that the press gallery and the Dáil benches were packed for the speech. They could have ensured this by ringing around in advance. They did not do so. They also resisted the temptation to trail the speech and its significance by leaking snippets to one of that morning’s newspapers. Instead they let the speech takes its place in the chronology of a news day that everybody expected to be dominated by the euro crisis and other stories. The absence of hype or advance billing gave the speech greater impact.[Emphasis added]

Na habair é, déan é, mar a dearfa…

  • Rory Carr

    Having myself wondered why the speech was delivered to an almost empty house and imagining the greater impact it might have made upon a packed chamber particularly if delivered with measured gravitas, weary sadness and passion as and where appropriate, I am like you much taken instead with Noel Whelan’s sober analysis. Yet there remains a little niggling worm that perhaps, just perhaps it is Whelan’s very analysis post facto that constitutes the spin to hide the fact that the speech was indeed little more than populist grandstanding.

    But that is the weary, cynical, mistrustful side of my character (especially where Fine Gael is concerned) rising up to the surface and I am actually more convinced that Whelan is genuine and his analysis correct. So I am able to say a heartfelt, “Well done, Taoiseach” to a Fine Gael leader without choking on the words and, as Whelan has shown us, “Nicely played too !”

  • Rory Carr

    …or perhaps, “Nicely underplayed !” would be more appropriate.

  • Greenflag

    @ Rory ,

    I too had to put aside my traditional antipathy to FG re Mr Kenny’s calm and collected kick to the Vatican’s rear end and were the man to stand in my constituency he’d even get a vote perhaps even a number 1 .

    Na habair é, déan é, mar a dearfa…

    translated for the non gaeilgoirs is

    ‘Don’t just say it -do it as they say ‘

    He did it but the follow up in terms of Mr Shatter’s bill and other legislation will be the proof for those who continue to hold a sceptical eye to the speech.

    As one whose scepticism is embedded in the DNA for centuries and has seen it harden along with age – I’m moved on this occasion to accept Enda Kenny’s speech as the genuine article.

  • monaraba

    Enda reflected the feelings of most people in this country in a way few politicians have done in the past 20 years. The speech’s impact was enhanced by the sincerity with which it seemed to be delivered. If he can stick with the formula, there just might be hope for us getting out of our current financial mess.

  • Alias

    It might have been “unmediated and unspun” in the planned media strategy that Whelan claims was carefully devised for its ‘launch’, but the media hacks are certainly busy spinning and mediating it now on the government’s behalf. That is what Whelan’s article is doing. He even hypes it as a contender for conclusion in a future edition of 50 Great Irish Speeches (presumably for ‘speeches’ that are delivered to empty chambers).

    I suspect that Kenny’s rant will backfire on him. Ireland is still a Catholic country, and Irish people won’t take kindly to what might be seen as a Viceroy re-imposing anti-Catholic laws on a Catholic nation, thereby continuing an old British political tradition in Ireland by covert indigenous means. Whelan is careful to point out that Kenny is a devout Catholic as mitigation for this, as if, somehow, this precludes it. Given that “the Blueshirts” would be seen as merchants of black propaganda and as collaborators, Kenny should be more careful that he isn’t seen as the latest example of Irish people self-censoring Irish people to promote the interests of those who would like to censor them but can’t while claiming to promote Irish interests. A lot of FF’ers and members of the public won’t like it and won’t even know why they don’t like it, but that’s part of the why not.

    If Kenny is lauded as “a statesmen” by those who don’t support Irish self-determination (such as the hack in question) then there is going to be a latent suspicion there that he is being celebrated by that ilk because he is undermining that which differentiates Ireland from the political entity that actively undermines its sovereignty, the UK. Of course, the fact that he is proposing to copy the laws of France does excite the Europhiles (indistinguishable from Francophiles in Ireland) and allow him to waffle on a ‘modern’ republicanism while negating the cornerstone of democracy (i.e. that the majority want the sanctity of confession to be respected then the will of the majority must be upheld, not over-ridden).

    People certainly want the Church to protect their children in its care, but Mr Kenny should be aware that is all they want.

  • Ireland is still a Catholic country

    That might be true for the elders but I think it is disputable as far as young folk are concerned.

