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.

 

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OH HEATHER!

Oh Heather, it was so brave of you to go down to Moore Street to lay a wreath there on Easter Monday — so courageous! Bearding the lion in its den, so to speak. I do admire your courage, I really do … but was it wise, dear?

Heather Humhpreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Heather Humhpreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

You must have known that Moore Street campaign mob would see that as a challenge – in fact, a red rag to a bull, if I can use another animal metaphor, for that is what they are, animals! Hooting and whistling! But you must have known they would do that. Surely some other Government representative could have gone. Why, oh why did you go there, Heather? Did I not invite you to have lunch out of town with me this weekend, my treat?

Well, maybe you expected that mob to act up and thought they would lose public sympathy? As I was saying to you before, times have changed. A couple of years ago that might have worked but the way that fickle public are these days … Of course, some did condemn them – but have you seen the numbers of people who were queuing up to congratulate them? No, don’t ask – I won’t tell you, it would only depress you. Citizens? Don’t make me laugh!

Or maybe you wanted to draw them out and let the uniformed Gardaí deal with them, or perhaps some of them in plain clothes, looking like outraged members of the public, give them the hiding they deserve? Not a bad plan, except for those mobile phone video cameras and IPads everyone seems to have (Joan Burton was right to suggest the mob shouldn’t have them). But our police tussling with demonstrators about Moore Street in that same street when you seem to have lost the case in court, and no government yet in place? Too much to ask of the Gardaí, darling, much too much. In another place, yes of course, like Rossport, out of sight …. Or even in this place, in a previous time ….

Oh, Heather, don’t be so stubborn! Come away down country or let’s even slip across to England somewhere and have a lovely long weekend. Oh I know what you’ll say.: “Everyone’s afraid to be out of town while back-room dealing is going on to decide who’s going to be in the next government and who’s getting what job” … Yes, I know you are a politician. At least promise me we’ll slip away soon. Yes?

Speaking of “slipping”: Are things slipping away from us? Is it all going to go to the mob? All we’ve built up and salted away over the years? Surely not …. but …. all this talk of “the Republic”! And “the words of the Proclamation”! … I can’t wait for this year to be over. But will things get back to normal afterwards? And there’s that nasty guerrilla war centenary coming in just another three years!

We just might need a little coup, darling. I was thinking that when I was watching all those soldiers and tanks going by our seats …. and all the Gardaí road blocks with military police around town too, keeping the mob out. Sometimes a coup is just what the mob needs, to pull them into line. “Setting boundaries” I think they call it nowadays.

Your friend always,

Phyllis Stein

DEAR HEATHER HUMPHREYS

Dear Heather,

I hope this finds you well — although how you could be, with the mob besetting you on all sides, is anyone’s guess. As if you wouldn’t have enough problems already with the economy! Who’d be a politician these days and especially in the year that’s in it? Well, yes, I do know that you get paid for your trouble. But what does the mob expect for their paltry €157,540 per annum? Sure one could never run a decent-sized house with servants and cars and kids going to university on that kind of money (not to mention the holidays you’d need, just to take a break from the mob).

Heather Humhpreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

The truth is, Heather, that the mob have had it in for you from the beginning – they never gave you a chance. First it was that you are not an Irish-speaker. Well! Who needs to be able to speak that dead language anyway (well, nearly dead, and the sooner the better)! Well, yes, ok, the Irish-speaking areas are part of your special responsibility, it’s called “the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht”, it is true, but everyone knows that the “Gaeltacht” just got added on to your Department’s responsibilities because it had to be put somewhere.

However, I do think it was unwise of you, if you don’t me saying this to you as a friend, to put that McHugh in the Gaeltacht job as Minister of State. I know he’s doing his best but darling it’s simply excruciating to listen to him stumbling over his koopla fukal (no, I’m not being rude) in public speeches. Surely there must a Blueshirt somewhere who can speak decent Irish?

