#aras11: If I am wrong about my own people, then so be it.

Rather than merely add to the growing fascination with Martin McGuinness on here, I fished this out of The Irish Times archive. The comments below are the main substance of an article entitled “Why Mary McAleese must be stopped: In a reply to his critics, Eoghan Harris sets out his reasons for trying to block Mary McAleese’s campaign for the Presidency” which was published on the 24th October 1997 (in The Irish Times), with the election six days later.

I’m not suggesting you should make any direct correlation between the candidate then and now and, of course, the author is Eoghan Harris. But, today, would you believe that Mary McAleese generated this sort of press fourteen years ago? Journalism, even partisan journalism, may consider itself as the first draft of history, but at least historians have the benefit of hindsight.

Now, the Republic of Ireland is not yet a Provo puppet state – but these words show that we are heading into the same moral fog which corrupted part of the nationalist community in the North into voting for Sinn Féin, a party which fronts for the sectarian murder gang which has been murdering their Protestant neighbours…

It is my passionate conviction that it is crucial to the moral life of our country that Mary McAleese does not become President. To elect her would signal to Sinn Féin that we are as ambivalent as those Northern nationalists who voted for a party tied to a terror gang…

 There are three main reasons why we should not vote for Mary McAleese. First, no matter how she may huff and puff about being involved in a peace ministry, or about being misrepresented, the leaked memo of May sets out her position on the British general election, while the armed struggle was still going on, with stark simplicity. “She was very pleased with Sinn Féin’s performance in the general election.”[This is a direct quote from the leaked memo – J.]
Second, she came to us with a curriculum vitae which concealed the complete picture of her politics, particularly the fact that she could never be a bridge-builder. This concealment alone makes her unfit to be President.
Finally, unlike many of my colleages in the media, I can see plenty wrong with voting for a candidate who is endorsed by Sinn Féin, which is still linked to a terrorist organisation. And I believe most Irish people would agree with me if they were allowed to hear my arguments.

 If I am wrong about my own people, then so be it.

 

Needless to say, but Eoghan was wrong of course.

, , ,

  • Henry94

    As she’d say herself, wow!

  • Neil

    Very interesting. It underlines the impression that all the anti SF bluster is just self preservation and party politics. They hate SF as they always knew them to be a threat.

  • andnowwhat

    I was making a similar point about Mary Mc Aleese on Politics.ie when you posted this John.

    She had other contraversies about her that I do not want to raise now but one famous statement of hers (later retracted) was a statement too far IMHO and I’m sure we all know which one that was

  • Mick Fealty

    Damn, I was going to put his ‘tribal time bomb’ remark from about the same time as a question in tomorrow nights quiz…

  • John Ó Néill

    Mick – I left the ‘tribal time bomb’ quote out – you would still have got away with it.

  • Barnshee

    “She had other contraversies about her that I do not want to raise now but one famous statement of hers (later retracted) was a statement too far IMHO and I’m sure we all know which one that was”

    She and her apologists can call her what they want She is the President of the Republic of Ireland She cannot represent me or my fellow unionists. If she can`t what chance has Marty?

  • Rory Carr

    I am quite sure, Barnshee, that President McAleese will be most saddened to hear that but, never mind, we can always comfort ourselves with the Parable of The Lost Sheep.

  • Rory Carr

    I must admit that I admired the cunning of Harris’s sneaky little ending:

    “…I believe most Irish people would agree with me if they were allowed to hear my arguments.”

    They did not agree with him, ergo the people were prevented from hearing his arguments.

    Probably those dastardly Sinn Féiners applying Section 31 against him.

  • sherdy

    Eoghan Harris then, Fintan O’Toole today. Those who cannot forget seem unable to learn.

  • Limerick

    In fairness to Eoghan Harris back then Mary McAleese was regarded as a hard ticket from Ardoyne who was fairly pro republican. I don’t think that anyone could have reasonably expected the physical and political makeover that she went through in order to become such a successful President.

    For Martin McGuinness to do the same he would need a hair transplant, photo opportunities with cuddly teddy bears and a suitable sporting fixation with Ronnie Flanagan*. I would suggest rugby.

    *Or equivalent.

  • sonofstrongbow

    Hey I thought from the moment Marty declared his intention to run republicans weren’t doing the ‘past’?

  • John Ó Néill

    @Rory: a distinctly Harris ending: if they were allowed to hear my arguments.

    Parse it: this was published in The Irish Times, so grammatically the ‘if’ is redundant. They did get to hear his arguments (and in the acting of writing the piece for the Times he would have been aware of that).

  • AGlassOfHine

    Didn’t the DFM once declare,(and I quote),” Never,never,never,to a return to Stormont” ?

    Harris may have called this wrong. As demonstrated above,he is not the only one.

  • Limerick

    “Didn’t the DFM once declare,(and I quote),” Never,never,never,to a return to Stormont” ?”

    Many, many times.

  • tomthumbuk

    I suppose everyone expresses opinions that at the time seem OK, but subsequently maybe are best left unaid.
    After all didn’t Mary McAleese liken Protestants to Nazis?
    Actung baby!

  • Rory Carr

    An unfortunate remark, Tom Thumb, but perhaps understandable when we consider that it was no doubt influenced by the childhood trauma of her family being driven out of their home in anti-Catholic pogroms by rampaging…er, (how shall I put this ?)… Protestants.

  • Limerick

    Rory,

    So similar disparaging comments by the Queen, about Catholics, might be perhaps understandable given the trauma inflicted on her family by murdering…er, (how shall we put this?)…Catholics?