  • Munsterview

    Contrary to first impressions ( and I am not skeptical because it is originated from Fine Gael, nor I am automatically against them in everything ) I objectively consider this was superb handling and spinning. When one has spend a good part of their life behind the curtain where the various ‘Wizard Of Oz’ operates, then it is easy to sequence and contextualize these things.

    Kenny had a big problem going into the Summer Recess, he had lied and he had lied about the fact that he had lied. He was in the same slippery slope that led to Brian Lenihan’s downfall with taped evidence to prove that he lied. There was a very angry and pissed off public mood building up with Kenny becoming the focus of it.

    Had he gone into the Summer Recess in this mode God only knows what would have happened. Can anyone remember a Summer recess where the accompanying newspaper articles did not draw attention to the long holidays, the extended and unequal time off politicians had compare to the rest of society etc. And this in the normal mode without any hospitals closing etc.

    A good PR operator dealing with damage limitation, starts with the reality of the situation they find them selves in. The rest of the game is as old as politics.

    1) Recognize the seeding anger is there, building up and capable of exploding.

    2) Identify another existing unpopular target that the anger can be directed at

    3) Drop the other party in it by scapegoating them for all wrongs, real and alleged

    4) Sit back and watch the scapegoat party become the vent for the anger

    Nothing new or particularly sophisticated in all of this it has been staple diet for the plot of many a B-Movie Westerner, the baddy rancher up to all kinds of sculduggery arranging a lynching party for some obviously notorious character to deflect from his own activities.

    Yes I may be cynical but results are all that matter : a lying Taoiseach was on the Bertie / Charlie Haughy credibility road, now he is the shining hero, so much so that if Ming attempted to challange him on even the turf cutting issue, the same Ming would probably have to go around with a sod of turf in a very painfull place indeed, it having been shoved there by a member of the public and not necessary a FG person either!

    It would be an extraordinary co-incidence indeed it Kenny just happened ‘to do the right thing’ and was now reaping the benefit. Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and leprechauns may exist after all !

    As for Noel Wheelan, with all due respect to the same Noel, he is what in the States they would refer to as ‘ A Beltway Boy’ a dyed in the wool insider. Noels contributions are more typical of the same insider mutual press/politics ‘play-the-game’ mutual co-dependency media exposed across the water with all its attendant problems and intellectual incest, than he is a ‘Woodward or Berinstine’ and he is by no means alone in this respect.

    It is not so long ago in this neck of the woods since Wee Willie was briefed by the certain Police Officers to spin against Sinn Fein : it blew up on Willies face but that same pattern was repeated up and down the country where Establishment Politicians, Press and Garda see themselves as having a common purpose in keeping politics a closed shop and shutting out ‘outsiders’ such as Sinn Fein.

    Likewise with the Kenny ‘man of the moment stuff’ establishment media ( with the possible exception of a few like Myers who may take a contrary approach just to be different) will put a favorable construct on what I personally consider to be one of the finest pieces of slick pr damage limitation exercises pulled off since the Best of P J Maras stunts.

  • wee buns

    Just HOW Catholic a Catholic country IS it, remains to be seen by the response to this speech.

    The majority of mums I know simply go through the motions of making kids Catholic – actually for the sake of traditional grandparents – NOT from any heartfelt affiliation with church values.
    These ‘Catholic’ kids are not attending confession regularly, or ever, nor are they attending mass except when granny brings them on Easter or Christmas. So the sacrements have been mainly dispensed with, in practicla terms.
    This is pseudo Catholicism already.

    Add it to that the simmering outrage at endemic abuse, it would appear Enda had pitched this one correctly. Maybe he simply read the latest census results.

  • wee buns,

    That is my experience too. As one example, one of my brothers and my sister-in-law had 4 kids. They were raised Catholic and they have 10 kids between them. the kids all go to Catholic schools but neither they nor their parents ever go to mass, as far as i am aware.

  • wee buns

    Our generation is mostly, glad to be free of it thus happy to replace it with tokenism.
    Confession is viewed with suspicion by parents who don’t feel comfortable sending their kids unaccompanied into private sessions with priests.
    And anyway, growing your kid’s self esteem does not include the concept of ‘sin’ anymore.

