Friday yah. We all love Friday, we look forward to the weekend. Maybe a pint or a glass of wine, a late night or simply just look forward to a lie in. This Friday however marks another shameful week in the in the History of this State. Their have been many such weeks but this is a new low. This is a low for the agencies of the State and their overlords and their arrogance towards their own citizens. The following simple facts remain:
(a) From the very start Sgt. Maurice McCabe and the allegations he tried to make were handled with appalling arrogance. The very fact that any whistleblower has been and could in the future be treated as this man has been is beyond the Pale. A Whistleblower should be offered a level playing field not faced with the dirty tricks office of the States and subjected to a barrage of abuse. A proper safe space for a whistleblower and a correct investigation of the allegations should not be beyond Senior Garda Management. However for many reasons it seems it was.
(b) For a State Agency (and particularly in this State given it’s History) Tulsa has more to answer than just saying that it was a Clerical Error. This can not be put at the desk of and blamed on some Clerical Officer. It is more lying to cover up lies and cover up their own positions. The very fact that Tulsa feels that it can play God with Child Protection and allegations of abuse to slander any persons to divert attention is beyond deplorable. They can not be trusted with the protection of Children if they are prepared to show such disrespect for the Crime. Tulsa should now be disbanded, its Board asked for their resignation and its Senior Management the same. End of.
(c) An Garda Síochána – First of all let me say I understand that the Members of An Garda Síochána have a very hard job to do and it is not an attack on the ordinary members of the Force. However there is a long History of this force thinking they are above the law. They require re-education on a large-scale. They are servants of the State not the other way around. They do a really hard job and it just got a lot harder as all over Ireland any respect people may have had for them is eroding fast. The Guards and their Commissioners go from Crisis to crisis every few months, which hardly bodes well for fighting Crime. You have to ask yourself how much of the Commissioners time is spend dealing with Crisis as opposed to Crime? They have failed to learn any lessons from Donegal and the damage they did to lives there among other lessons ignored. The Minister (relevant or not) needs to find a Garda Commissioner from Outside the force who can not be swayed by the longstanding culture of jobs for the boys or girls. An outside Commissioner is the only chance to ring in the changes needed. Its time for the Guards to take note of their masters -The People. And this time the people are very angry and they should be.
Lastly to Sgt Maurice McCabe, I can oly offer my heartfelt thanks, my apolgy and my shame at what your and my Country and her agents have put ou through.
Donnacha Ryan (centre) celebrates following Ireland’s 40-29 victory over the All Blacks. Photograph: Getty
Yesterday in a City high on that winning feeling a team came to try and overturn another Century old record. This team came on the back of a highly emotional month in which the loss of of their own hit hard, really hard. After an awful rendition of Irelands Call, A Haka brilliantly answered by a number 8 off we went. The real shame of it is the National Broadcaster count not air the game but the Minister for Sport gets to go. Meanwhile many people who really follow Rugby are reduced to following it on Twitter.
On the pitch Ireland despite the French Referee not seeing when a card should be red. The Irish were so disciplined, so focused, they did the simple things right and they took the very best of their game to the All Blacks. They played as a team, a team of stars. CJ Sander was stunning. At 15 the much talked about Rob Kearney was brilliant in the air as was the flying Simon Zebo. The work rate of McGrath, Best, Tonner and Furlong was 100%. The Munster factor stood out as Connor Murray played the game of his life as did Jamie Heaslip. Robbie Henshaw did not let Moody’s take take his game away and he planned a blinder. They drove, the mauled they scored, Sexton kicked and managed, they kept cool heads even at the start of the second half when the All blacks scored. Joe Schmidt deserves huge praise of his game plan and as Neil Francis writes today in the Irish Independent we now know for certain, Joe Schmidt is the best coach in the World. Ireland’s Strength and Conditioning Coach deserves huge credit for the condition of this team. And it is a team, a team that has given its all and deserves all the praise they are getting.
As for RTE, big shame the National Broadcaster missed History being made once again by the Irish in America.