Thankfully, with the Arts budget cut so thoroughly by this Government and the previous one, you didn’t have too much to worry about there. But Heritage? Oh dear! You’d think for that, one would just have to stick some cement on crumbling castles and pay some staff to look after some cromlechs or something, wouldn’t you? Or pay for the upkeep of some of those lovely Georgian or Victorian big houses (like the one you sorted out for Enda in his Mayo constituency – no, no, I don’t blame you one bit. Always look out for the boss, I say, if you want him to look after you.)

But a row of dilapidated houses in the city centre next to an untidy and smelly street market! Heritage! God give me strength – and you too, Heather, poor darling. That mob, Heather – fifteen years, going on for sixteen, they’ve been banging away about that. What a pity that Joe O’Reilly (bit of a boor really, but still ….) fell on hard times and couldn’t proceed with the demolition of that whole sorry terrace years ago and save you all this heartache!

Nothing is enough for that mob, nothing! Give them an inch and they’ll be screaming for a mile. First it was a clamour for Joe O’Reilly to put back the State’s 1916 50th anniversary plaque that had fallen off the front of No.16 Moore Street and ended up in his Chartered Land office. Honestly, the hullabaloo! Then it was one house the mob wanted made a monument, then it was four. Then the whole terrace — they’ll want the whole country next!

And just when you were going to have some of the houses demolished, that mob, the worst of them, occupied the buildings and stopped the demolition. What are we coming to? If it were me, Heather, I’ll tell you now, I’d have sent our own SWAT team in right away. You have to be tough with that kind of element, Heather, like your party was back in 1922 and ’23 — and sometimes you’re too soft. Yes, you know you are. Oh, sure, some liberals and Republicans would have kicked up a fuss but those vandals in occupation would have been dead or in jail and the terrace a demolished pile within hours. Let them try and get up a campaign over a pile of rubble!

I wonder whether it was wise to call yourself “a proud Irish republican”, when you were appointed, Heather. You had the job, after all, so why say things like that? It’s not as though your FG colleagues would be expecting it of you and it was, as they say, giving a hostage to fortune. Was it perhaps because you felt a bit insecure, as the only Presbyterian in the Government? Oh, Heather – you should know by now that there’s only one religion in Government, and it’s above even Christianity, never mind its various sects.

I despise the mob as much as you do, Heather but I think you could have thrown them a couple of bones a bit earlier. Buying the four houses from O’Reilly (a million each? Not bad, not bad at all for inner-city run down properties!) at the end of 2015 was obviously going to be too little, too late, with Easter 2016 just around the corner. That might have worked a few years ago but not now. You’d have been better off hanging tough, as our masters across the pond say, and giving them nothing except the back of your hand. Now they’ve got the bit between their teeth, collecting thousands of signatures, marching, picketing, blockading …. and even talking about what kind of a Republic they should have.

Heaven forbid they should ever get the Republic they want for if they do, I’ll be transferring whatever assets I can liquidate and getting out of the country as fast as I can.

But I digress …. What about the elections? Nobody expects the Government to survive, so no point worrying about that. Who will take their place? Well, remember when your party and Labour ousted Fianna Fáil? Election promises aside, it was business as usual afterwards, wasn’t it? It’ll probably be the same this time. Well, let’s hope so, anyway.

And your own Dáil seat? Is it safe? I do worry about that. We must have lunch soon and have a good gossip. The Radisson perhaps? Or better still a trip to Blarney, my treat? Anyway, one wouldn’t want to be around Dublin, of all places, at Easter …. with the year that’s in it.

That’s all for now, best wishes,

Phyllis Stein

DEAR MINISTER

Dear Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton,

Joan Burton, Labour Party TD, Minister for Social Protection in Fine Gael/ Labour coalition Irish Government.

Joan Burton, Labour Party TD, Minister for Social Protection in Fine Gael/ Labour coalition Irish Government.

I thought I should write to you to express my appreciation of your standing up to that bully Joan Collins and that baying mob of reds and general hooligans that is always howling for the blood of those few, like yourself, who are willing to stand up and tell a few home truths.