  • Rory Carr

    Before I go to bed I will ask those of you who are so gung ho on making legislation to criminalise a priest who does not reveal to the police details of sexual abuse against children or vulnerable adults that he learned in the confessional,

    “Just how exactly do you intend for such legislation to work?”

    For the life of me I cannot see how it will work. You could, I suppose, have the garda monitor Sunday mass and lock up all those who do not not take communion, on the assumption that fear of being exposed under the new legislation had deterred them from confession – ergo, they must be child abusers.

    Oh, I know, silly isn’t it? Yes, damned silly! The whole proposal is silly which is why no other country that I know of has attempted to frame such an unworkable law.

    While you are all at it, those of you who have argued that the immunity of the confessional seal has granted a uniquely priveleged position to the Church, perhaps you might like to consider that is Catholic citizens and not the Church who have the privelege, and you might also vent your feelings on spousal privelege – ought a husband be obliged to turn in his wife? Does not spousal privelege discriminate against gay couples, indeed against unmarried heterosexual couples? Indeed what about the privelege of a single person who having admitted to himself and, in privacy, to a God of his understanding, gross criminal acts against children, is he obliged to turn himself in?

    The whole thing just gets more ludicrous the further we examine it.

    Give it up, guys, your intellectual embarrassment at having once been good Catholic boys cannot be assuaged by shooting at smoke rising from the thurible. Reserve your fire for more solid targets.

  • Harry Flashman

    Populist grandstanding of the most teeth grating kind.

    Enda wet his finger stuck it in the air, felt which way the wind was blowing and joined in with the lynch-mob (does that mix metaphors a little bit?).

    Look, opinion in the South is amazingly sheeplike, one day they’re all agreed on one particular issue and then whoosh! tomorrow they suddenly swerve off and think completely the opposite.

    The letters page of the Irish Times is where the oh-so-knowing leaders of Irish opinion expound their latest doctrines in the same way as the bishops used to issue encyclicals. Then the phone-ins are where the flock expresses precisely the same opinion in terms of ever more outraged emotion and moral certainty. It is like the mass or religious retreats of fifty years ago.

    Today the Catholic church is getting bashed, before everyone is in awe of the church. What has changed in the church? Nothing. Is there anything known now about the church that wasn’t perfectly well known before? No.

    We all knew Christian Brothers were appallingly brutal towards their charges, we all knew the orphanages and laundries were dreadful places where youngsters and “fallen women” were treated little better than slaves, we all knew about the ‘dodgy’ priests and teachers who’d try to cop a feel when they had a chance and who we assumed our parents must have known about by their odd reaction when we mentioned their names.

    Now like some sort of catharsis we can suddenly scream out in outraged moral tones about how we’re shocked! shocked! I tell you to discover what was going on.

    Pathetic. Contemptible really.

    I’ll have more respect for this manufactured outrage when they actually do something about real problems in Irish society today about which we all know full well but which we turn a blind eye to, no doubt reassured that when it all comes out in the open years later we can get a in a good slanging phone call to Joe Duffy’s son’s radio show.

  • Taoiseach

    Kenny’s speech was a thundering disgrace – it was up there with the best anti-Jewish speeched from Nazi Germany, but with none of the subtilty. I look forward to the next time the Blue Shirts come canvassing round my door.

  • pippakin

    Enda Kenny is a practising catholic, which is more than can be said for some of those who condemn him. I saw nothing manufactured about his speech.
    It was the first time a leader of this country challenged the supremacy of the Vatican. In, I think, every previous speech I have heard on this subject the Taoiseach has condemned sure enough but he has also almost apologised for having to do so. The speech was well written and well delivered by someone who appears to know that the people are looking for a real leader and not a sound bite.

    Its almost certain that people did know of what they probably thought of as isolated cases in their own parish but that in no way means they automatically knew about how wide spread the practice was or that a priest banished from one parish was not banished from the church but merely sent to another parish.

    I think, and hope, that the speech marked a turning point.

  • Nunoftheabove


    That statement of yours is a disgrace. It’s also a lie. It tells us a good deal about what you think but also, and much more importantly, how you think.