The third Sunday in September is a unique day in Irish Sport, in Irish life, in the life of the Irish home and away. The third Sunday in September spans the generations, it spans the 32 counties and the imagination. It is a day when in the words of the Great Marty Morrissey “We are Irish. We are family” mean something. Its about our heritage, our past and our future.
Yesterday saw a stunningly different All Ireland final it saw the underdog give away two goals to the hot favourites and still manage to draw the game. We saw the the hot favourites being not so hot, in fact they were quite off the boil and the underdog put up a brilliant defensive display.
The fans of said hot favourites were shocked, the fans of said underdogs went away shaking their heads and wondering what they had to do to get their hands on Sam.
Sam himself is an orphan till we do it all again on 1st October. Its all good or so it should be. However if you turn what every device you use to do your Social Media you may find the banter which we should be having about yesterday turns out to be quite nasty in some places. Do we need people calling opposing fans names and generally behaving in a way you would not if you were not behind your keyboard in your attic? There is no place for hate in sport nor is they’re a place for it in the sport of Social Media.
So today in Dublin Ireland another sorry saga in the ongoing, shameful, vile, horrific, embarrassing and utterly unacceptable story of Child Sexual abuse in the Irish Catholic Church continues. Tony Walsh a former priest will be in prison till 2023 after being sentenced today for another set of heinous abuses of a young child. The people of Ireland would like to Thank the Prison Service of Ireland for keeping him where he can not have access to children. We would also like to ask why this “man” was ever allowed to abuse children time and time again. Multiple Parents have complained about him. And time after time he was moved to places where he had access to more children. Nobody in this saga can say anything which will in any way make them look even half human, half understand the devastation they allowed to develop. Tony Walsh should have never been allowed to become a Priest. he should have been asked questions which may have given them a hint of his “vice”. He and many others found it all too easy to abuse children and to the continuing shame of both Church and State. He was enabled to do so by so many of his superiors, so called men of God who turned a blind eye. The Murphy Report should never be forgotten and the Catholic Church while it still tries to hold a place in Irish Society still has questions to answer. To the victims of this man I have words because I do not feel any words would ever be equal to the evil done to you.
The Four Great Offices of State (UK wise) have had many colourful characters take up the reins. Prime Minister, Chancellor, foreign Sec and Home Sec have been filled with colourful jews to chain-smoking orators of brilliance. Now New PM Mrs May or as The Daily Mail likes to call her “a Vicar’s daughter” has appointed another colourful character to the Foreign Office. Bo Bo Johnson goes into bat in this new pre Article 50 dawn and all eyes are on him. Perhaps that is why she put him there to keep the cold glare of the Brexit world off her. Boris who has already managed to piss off half of Europe, The State Dept in Washington and anyone who spends more than half an hour in the same room as him. Boris who has a lets just say colourful private life, a fondness for buying water cannons and is really just the posh people’s version of a Middle-aged Essex boy. Boris who we are told is hugely intelligent or a bumbling fool depending on who you listen to. Boris who lead Britain out of Europe but was like a rabbit in the headlights after the verdict was delivered. No plan, no clue where to go next. Boris who managed to come back from the dead politically at the same time seeing off his former friend and foe one Michael Gove. Boris who by Christmas will have surely given his special advisors heart attacks and his PM the feeling that she has appointed the 21st century version of Lord Palmerston. Mrs. May’s thinking on Boris is anyones to guess at. She may think if he screws this up, his career is well and truly buried. She may think that the Brexit jobs handed out to Liam Fox and David Davies somewhat diminish the role foreign Sec. She may also think he has it in him to do a good job. I doubt it but we shall see. It’s going to be very intresting when John Bercow Calls Foreign Office Questions and Boris takes to the dispatch box.
Michael Gove made that walk up and down Downing Street today but when the door of No. 10 shut behind him he was back on the Back Benches. Probably in a spot beside Jacob Rees-Mogg. Gove as Justice Sec had begun a program of prison reform which we will now have to wait and see if that continues under Liz Truss. With the return to the back benches of Gove goes the last sign of any reforming social zeal in Mrs May’s Government. But who cares about Prison Reform no votes in that. The Prisoners on the wings of UK prisons have little hope in many cases. That hope is even smaller tonight.