You were quite right to point out that videos hostile to the Gardaí were being posted on the Internet by people who had access to expensive mobile phones and Ipads. Some of these are obviously professional red agitators (in the old days, we could be sure that they were receiving funding from Soviet Russia but it’s harder to say where they get their money from these days).

Other people filming and posting are bound to be ne’erdowells who’d rather spend their money on these Ipads and things rather than pay their water bills like good citizens. They probably have expensive television sets on which they’re watching the news too, not only RTÉ but “alternative” media, such as that muck-raking “Democracy Now!”. To be honest, I’ve wondered sometimes whether it was wise to educate the working classes but now, sure one doesn’t have to be able to read to watch videos and news reports, does one?

And attacking the poor Gardaí, who are only doing their job! Their critics say that they don’t deal effectively with crime in working class areas but turn out in big numbers to police protests.  That is clearly nonsense.  Why, I had a burglar alarm tripped in my Killiney Hill residence the other day and two squad cars were there within four minutes! It was a false alarm, but still ….. Some people say that if the Gardaí weren’t behaving badly, they wouldn’t be giving their critics anything to put on the Internet, but that’s not the point. Sure you can’t deal with the kind of people who live in places like Darndale or Clare Hall without being a little robust – it’s what they understand, what they practice among themselves. It’s only the Gardaí being culturally sensitive, if you like. But who likes doing his job while being videoed (well, film stars maybe … and celebrities … and politicians, maybe)?

Joan Collins TD

Joan Collins, TD (elected Member of Irish Parliament), many years a socialist community activist.

As for your one, that Joan Collins? A postal clerk, I ask you! What can a postal clerk know about what it takes to run a country? Not like yourself, now, having previously worked as a lecturer in accountancy. But getting back to that Collins …. sure looking at her history is like a career in far-left organisations – the Socialist Party, People Before Profit, the United Left Alliance, and now in the United Left, with that other red get, Clare Daly.

The Collins woman has no sense of propriety or occasion. Did she not give Bertie Ahern a tongue-lashing as he was being interviewed on TV on the day of his resignation outside the Dáil! “Shame on you!” she shouted at him; no, shame on her! I know you’ll agree with me here, although the Soldiers of Destiny party has never been one of our closest friends. Poor Bertie had put in years of service as a TD and Taoiseach and was entitled to his pension of €135,000 (and he hadn’t even been condemned by the Mahon Tribunal yet)! I hope he has opened a bank account since, as with rising crime, stuffing money under the mattress is no longer a safe option.

But forgive me, I’m drifting off the point. I just wanted to say “fair play” to you for speaking the truth and standing up to that red rabble-rouser Collins. And if you ever get around to banning the trouble-makers from carrying mobile phones or from putting such provocative videos up on the Internet, you’ll have my full support. Our democracy needs to be protected from people like them.

Respectfully,

Shleevy N. Fawning

Video of exchange between the two Joans in the Dáil in which the Minister makes comments about protesters with “expensive Ipads”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6RmC9a82P8

Sorry, Your Majesty

Queen Elizabeth II Delivers Annual SpeechYour Most Exalted Majesty, Queen of the United Kingdom of Britain and Northern Ireland, Commander-in-Chief of the UK Armed Forces, Head of the Church of England, Queen of the Commonwealth.

We trust this letter finds your Highness well, as we do also with regard to Your Highness’ large family and of course your trusted corgis.

 

I am tasked with writing to yourselves in order to make some embarrassing admissions and to ask your Royal forgiveness.

 

No doubt your family carries the memory of an uprising in Dublin in 1916? Yes, of course one’s family does, as you say. Well …. the embarrassing thing is this ……. it’s so difficult to say but no amount of dressing up is going to make it better so I’d best just come out with it: that was us. Yes, it’s true.