  • Cynic2

    “That statement of yours is a disgrace”

    ….but buggering and raping young children and covering it up on the grounds that the Church is bigger than the State isn’t? Your post is, frankly, shameful

  • Nunoftheabove


    Did you read me say anything even loosely approximating to that in this or any other text posted by me ? No, you did not. My position on these matters is crystal clear as you’ll know if you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever posted on it.

    To say as Taoiseach does that Kenny’s speech “was up there with the best anti-Jewish speeched (sic) from Nazi Germany, but with none of the subtilty (sic)” is disgraceful by any measure.

  • Alias

    Joe and Wee Buns, 87% of the population self-identifed as Catholic in the 2006 census. Admittedly, that is down from 92% of the population self-identifed as Catholic in 1991. However, immigration of non-Catholics would explain that marginal decline.

    If they self-identify as Catholic, then they are catholic. If they don’t self-identify as Catholic, then they’re not Catholic. If is not for you or any media hack with a paid agenda to identify them as other.

  • Alias

    Harry, distance doesn’t dull your grasp of Irish reality. While not a Catholic, as a kid I had many friends who went to local O’Connells Christian Brothers on the lower North Circular Road and all of them complained about the brutality of the Brothers and even lay teachers there. Wooden dusters flew through the class and made contact with heads, as did knuckles. A leather strap being used on their hands with a merciless multitude of lashes was also a regular complaint. It was also known which of them were fiddlers, and which of them were particularly violent. This was all common knowledge over the entire period and nothing was ever done about it.

  • Cynic2


    My apologies!!! I stupidly misread what you posted. You were writing to Taoiseach the poster not The Taoiseach and I completely misunderstood. Sorry!

  • Mick Fealty


    If youve come for a discussion, fine. Wind ups not appreciated!

  • Nunoftheabove


    No bother.

  • wee buns

    Archbishop Diarmuid Martin claimed the church was on the brink of collapse and on the question of Mass attendance he said that it was down to 2% of the Catholic population in some of his parishes, so I’ll take his word for it..

  • Nunoftheabove

    wee buns

    Indeed; what was it Hitler (whose birthday the Vatican celebrated very single year to the very end, let’s not forget) said about Russia re. Operational Barbarossa ?

    Something along the lines of “We have only to kick in the front door and the whole rotten edifice will come tumbling down.” as I recall.

  • Alias

    Again, Wee Buns, you are missing the point.

    The number of members of any particular religous demonination within a state is determined by a census using the principle of self-designation in that state. It is not determined by any other means. Ergo, the number of Catholics within a state cannot be reduced by an individual imposing a different criteria for the qualification, such as counting the numbers attending confession or mass and then declaring that the actual number by that means is less than the number determined by the census.

    Ireland is an overwhelmingly Catholic country, with 87% of the population self-identifying as Catholic. Given that the principle of self-determination is that the majority determine their law in accordance with their common interests, it is transparently anti-democratic for anti-Catholic laws to be imposed on a Catholic state.

    It is precisely because the proposed anti-Catholic laws violate the sovereignty of the nation to promote its common interest that the government is very keen to create the bogus impression that the proposed anti-Catholic laws are being devised to assert that nation’s sovereignty rather than to violate it.

    That is simply an attempt to ignore the will of the majority by claiming that it isn’t actually the majority and that, ergo, democracy is not to be violated by a puppet regime that is seen as acting to promote the interests of one side but it actually promoting the interests of another.

  • wild turkey

    having read and re-read and listened to and relistened to Mr Kenny speech, i am lef to conclude that, in its own way and particular circumstance, Kenny’s speech is the irish equivalent of Lincolns Gettysburg Address. It was incisive, barren and left a clear message…. there is no going back.

    many comments on this post regarding Mr Kennys speech reinforce the comparison. following the gettysburg address, lincolns speech was widely vilified by many astute commentators. fortunately, history does not readily recall their names, aliases, or pathetic words. but history will never forget the name, or words. of Lincoln… and perhaps Mr Kenny.

  • Greenflag

    @ Alias ,

    While I concur with your North Circular Road descriptives above you are being too pedantic -legalistic re wee buns point . We Irish have a double edged reputation for being both blunt and direct sometimes accompanied with a pair of fists as well as the opposite trait of not calling something what it is out of ‘sensitivity ‘ and a desire not to cause offence . The NI folks are past masters at this art in their daily existence . When asked if I was or am a Catholic my response will very much depend on who is asking me . If I know the person to who I’m speaking is a devout Catholic as a couple of aged aunts are I’ll curb my opinion so as not to offend . No point in getting cut out of the will eh 😉 ?

