Hardly surprising if ‘Majority backed Kenny’s Cloyne speech’

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

It is hardly surprising if a majority of the messages sent to the Department of the Taoiseach in the two weeks following Enda Kenny’s Cloyne speech, expressed support for the Taoiseach, as reported in this morning’s Irish Examiner.

However, this finding does not vindicate the Government’s position.

Instead of vindicating the Taoiseach, the finding should rather be seen as an indictment:…of the Taoiseach and his Government, for misleading the people; and of ‘the media’, for failing to alert the public to the significant errors in the Taoiseach’s speech.

The people, as a whole were rightly angry about the mismanagement of child abuse cases by the Church and some were relieved when the Taoiseach appeared to give vent to this anger, even if his actions seemed to be an attempt to deflect anger from the Government over its decision to break an election promise and close the Accident and Emergency unit of Roscommon Hospital.

But the people could not have suspected that the Taoiseach would have made so many inaccurate claims about so grave a matter when addressing the Dáil.  If you lie to the people and then say the people believed you, that does not make the lie true!

You see, the facts quite simply did not support the Taoiseach, and when asked to substantiate, for instance, his very specific claim that “for the first time in Ireland, a report in child sexual abuse exposes an attempt by the Holy See to frustrate an inquiry in a sovereign, democratic republic as little as three years ago”, Enda Kenny, through his spokesperson, was quite unable to do so in any remotely satisfactory way.

Nor did the Taoiseach make an attempt to address the charge that he had quoted the Pope completely out of context or that the Taoiseach was, in effect, criticising the Holy See for not having expressed full support, some 14 years ago (the issue of Archbishop Storeo’s  1997 letter) , for a measure which the then Fine Gael/Labour coalition government, of which he was a member, did not itself support!

The media has, by and large failed to give adequate airing to these charges against the Taoiseach and, in so far as it has done so, it has not presented them as solidly grounded in fact, which they are, but simply as part of a feeble defense which should not be seriously entertained. By contrast, the Taoiseach’s allegations were, by and large, unquestioningly presented as facts. Facts presented as fakes and fakes presented as facts. The irony should not be lost on Seán Gallagher!

Didn’t we hear somewhere that journalism  is  supposed to be about the facts, a point made again recently in defence of Eamon Dunphy’s alleged failure as a journalist for not making people ‘feel good about themselves’?

But if ‘news is news’, and the facts matter, why is the Examiner not taking the opportunity, in this  morning’s  article, to point out the fact that Enda Kenny got his facts wrong?

Instead, by reporting  on approval for the Taoiseach’s Cloyne speech without  addressing the fake elephants in the room of  false allegations  and misleading  the Dail, the Examiner  is only covering up the truth and covering  for the  Taoiseach, a  sad parody of what good  journalism  should be.

Rather than seeking to defend the indefensible, The Examiner and the Irish  media, in  general, would be better served by finding out who really wrote that speech, for example, as it displayed, in equal measure, an ignorance and a knowledge well beyond the Taoiseach, as well as an agenda which had less to do with addressing the management of child abuse by the Church (much less that of child abuse, in general) than it had to do with stitching up the Pope. We need to ask, then, whose hands are rocking the cradle of the ‘new republic’?

The people were and continue to be largely, misinformed  by the Government. And this is happening under the nose of a sleeping media which only seems to wake up these days in order to bark at the Church or some other politically approved target.

One must also consider if the relatively low proportion of critical messages from  is not also a reflection of the degree to which people feel alienated from the Government and the media.

This is a most serious issue for our democracy. If the Government can get away with telling lies about the Earthly leader of the  Faith adhered to by the majority of its citizens, then is it surprising if some people were tempted to ask, what’s the pont in complaining?

“If you lie to the people and then say the people believed you, that does not make the lie true!”


  1. Well it’s clear to me that Fr Flannery of the ACP has his hand up the political puppet Enda Kenny here. Joining the dots is child’s play. Mr Kenny was advised by Fr Flannerys brother and given the backing of the clergy according to the ACP with the backing of the laity and so the whole church! While Enda Kenny has proven his chicken liver approach to the big guns on the continent this weak leader has embraced the anti Vatican anti Pope rantings of the group led by Fr Flannery. the founder of the Association of Catholic Priests. And yet we asked for separation of Church and state and here our Taoiseach is being advised by a bunch of anti Roman Catholic clergy! This is GUBU (rotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented) at it’s best. When the Bishops were informed and asked to intervene and disband this group they responded with silence. So one more dot is joined. The Bishops of Ireland want to break with Rome and are doing this through the ACP.

  2. Caroline says:

    “The Irish Examiner requested to view letters and emails received by the department between July 20 and August 1. ”

    This is a very small time frame, (too small for such a big issue!) especially since it was holiday time. I did not send my email until after this date.

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