Dessie O’Malley, Mc Dowell’s Spiritual Father

Posted By: March 11, 2005

Dessie O’Malley, Mc Dowell’s Spiritual Father

Here is another enlightening article on the fascism that Mc Dowell has inherited. In 1971 Dessie O’Malley — infamous for his hostility to any one who defied the corrupt and oppressive system in Northern Ireland — was Minister for Justice in the Irish Republic. As the following article reveals, just weeks after the British Government re -introduced Internment (imprisonment without charge or trial) in the North on August 9, 1971, O’Malley introduced a ban (Section 31) forbidding RTE (Ireland’s national Radio and TV) to interview members of Sinn Fein and other Republicans who were opposing the evils of Internment… So just as the oppression of British Government needed to be exposed, O’Malley did all in his undemocratic power to cover up for the British… Can any real Irish-American or any true Irishman or Irishwoman excuse that, least of all stand by it?

In 1985 O’Malley would split from Fianna Fail and form — with Michael Mc Dowell — the Progressive Democrats (“Democrat” in much the same way as the late racist U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond was previously a Democrat before he defected to the Republican Party).

Notice in this article how Mc Dowell was one of those opposed to scrapping Section 31 and the ending of this outrageous State-censorship…

Doesn’t that say it all about this Minister for “Justice”?

Fr. Sean Mc Manus

Daily Ireland (Belfast)
Wednesday, March 09 2005

New McCarthyism In Journalism

When you next read a newspaper published in Dublin you should be very careful, because a lot of very important people consider that you should not rush to judgment about matters of political importance.

A book has just been published in which Helen Shaw, a former director of radio with RTÔ, says the following, referring to the early 1990s:

Media censorship made it more difficult for the Dublin-based media and political establishment to accept when John Hume started meeting and talking to the very people who were deemed too terrible to broadcast.

She continues: Demonisation of many central players so isolated the audience that the story could readily be dismissed and switched off.

She adds: Ireland’s experience of broadcast censorship should become an international case study in the consequences of excluding and silencing voices so that other democracies may learn from our experience rather than allowing fear, hysteria or misguided patriotism to dictate the freedom to debate the limits of a free and democratic media.

Freedom of speech and opinion, freedom to debate, to know these are not freedoms to be parked when society is under threat. That is the time when we need them most.

Ms Shaw adds that, it is a matter of public record that when the Workers Party held a significant influence in parts of the Dublin media, in both RTÔ and the daily newspapers, this meant that voices that were raising questions could be marginalised or dismissed.

Ms Shaw is not an isolated voice. Both Alex White, a barrister and former producer of Ireland’s most successful radio programme, and Mark O’Brien, a political scientist, set out in the book to describe the intermittent legal challenges to Section 31 that punctuated the hysteria which prevailed during the period of the censorship. These included challenges to the ban from a Sinn Fein candidate called Lynch and the subsequent attempt by Purcell and others to overthrow the rule, which was eventually rejected by the European courts.

The Progressive Democrat leader Desmond Malley made the original ruling under Section 31, just weeks after the introduction of internment without trial in the six counties.

Effectively the republican movement at that time was on the ropes. Some 300 people were picked up by the British and interned in late 1971, and most of them were not Provos but socialists.

Malley was no lover of media liberty: later it emerged that his successors got drawn into conflict over rather mundane matters with the editor of the Irish Press, the editor of the Irish Times and even with a reporter on Hibernia magazine.

When Michael D Higgins decided to scrap the censorship in the early 1990s by not renewing ministerial orders after a period of 20 years he said that his primary opponents included a number of significant others who worked at RTÔ and who favoured the retention of Section 31 because it made life easy. He is quoted in the book to this effect.

Higgins said that primary people who advanced the case for renewal of the Broadcasting Acts Section 31 included his own justice department and politicians such as Michael McDowell and Bobby Molloy, both members of the PDs.

Farell Corcoran, a former chairperson of RTÔ, has said about the issue: In the first few years of post-Section 31 broadcasting, I could not be sure that a majority of my colleagues did not deeply resent the new-found freedom of Sinn Fein to speak directly to journalists and Irish audiences. Over the previous two decades many complex layers of self-censorship had been formed within RTÔ, aided by an unofficial staff watchdog associated with Sinn Fein-The Workers Party…the Stickies as they were popularly known had become increasingly sympathetic to unionist and revisionist interpretations of the conflict in the North and pushed their new-found interpretation of the conflict through the Ned Stapleton Cumann, which operated through the RTÔ branch of the Federated Workers Union of Ireland.

Dr Colum Kenny makes an important contribution to the book. He says, frankly, that there was strong public support for Section 31 as well as within RTÔ and that journalists ultimately faced the sanction of losing their jobs if they disobeyed the rules of Section 31.

Now, the term McCarthyism has come back into vogue in recent weeks.

Essentially it is a term used to describe a process whereby people in the United States were deprived of the right to earn a living because they held left wing views.

In recent weeks, the term has been rather crudely applied to target people who hold republican ideas. In other words, if someone is of the view that Irish people should have the right to self-determination then they should be described in McCarthyite terms.

A close friend of mine once went to work in RTÔ in a rather junior position in the 1970s. On his first day at work he went for a cup of coffee in the staff canteen. He was a young man who had been hired as a junior researcher, and he is now widely regarded as one of Ireland’s best journalists. He was immensely startled that day when one of the most senior editorial executives made his way towards him as he drank his coffee. The man told him that no matter how many years he worked at the station, his career would go nowhere.

No matter how good his work was, it would all be to no avail.

It was commonly known within the station that this man had close political connections with The Workers Party. My friend was simply not welcome at the station because he held different political views, even though the station was paid for by the taxpayer.

Subsequently, I wondered if this could be an extreme view or if my friend’s descriptions of how he was treated were an exaggeration.

I was absolutely gobsmacked about a year later when a young man whom I knew well, and for whom I still have a high regard as a journalist, was
parachuted into RTÔ to work as a reporter on a leading current affairs programme.

Now I could never get such an exalted position, but my acquaintance had no problem. The last time I saw him in the flesh he was attending the annual conference of the Union of Students in Ireland and singing a bizarre song extolling the virtues of Stalin’s Five Year Plan.

Now he’s a decent guy and he’s a good journalist but next time you switch on RTÔ just think about it.

My friend had no right to pursue a career there.

Neither had I. Neither had President Mary MacAleese who worked there in the 1980s, but people who bizarrely knew how to sing late at night about the merits of Stalin’s economic planning system were a shoo-in.

They never had the talent to become a Reid Professor of Law at Trinity College, but they did know somebody who could not spell, could not write grammatical sentences but who could procure a top post in RTÔ.

That was their party card. So to speak.

Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849