    Vinnie Caprani in his Rowdy Rhymes and Recimitaions gets across the point a lot better than I ever could as regards the matter of black or white or green or orange or right or wrong or Catholic or non Catholic. While he takes a few historical licenses the overall gist is still applicable although less so today than heretofore.

    When the English robbed our language.
    And gave us theirs instead .
    They gave us leave to cheat them.
    In the things we left unsaid.
    When they robbed us of our claymores.
    And thought our pikes absurd.
    We fashioned brand new weapons.
    With each odd ,new fangled word.
    For we took the ould King’s English.
    And turned it right around.
    And perfected darlin phrases.
    The invader to confound.

    When they asked us fortright questions.
    We responded with a rhyme.
    And we circumnavigated.
    Until a better time.
    When they grew exasperated.
    With all this faddle fiddle.
    We donned our funny faces.
    And we posed for them a riddle.
    And by the time they’d worked it out.
    We had drifted far away.
    To polish up our proverbs.
    For to fight another day.

    We promptly paid the price they asked.
    Though convincing them indeed.
    That it was only half the sum.
    That we first of all agreed.
    We vowed we’d neither rob nor cheat.
    But nothin said of diddlin.
    For nothings really black or white.
    But rather fair to middlin.
    And when they roared and ranted.
    And said that isn’t fair .
    We nodded and we answered.
    But thats nayther here nor there.
    And when they tried to fathom out.
    If this was right or wrong.
    We’d divert them with a little dance.
    And regale them with a song.
    Or educate them to the fact.
    That words are all a game.
    And certain things are better called.
    By a rather different name.
    That just because we use a term.
    It need not signify.
    Exactly what it seems to mean.
    Though it’s neither truth nor lie .

    You’re right Milord we’d loyally cry.
    Though it’s also truth to tell.
    That he who says you’re wrong Milord.
    Is also right as well.
    For God would never close one door.
    Without opening up another.
    And everything is something else.
    Nayther one thing nor the other!
    For God is good St Patrick said.
    And the Pope he is (was) our leader.
    But then upon the other hand.
    The Dhivil (Paisley )’s not all bad either.

    So you see the way it has to be.
    If we must live together.
    You must vow to lower taxes.
    And we’ll pray for harvest weather.
    And by the time the Norman Lord.
    Had reckoned we were right.
    We’d married off our daughters fair.
    To his reeves and to his knight.
    And he was left to ponder
    Shure what was all the fuss?
    When all is said and done
    Aren’t they just the same as us .

    And then we urged the Norman Lord.
    To build a monastery.
    For we told him that the Saviour.
    Would protect his progeny.
    And when we had him on his knees.
    Convinced he was a sinner.
    We gently whispered in his ear .
    Now I ask eh -who’s the winner ?

    BTW I quoted that piece in April 2007 and added in this little prognosticator below which in retrospect I think was not far off the mark considering later developments .

    ‘Paisley may yet turn out to be the most practised and professional maestro of the art of faddle fiddle in Irish history bar none .

  • Harry Flashman

    “Kenny’s speech is the irish equivalent of Lincolns Gettysburg Address.”

    With the greatest of respect for heaven’s sake catch a grip of yourself.

    Kenny’s speech could be compared to Gettysburg if Lincoln had made that speech forty years after the defeat of the Confederacy or if a taoiseach had made Kenny’s speech forty odd years ago involved in a genuine head to head struggle between church and state.

    As it is it amounts to little more than joining the mob sticking the boot into a bunch of odd looking old geezers who used to wield real power years ago but who you were too cowardly to fight back then.

    Pathetic, and the glassy eyed response to the speech as if it were some soaring piece of rhetorical brilliance is positively laughable.

  • Greenflag

    @ harryflash,

    Nobody’s laughing bar yourself .

