Mad Mullah: Bordering On Reckless

Posted By: September 04, 2005

Bordering on reckless

Irish Echo. August 31 – September 6, 2005 Editorial.

The increasingly bizarre behavior of Michael McDowell,
Ireland’s minister for justice, is raising eyebrows on both
sides of the Atlantic, and even within the Irish

Thus far, most of his intemperate outbursts and crackpot
schemes have been attributed to an insatiable appetite for
self promotion. Such an approach, after all, is virtually a
requirement for the aspirant leader of his junior
government coalition party, the Progressive Democrats.

But his latest suggestion, that the authorities should
continue to prosecute people for IRA membership — despite
the fact that the organization has stood itself down —
borders on reckless.

“The IRA remains an illegal organization because its
constitution is treasonable,” McDowell said on Irish
national radio. He added that he expected the IRA to
decommission all its weaponry soon.

If it remains illegal to be a member of the IRA, one must
presume that anyone remaining in the organization, even for
the sole purpose of cooperating with the de-commissioning
body headed by General John de Chastelain, risks a jail

McDowell’s motivation for adopting this position is not
clear. It is possible that he is locked in the past, unable
to grasp that the war in the North is over and we must all
move on.

Or he could be so cynical as to be willing to risk the
peace process so that he can pose as a hard man to some of
his old Fine Gael constituents in south Dublin.

Or perhaps he is simply a unionist — all of his public
statements would indicate so. There would be nothing wrong
with that, except that one might expect an Irish minister
for justice to uphold the Irish Constitution, and with it
the quest for reunification.

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