 

Not just us, of course. There were a load of Reds in green uniforms too, Connolly and Markievicz’s lot. And of course our female auxiliaries, and the youth group. But most of that rebellious band was us, the Irish Volunteers. I can’t adequately express to your Highness how ashamed we are of it all now. Your government of the time was quite right to authorise the courts-martial of hundreds of us and to sentence so many to death. Your magnanimity is truly astounding that only thirteen were shot by firing squads and that Casement fellow hanged.

 

But were we grateful? Not a bit of it! Does your Highness know that some people still go on about that Red and trade union agitator, James Connolly, being shot in a chair? What would they have your Army do? Shoot him standing up? Sure he had a shattered ankle and gangrene in his leg! One can’t please some people – damned if one does something and damned if one doesn’t. If the Army hadn’t kindly lent him a chair, those same people would be saying that the British wouldn’t even give him a chair to sit on while they shot him.

And how did we repay your Higness’ kindness and magnanimity in only executing fourteen? And in releasing about a thousand after only a year on dieting rations? By campaigning for independence almost immediately afterwards and starting a guerilla war just three years after that Rising! A guerilla war that went on for no less than three years. Your Majesty, we burn with shame just thinking of it now!

Our boys chased your loyal police force out of the countryside, shot down your intelligence officers in the streets of Dublin, ambushed your soldiers from behind stone walls and bushes ….. but still your Highness did not give up on us. Some people still go on and on about the two groups of RIC Auxiliaries and the things they did, referring to them by the disrespectful nicknames of “Black and Tans” (after a pack of hunting dogs) and “Auxies”. They exaggerate the number of murders, tortures, arson and theft carried out by them. Of course, your Highness, we realise now, though it’s taken a century for us to come to that realisation, that sending us that group of police auxiliaries was a most moderate response by yourself. But we were too blind to see that then and shot at them as well!

And that fellow Barry and his Flying Column of West Cork hooligans, wiped out a whole column of them. Your Highness will no doubt find it hard to believe this, but some troublemaker even went so far as to compose a song in praise of that cowardly ambush! Oh yes, indeed! And some people still sing it today – in fact they sing songs about a lot of regrettable things we did, even going back as far as when we fought against your Royal ancestors Henry and Elizabeth Ist! Truly I don’t know how your Highness keeps her patience.

Then we went on and declared a kind of independence for most of the country but …. some of us weren’t even satisfied with that! It was good of you to have your Army lend Collins a few cannon and armoured cars to deal with those troublemakers.

And then some time later, even after those generous loans, some of us declared a Republic and pulled the country (four fifths of it, at any rate), out of the Commonwealth. Left the great family of nations that your Highness leads! Words fail me ….well almost, but I must carry on, painful though it is to do so. A full confession must be made – nothing less will do. And then, perhaps …. forgiveness.

Of course your government held on to six counties …. You were still caring for us, even after all our ingratitude! It was like hanging on to something left behind by someone who stormed off in an argument – giving them an excuse to come back for it, so there can be a reconciliation. How incredibly generous and far-sighted of your Majesty to leave that door open all that time!

Fifty years after that shameful Rising, it was celebrated here with great pomp and cheering, even going so far as to rename railway stations that had perfectly good British names, giving them the names of rebel leaders instead. Then just a few years later, some of our people up North started making a fuss about civil rights and rose up against your loyal police force, forcing your government to send in your own Army. And was that enough for the trouble-makers? Of course not – didn’t they start a war with your soldiers and police that lasted thirty years!

 

No doubt your Majesty will have noted that some of those troublemakers have changed their ways completely and are in your Northern Ireland government now. They’ve been helping to pass on the necessary austerity measures in your government’s budgets, campaigning for the acceptance of the police force and for no protests against yourself. Indeed, their Martin McGuinness has shaken your hand and rest assured were it not considered highly inappropriate and lacking in decorum, he would have been glad to kiss your cheek, as he did with Hillary Clinton when she visited. Or both cheeks, in your Majesty’s case! Your Majesty can see, I hope, that we can be reformed.