    ‘As it is it amounts to little more than joining the mob sticking the boot into a bunch of odd looking old geezers who used to wield real power years ago

    Obviously you’ve not been keeping up with the very recent Cloyne Report never mind the Murphy and other reports of recent years . Unfortunately the ‘odd looking old geezers ‘who were supposed to wield power 40 odd years ago -have been very much wielding power even these last few years and wielding it to protect criminals and to try and shore up whats left of the reputation of the Irish hierarchy and it’s Vatican overlords.

    The majority of Irish people including non churchgoers retain a residual sympathy for the plight of the vast majority of clerics who have been tainted by the failings of a minority of priests and a corrupt hierarchy both in Ireland and in the Vatican .

    Wild turkey may have gone a little overboard with his comment re Lincoln but he was certainly accurate when he described Mr Kenny’s speech as being incisive and leaving a clear message .

  • carl marks

    The Vatican has recalled the papal nuncio from Ireland for “consultation” the Taoiseach’s speech has caused them to sit up and listen.
    I think they biggest concern of the papacy is that if the head of a government in a very catholic country as Ireland can stand up and make such a powerful statement and receive the support and approval of those who could be described as the faithful, then what can they expect from the rest of the world.

  • Taoiseach

    It received the support and approval of liberal Catholics like Fr Tony Flannery who dissent from church teaching and dislike the Pope. I don’t know any faithful Catholics who approved of the speech.

  • carl marks

    most of my older relatives would be daily attenders at mass and they thought the speech was long overdue and a good thing.
    your abilty to ignore the facts is truly breathtaking,
    On another point a liberal catholic is as good or bad a catholic as anyone else and it is hardly your place to judge their faith.

  • Taoiseach

    Kenny said the report “excavates the dysfunction, the disconnection, the elitism that dominates the Vatican today”….“The rape and torture of children were downplayed or ‘managed’ to uphold instead the primacy of the institution, its power, standing and ‘reputation’.

    There is nothing in the Cloyne report or in reality to support those comments. The remarks on the Vatican are clearly coming from anti-papal “Catholics”. One could as readily write that because the State had no mandatory reporting that it had downplayed rape and torture. But that would be a ludicrous suggestion.

    A liberal Catholic may be a good or bad person – they just may not believe what Catholics are supposed to belieive if they are Catholics.

  • carl marks

    The Cloyne report pointed out in no uncertain terms that the leadership of the church was complicit in covering up the abuse (including rape) of children in their care, Enda Kenny didn’t miss and hit the wall his words were well chosen and accurate.
    The Catholic Church has a lot to answer for and it would look like they are going to have to change a lot of things if they ever want to be acceptable to the majority of people who regard themselves as catholic.
    Your dislike of “liberal” Catholics is strange are they not the very Catholics who have been telling us that there are serious problems with the church and the way it has been run, surely they are the very people we should be listening to instead of the traditional old geezer,s who covered up this whole thing.
    But then again Taoiseach ignore the whole thing. Blame the parents the children, the media, and liberal Catholics but for god’s sake don’t blame those in charge

  • Alias

    When is a Catholic not a Catholic? The answer appears to be when they inconveniently form a majority of the nation and the state perversely seeks to impose anti-Catholic laws on that Catholic nation, thereby violating the principle of self-determination.

    And why should the Irish state be trusted to protect socially vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly anymore than the Vatican state should be trusted to protect them?

    After all, the Irish state has already failed them by derogating sovereignty over institutions of the state to a foreign state that duly put its own interests ahead of their interests. And no, I’m not referring to the derogation of monetary sovereignty to the EU, and the EU’s use of that sovereignty to force the Irish taxpayers to underwrite several hundred billion of debt that was not borrowed by them and does not belong to them, and which will see their taxes diverted to buy Porsches and villas for wealthy French and German bondholders instead of being used to fund schools, nursing homes, and other state services for socially vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. It was the Irish state itself that allowed these groups to be mistreated by others in their care and by its own servants in its care. This bankrupt state will soon enough need all the charity it can get.

    Even if we were to now believe that the Irish state could be trusted with the duty of care invested in it (never mind fund it), we would only have that belief because we fail to see that the Irish state has given the vast bulk of its sovereignty away to others who – with exactly the same systemic flaw as derogating (de facto) sovereignty to the Vatican – use that sovereignty to promote their own interests at the direct expense of the interests of those who have foolishly derogated their sovereignty.

