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Sunday Independent Curious Statement of the Week June 8, 2014

Posted by guestposter in Irish History.

Not much time, and Garibaldy is on leave – so any contributions gratefully accepted, but this from Eoghan Harris was a bit odd. In the course of remembering Sir John Gorman, famously a prominent Catholic Unionist, he notes that:

The 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings reminds me that I had the honour of conversing at length with one of its legendary heroes, Sir John Gorman, who died a few weeks ago. Coming from a well-off farming family in County Tipperary, Gorman was born, reared and remained a Roman Catholic all his life. Brought up in Northern Ireland he also remained that rarity, a Catholic moderate unionist, respected by all sides.


During the Provo campaign Gorman was an active agent in the battle against terrorism. But when I met him in 1999 he was a warrior for peace. He strongly supported David Trimble’s struggle for a Yes vote in the referendum following the Good Friday Agreement and later became the much-loved Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
John Gorman spent his long life in the service of democracy and freedom, both in Normandy and Northern Ireland. To my mind he was a greater Irish patriot than any of the IRA gunmen who came out of Tipperary. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

As noted in comments in the Sunday Independent below the piece by one person.

Surely  it would have been better to have left out sentence number 2 [in the paragraph quoted directly above] in the above tribute to John Gorman.  The man stands on his own two feet and his record.  Comparisons with people who participated in the War of Independence in Tipperary seems pointless considering John was not born then.  It opens a debate on further comparisons – Cork, Roscommon, Clare, Dublin ?


1. hardcorefornerds - June 8, 2014

Gotta love this apologia for 1930s Catholicism: http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/mary-kenny/jimmys-hall-is-a-fine-film-but-irish-society-wasnt-as-black-and-white-as-loach-depicts-30321379.html

Their actual review of the film is pretty sneery too – Irish people won’t appreciate it, because of course we still like what we’re told to like…


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

Yep. Fair enough, nothing is entirely black and white, but it’s odd isn’t it given the week that’s in it she doesn’t really mention just how repressive it was in social terms. It wasn’t just about jazz or anti-communism. It went a lot lot further than that.


Michael Carley - June 8, 2014

Somebody, can’t remember where, pointed out that the interesting thing about the film (which I haven’t seen yet and might have to boycott) is the priest wields great power but then realizes that the rising capitalist class is the one taking that power.

It is occasionally interesting, e.g. in Diarmuid Ferriter’s book on sex, to see clerics, and others, trying to behave properly in the twenties and thirties, on child abuse for example, and being overruled by their superiors, evidence of a systemic problem, and a social domination.


WorldbyStorm - June 8, 2014

And doesn’t that just show how superficial Kenny’s analysis actually is?


ejh - June 9, 2014

Yes, well Kenny is necessarily superficial because she’s one of those columnists for whom it’s really all about her, her rejection of what she said and did in her youth and how this means that she knows everything and can dismiss it with a wave of her hand.


hardcorefornerds - June 9, 2014

There is an interesting scene, which may be the same one, where the senior priest (the Bishop Brennan guy, Norton) is warning about the dangers of Gralton and Communism at the breakfast table, and the younger priest – who’s a bit of a ‘wet’, as it were – is trying to dissuade him, saying ‘there can’t be more than 200 Communists in the whole country’. It’s something I noticed, there seems to be more to the elder priest’s words than one might expect – here, is the younger one implicitly correct about the Church’s hysteria, or is what the older one is saying about the appeal of Communist ideas actually closer to the film’s left-wing message? One review, in the Economist blog I think – not bad, better than the Indo one – criticised the film for being ‘dialectical’, in the sense that Loach’s work is a bit heavy-handed in showing good, bad, etc., but I think there could be more subtlety read into it.

Also I came across a little tidbit, absent from the film, in a piece by Diarmuid Ferriter on Gralton for the Dictionary of Irish Biography, that he joined FF at the time depicted but was soon expelled: http://www.ria.ie/research/dib/dib-at-the-movies–james-gralton.aspx


2. shea - June 8, 2014

anyone think the sindo published a flawed poll to scare FFers and FGers together, just trowing it out there.


3. roddy - June 10, 2014

While I would love to see SF at 26 % ,I think this poll is way off. A real poll took place on Saturday in Clones (a deferred council election).SF got 2 councillors elected on 26 % of the vote.However Monaghan would be a very strong SF area and for the party to be on 26 % nationally ,they would need to have been getting at least the high 30s in Monaghan.


4. Middle Ireland… | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - June 10, 2014

[…] aspect of that curious piece by a certain E Harris in Sunday’s Independent mentioned here is the […]


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