Very, very frightening February 14, 2007Posted by franklittle in Culture, Ireland, Irish Election 2007, Irish Politics, media, Media and Journalism, Northern Ireland, Republicans, Sinn Féin.
With candidates declared for the Assembly Elections in March, a good deal of debate has been taking place around the Dissident, or Independent, Republican candidates running in the election. One of the most high profile of them is Gerry McGeough, running in Fermanagh-South Tyrone, a former IRA prisoner and a former member of Sinn Féin’s Ard Chomhairle.
He is also editor, and published I think, of The Hibernian, which I’ve not read before but the February edition of which I came across today in Tuthills and with little else to read with my sandwich, thought I’d check it out.
It’s scary stuff. Very, very scary. On the front page is a picture of McGeough and….the Virgin Mary. A big one. It’s done in such a way that it almost looks like the Shinner strategy of having candidates stand behind Adams‘ shoulder. The headline ‘We can win’ is straight-forward enough, though what the ‘we’ is referring to is an interesting one. Slightly lacking in subtlety, the strap on the bottom advertises an historical article about the Battle for Fermanagh of 1594. And McGeough is running in what constituency again?
Inside, the editorial, and this is where alarm bells went off.
“For months now, we have been urging our readers to become involved in all aspects of life that would lead to the promotion of the Catholic Patriot cause and help bring about the Kingship of Christ on Earth.”
“We have argued that if we want to tackle the Liberal/Masonic Agenda and prevent the introduction of legislation that would favour abortion, pornography and the promotion of other abominations we must engage the opposition with action as well as prayer.”
Further down, we have more reference to Catholic Patriotism and he concludes with:
“Let us go forward in the name of the Holy Trinity and under the protective banner of Our Lady. Éirinn go Brách – Ireland Forever.”
Beside the editorial, an announcement about the magazine’s National Rosary Crusade, which aims to get groups of people together in their locality all over Ireland to recite the rosary and pray for ‘Our Lady’s intercession on behalf of Ireland in these perilous times’.
I just don’t know where to begin. Other articles deal with the Bilderbergs, the perils of television and homosexuality, and a comment piece arguing that only through Christ can we rebuild Western civilisation. Catholic Patriotism? Creating the Kingdom of Christ on Earth? This is a world away from modern, and even traditional, Irish republicanism.
It is one of the most right-wing pieces of Irish literature I’ve read in recent times. Backing McGeough raises questions for Dissident republicanism as to whether this is their alternative, though one can’t see the Real IRA going on a National Rosary Crusade. There are also a couple of questions for the Shinners as to how a madman like this got onto their Ard Chomhairle.
Finally, this is a 36 page, colour publication costing two euros, even if on cheap paper and cheap ink, there’s money behind this. There are questions there too.