    This isn’t a state that protects its sovereignty but one that incessantly gives it away. It is a state that so relentlessly undermines itself, and violates its own right to self-determination at almost every turn. A state run by quislings and muppets…

  • Greenflag

    @ Alias,

    ‘This isn’t a state that protects its sovereignty but one that incessantly gives it away. It is a state that so relentlessly undermines itself, and violates its own right to self-determination at almost every turn. A state run by quislings and muppets”

    So Ireland is not alone in being run by ‘quislings and muppets ‘ ? Here’s the full list of fellow quisling states as well as candidate and potential candidate quisling states . I make it 27 quisling states , run by 27 muppets , 4 candidate quisling states , and 5 potentially candidate quisling states giving a total of 36 or 20% of the planet’s states .

    EU Member countries

    Czech Republic
    United Kingdom .

    Current Candidate Countries include .

    The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

    Potential candidate Countries

    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Kosovo under UN Security Council Resolution 1244

  • Greenflag

    @Alias ,

    ‘A state run by quislings and muppets’

    Your disrespect for your own country assuming you still are a citizen is palpable . Most of us can take criticism when it’s directed at our institutions , our economy or our cultural mores but your ‘blanket’ eff them all is telling – as is your complete failure ever to utter one word of criticism at the gangster bankers of Wall St and the City of London or their minions in Irish or other EU banks .

    But then you neo conservatives are hardlly more than a step or two away from being the mirror image of the fanatical Islamic militants that American neo conservatives under Reagan and Bush helped to arm and train .I’m sure you are looking forward to a USA ‘default ‘ and the ensuing economic chaos that will provide even more opportunities for the predators of the financial world and the non transparent and unaccountable rating agencies and the Goldman Sachs and Bank of America to post ever greater ‘profits ‘ on the backs of taxpayers of the world 🙁

    Wise up !

  • Greenflag

    @ Alias,

    ‘I suspect that Kenny’s rant will backfire on him. ”

    Quite the contrary . Not only out of touch but light years removed from the current popular feeling .

    ‘Ireland is still a Catholic country’

    You might think that and you would be correct nominally but you are way off if you think it’s still the 1950’s or even 1980’s. The average age of the Irish clergy must now be in the 70’s and not only are they not being replaced but even remaining younger clergy are leaving the church .

    ‘Irish people won’t take kindly to what might be seen as a Viceroy re-imposing anti-Catholic laws on a Catholic nation’

    Complete rubbish . The Irish people can hardly wait for legislation to be passed which will curb the abuse of power by the Irish hierarchy and the Vatican over the lives of Irish people.

    ‘thereby continuing an old British political tradition in Ireland by covert indigenous means.’

    You forget that the RC Church hierarchy in Ireland 1790 – through 1922 was very much pro British and was very happy to extend it’s spiritual empire overseas in all of the ‘colonies ‘ which provided them with millions more ‘faithful ‘ to minister to etc .

    You can do better Alias but there is more to life than that favourite word of yours ‘sovereignty’ which is virtually meaningless anyway in a world ruled by the major financial institutions , corporate oligarchs and secretive ratings agencies who game the system and the ensuing chaos to boost their own profits 🙁

  • Taoiseach

    Kenny would do well to have a look at the failings of this State before attacking others. As this story shows http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0726/1224301383158.html – “some of the 329 children in the area were placed with unassessed and unapproved foster carers. In some instances children were placed with carers who had been the subject of allegations of ill-treatment and had not been completely cleared by the executive. Social work departments had classified these allegations as “inconclusive” due to the length of time it took the executive to investigate the complaints. There was also evidence of a number of allegations of a similar nature made about some foster carers over a protracted period of time by different and unrelated children, said the authority in a new inspection report published yesterday.”

    Will Kenny take responsibility for this disgraceful failure by the State to protect children? Doubt it.

    And does anyone believe for one second that he received “hundreds of letters of support from Parish Priests”? Smells a little bit like Roscommon to me.

  • Alias

    “…giving a total of 36 or 20% of the planet’s states .”

    What kind of ‘rebuttal’ is that supposed to be? That’s like claiming that because 27 of the world’s lemmings jump off a cliff, that the other 165 lemmings that don’t jump off a cliff (there are 192 states that are members of the United Nation) must have been in error and the (now deceased) 27 lemmings proven wise to have leaped to their deaths.