 

Our crimes are so many, your Highness; and we have been so, so ungrateful. But we were hoping, after you’d heard our confession, our humble apologies, after your Highness had seen how desperately sorry we are, that you’d forgive us. And if it’s not too much to hope for, that you’d take us back into the United Kingdom. Reunite us with those six counties, and so into the Commonwealth. Is there even a tiniest chance? Please tell us what we have to do and we’ll do it, no matter how demeaning. Please?

 

Your most humble servant,

P. O’Neill Jnr.

LETTER TO MEMBER NY ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE COMMITTEE

To: Patrick Brian Boru Murphy                                             From: Cornelius McSclawvey,
NY St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee                                            Teernagoogh.
New York.                                                                                                  Republic of Ireland.

20th March 2014.

Re. invitation to PSNI to march in NY Parade

 

Dear Patrick Brian Boru Murphy,

I’m so sorry to hear of all the abuse you had to endure over your Committee’s decision to invite the Police Service of Northern Ireland to participate in the NY City’s Parade this year. To be honest, it was an overdue decision – even Sinn Fein accepted the PSNI years ago!  And of course urged your Committee to stand by the invitation — fair play to them although I’ve never liked them, I have to say.

But just who do these yobbos think they are? Those Irish-Americans who objected are living behind the times. And the gall of them to remind you of Peter King, selected Grand Marshall for the 1985 NY Parade, visiting IRA man Joe Doherty when he was in NY jail fighting extradition back to the UK! And the Philadelphia Parade committee making the same Joe Doherty Grand Marshall of their Parade back in 1989. Sure are we not all permitted a mistake or two in our lives?

Of course it was from the Irish Consulate that the suggestion first came to invite the PSNI. Some people, like that Larry Kirwan (of “Black ’47” musical notoriety), accused the Consulate of catering only for the rich Irish-Americans, the lace-curtain crowd. Yes, he did – he even put it in one of his books! Or so I’ve been told – I wouldn’t waste my time reading any of his rubbish. What’s wrong with lace curtains anyway? They let in light and keep your nosy neighbours’ eyes out – not that any neighbours live on our couple of acres of garden anyway, but still …

The cheek of that Wexford blow-in! And even if it were true, aren’t the successful Irish-Americans the ones who really matter? The likes of the Kennedys, O’Neill and even Republicans like Reagan (I mean the US political party), the ones who made — and keep on making – the USA great! Sure you couldn’t expect a country’s consulate to be looking out for the likes of building workers, bar and hotel staff, nurses and nannies! And even computer programming is pretty run of the mill these days.

Anyway, the Consulate lobbies for more green cards for Irish migrants, allowing them to emigrate to the USA legally, helping to sustain the economy back home through relieving us of paying them social welfare benefits and allowing them to earn money to send back home instead. Of course we know there are not enough green cards and a lot will still be illegal migrants but what can one do? And no doubt that helps keep the wages down … and stops them going on demonstrations and the like ….

Sorry, I’ve been drifting off topic. Your critics have been saying that the PSNI are just the RUC under a different name – that they are the same repressive and sectarian force as always. Well, maybe, but some things we have to just grin and bear, don’t we? And as for repression, sure they’re only persecuting dissidents, people who don’t agree with the Good Friday Agreement. The dissidents say that they’re being persecuted because of their legal political activities and not for breaking any laws. But if you stand against the tide, you must expect a good soaking, I always say.

Anyway, I just wanted to say “well done!” to you and to the rest of the Parade Committee. Hopefully next year you can not only invite the PSNI again but the Ulster Defence Regiment as well! As you know, they were formed from the B-Specials, much as the PSNI were from the RUC. It’s healthy to change the name of organisations every once in a while ….  And maybe the year after that, you can invite the British Parachute Regiment! They will probably never change their name but they are so colourful, with their red berets and wing badges … Fág an Balaugh!

Yours most sincerely,


Cornelius Mc Sclawvey