Dear Joan — Shocked!

Diarmuid Breatnach

Dear Joan,

I am so shocked at that verdict. What a travesty! That’s the trouble with the jury system, I often thought – it doesn’t always do what’s right. A pity you couldn’t have brought them to the Special Criminal Court, where there’s no jury at all. I bet you regret you and the Party voting against the Special Criminal Court in 2009. The judge did her best but what can you do with the likes of them – who knows where they dragged that jury up from! ‘Not Guilty’ indeed!

I attended court while you were giving evidence and I thought you were magnificent. Four days in the witness box and you managed to answer hardly any question put to you by the Defence lawyers. And in the course of it, still managing to get digs in at the Defendants — those Communist and Republican agitators! It was a most impressive performance!

Of course, in another court, on another day, you might not have got away with it so much but all due credit for playing the field and taking full advantage of the referee you had!

I have to say, your assistant Karen O’Connell was quite good too, even if she only played half the time you did – two days, wasn’t it? I had to get back to our business by then – have to keep an eye on the staff — but I read about it.

Joan Burton, Irish Labour Party
(Image source: Internet)

A pity about her slip at Jobstown, however, calling them “dregs” …. But they ARE the dregs aren’t they? Unemployed and probably all on drugs, probably unmarried, letting their kids run around and who knows what, not that I’m prejudiced but just calling it like it is. But Karen should have remembered it’s the votes of the dregs you and your party need too. Not that I’m political, really – I just want the country managed so that we can run our businesses without having disruption, or having to look over our shoulder ….

It was clever how you all tried to get over that slip, by her saying that what she meant by “dregs” was “the remainder, like what’s left in a cup of tea” … but I don’t think most people believed it. Your request to be allowed to view the video footage on your own first because you were becoming emotional was brilliant, though! Those who know you in the Dáil wouldn’t fall for you being that soft for one minute but it was a really good one to play on the jury.

How outrageous that the Defence were able to use your own Ipad conversations against you! That really shouldn’t be allowed. Doesn’t it come under an “invasion of privacy” or something? How disgusting to know their slimy hands were on recordings of your voices and of the Gardaí – makes me shudder just to think about it!

And you were right, years ago, to complain about these protesters having Ipads, just for videoing at protests. There they were, contradicting Garda evidence with their video footage! Someone should have a word with the Gardaí, though. I understand that if you want to convict someone, you need to have a number of witnesses saying he did or said something wrong. But all agreeing on one sentence which the video proves he didn’t say? That’s just embarrassing our police force! They need some kind of training – a friend called it “stitchup workshops” but funny though that was, of course you’d have to call it something else.

You warned the country about protesters having Ipads but did they listen? No, of course not – in fact some of them mocked you. They should introduce a licencing sytem for Ipads, like for guns …. and none of those yobbos would get a license.

I have to commend the fighting spirit of your daughter, Aoife. I heard she took up an extra seating spot beside her with her bag in the public gallery so none of that scum could sit beside her and, when one of them tried to, said that the area was reserved for “victims”! Brilliant! With an attitude like that, I can see her in government some day! You must be really proud of her.

What a shame the court usher wouldn’t support her, making her pick up her bag and allow one of the crowd to sit next to her. Where did they all come from? The courtroom was packed every day and hardly a one from your own Party!

The Jobstown Seven
(Image source: Internet)

That other chap, the younger yobbo, the one who got convicted of kidnapping, Jay something …. Jay Walker? No … that’s one of the characters in Star Wars, isn’t it? Anyway, HE wasn’t allowed to bring his protesting entourage into the Juvenile Court in Smithfield. That’s a much better way to manage things.

I told you two years ago, when I heard about what they did to you at Jobstown, how outraged I was and how much I felt for you (why is it called Jobstown anyway? There’s hardly a single job out there!). I don’t know why you can’t have an armed escort when you visit wild places – imagine Hillary Clinton going to visit Iraq or Afghanistan without travelling in an armoured vehicle with an Army escort!

Or maybe you could go in and out of an area like that in a helicopter, like the Army did in South Armagh. They’d have to build helipads on top of buildings ….. wait a minute, think of the extra employment! Fianna Fáil would be glad to get in on the contracts for that, I’m sure.

What I’m worried about now is …. what most people are worried about ….. well, most people who count ….. is: will the courts be able to get convictions now against those who are coming up in the next couple of Jobstown trials?

Yours always,


Gombina Plunderall.




Heather Humhpreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Heather Humhpreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (now of Arts, Regional Development & Rural Affairs)

Diarmuid Breatnach


Dear Minister Humphreys,

In response to your request that we sort out letters from the public supportive of your work addressed to you or to this Department and forward them to you, I attach them in Appendix below. I apologise for the delay but we have had to deal with quite a volume of correspondence in order to find letters of that nature.

With regard to your request that we categorise and enumerate the letters of a critical nature from the public, that has been easier in some respects but due to volume has unfortunately taken longer; nevertheless here follows the relevant report up to midday yesterday:

Letters disapproving by category and amount:

  • Criticising your plan on Moore Street (to save four buildings and demolish some others): 73
  • Questioning your appointment as Minister for a Department with responsibilities for the Gaeltacht: 9
  • Questioning your appointment of McHugh (non-Irish-speaker) as Minister for the Gaeltacht: 11
  • Questioning your fitness to be a Minister for Heritage: 67
  • Questioning your fitness to be a Minister for Arts: 8
  • Raising two or more of above issues in the same letter: 51
  • Total number of critical letters: 103 (There were in addition a score of critical letters which, while containing comments of a highly personal nature, were difficult to ascribe to a specific category within the ‘critical’ band although they were certainly critical).

May I respectfully enquire whether there has been any progress with the recruitment of additional clerical support, even if on a temporary basis?


Ima Clarke

Secretarial and Statistical Support,
Department of Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht.

Letters approving
of Ministerial Action

Dear Heather,

Don’t let history stand in the way of more shopping centres.
We support you!

Mary Browne-Envelop.

Dear Heather,
History, who needs it! Money makes the world go around – we must grab it while we can.

Phyllis Stein.

Dear Heather,

You should bring out the Army and shoot these campaigners down like our forefathers did in 1922.

Hugh Javarice.


Dear Minister,

It’s not 1916 we should be commemorating but 1922. By God, we showed those Republicans then, didn’t we?

Eva Blushyrt.


Dear Heather,

Please don’t listen to the mob. We agree with you: shopping centres – the more the merrier – are more important than heritage.

Charles Gombeenson.


Dear Minister,

Please continue clearing history to make way for more shopping centres.

Cecilia Showneen.


Dear Heather,

Hold the line! Who runs this country, property speculators and bankers or the common mob?!

Rowena Fumblytill.