    Most of those ‘candidates’ are beggar states looking for free money, being bribed to surrender their sovereignty to a backward supranational authority with your money. The rest of the mppets are only there because it is impossible for them to extract themselves from the impending disaster; but were it possible to do so, would exit it in a solitary heart beat. Likewise, the entrapped nations would exit in a solitary heart beat, and hence are deprived of that option.

  • Excellent speech by Enda Kenny. A slap in the face to bishops who tell lies and make mental reservations when trying to cover up for child rapists. A strong affirmation that Ireland is an independent country which will not be fobbed off with lies and hauteur by the emissaries of the Vatican. A clear declaration that the law of the land applies to all equally and takes precedence over the rules of any institution, including canon law and shariah law.

    Kenny has done what Bertie Ahern shamefully failed to do. He has stood up to the Vatican and asserted the independence and authority of the Republic of Ireland. Ahern caved in and accepted that 90% of the compensation bill would be paid by the State, against 10% paid by the Church whose employees had committed the crimes. Utter cowardice! So, well done, Kenny! You have given Ireland back its dignity. But please remember to watch your back.

  • Rory Carr asks “Just how exactly do you intend for such legislation to work?”

    Consider the case of Cardinal Brady. He was present when Brendan Smyth was questioned about his paedophile activities. Smyth admitted his crimes. What did Brady do? First he swore the victims to secrecy, in accordance with Vatican instructions in crimen sollicitationis, and then he sent a report to his superiors which later resulted in Smyth being transferred to another parish.

    Recently Brady has been challenged on his actions. Why did he not report Smyth to the police? Brady replied that he had done all that was required of him (ie by the Vatican) and that he thought he had done his duty (ie to the Church). The fact that Smyth went on to rape and molest more children was not a problem for Brady’s conscience apparently.

    It is surely a step forward to require anyone who knows of any criminal assaults on children to report them to the police? It is deplorable that anyone in clerical garb should need the law to tell them that sexual attacks on children must be reported to the police.

    In fact, Kenny has not gone far enough. What Brady did helped Smyth to move on to fresh pastures where he found more victims and committed more rapes. So Brady should be charged with aiding and abetting in a crime because his actions helped Smyth. He knew that Smyth was a paedophile rapist but he did nothing to stop him and was a party to the cover-up. The effect of moving Smyth on was to give him more opportunities to attack children. Clearly that constitutes aiding and abetting, therefore Brady should be charged and brought to trial.

  • Taoiseach

    Democrat – can’t say I disagree with you re Brady.

    Presumably you’d charge the parents of the children as well as they also failed to report the crime to the police.

  • Rory Carr

    Democrat asks me to “Consider the case of Cardinal Brady etc….”.

    O.K. I’ve considered it. What happens next?

    And more importantly what has it got to do with the question I have spent some time considering on this thread which is whether or not legislation that would oblige priests under penalty to break the confessional seal in certain circumstances could possibly be effective?

    I am not so sure that, as Democrat avers, “It is surely a step forward to require anyone who knows of any criminal assaults on children to report them to the police?” but only because, as I understand it, it has always been a criminal offence to wittingly withold evidence of another criminal offence, so there really is no change there unless the intention is to stiffen the law in this regard as it applies to criminal acts against minors, which would of course be welcomed.

    And, yes , it is indeed “deplorable that anyone in clerical garb should need the law to tell them that sexual attacks on children must be reported to the police”, but there is no harm in reminding them, and this week at least the Taoiseach has reminded them and the Vatican in no uncertain terms, of that responsibility, not as clerics accountable to the Vatican, but as citizens accountable to the law of the Republic.

  • Taoiseach writes “Presumably you’d charge the parents of the children as well as they also failed to report the crime to the police.”

    I suspect that the parents were misled by Brady and the other clerics into thinking that action against Smyth was going to follow the investigation. And that they and the children had all been sworn to secrecy, in line with crimen sollicitationis, which threatens anyone who breaks the oath with excommunication. Really the parents were trusting innocents up against professional con-men.

    Are you trying to defend Brady? Or just trying to spread the blame around so that less of it lands on him?