18. 11. 2011

Kevin Myers: A line has to be drawn in the history of Northern Ireland – there must be no more public inquiries

FIRST things first: 40 years ago, the Parachute Regiment had become state-authorised killers in Northern Ireland. According to David McKittrick’s indispensable volume ‘Lost Lives’, the Paras killed 39 people between 1971 and 1976. Only seven of these were paramilitaries: but one of those, Joe McCann, the Official IRA leader, was gunned down, unarmed, on a May Saturday afternoon. The death toll of 33 unarmed victims killed by the three battalions of the Parachute Regiment is more than that for hundreds […]

18. 11. 2011

Athy in the Great War

This is the talk I gave to Athy about its role in the Great War   Though Athy was a garrison town, most Athy soldiers did not enlist here but in Naas or Carlow. Of the 87 Athy men killed as plain soldiers just 13 enlisted locally. Basically three regiments recruited in the Athy area – The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Leinsters and the Irish guards. It was this last regiment with which the first Athy dead of the war […]

17. 11. 2011

Kevin Myers: Well, that hurricane took us a little unawares, 400 dead and much of Connacht missing

RASPBERRIES are growing in my garden, rich as grapes in Bordeaux. The first game-bags of the shooting season probably contain as many humming birds as pheasant. This time last year, a new Ice Age had arrived. November 2011, and the swallows are assembling off the Wexford coast, wondering if they might be allowed back for the winter. Who would be a weather forecaster in Ireland? No one thanks you for getting it right – no one even remembers – but […]

16. 11. 2011

Croke Park Deal

We heard a straightforward untruth yesterday with the declaration that numbers are falling in the public service. They are not. The falsehood is based on the numbers of full-time employees, down to around 300,000. But if you allow for job-sharing, in fact there are 404,200 employees in the public sector, an actual increase of 3,100 from a year ago. Moreover, average hourly pay in the public sector is €28.90. In the private sector it is €19.33. Has this government tried […]

15. 11. 2011

Brilliance of American TV has shown up the wretchedness of our domestic products

All ideologies are wrong, including the one that says all ideologies are wrong. But generally speaking, the free market is the best way of getting the best out of society. Now that appears to be an insane declaration, at a time when the most visible markets in the world, the stock exchanges, are about as rational as a women’s gym changing-room containing a mouse with a camera. However, this is not a dogma, merely a rule of thumb. Other rules […]

13. 11. 2011

Address at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday

This is the address I made on Remembrance Sunday at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin November 13, 2011 I begin today by honouring our new President, the commander in chiefof our Defence Forces. Mr President sir, that is surely an honour you will hold closeto your heart – and in this place especially. For fifty one years ago this week the Niemba Ambush of our soldiers in the Congo took place. And it was at the remembrance Sunday servicehere two days […]

11. 11. 2011

The Armistice might not have ended war, but let’s not forget that most of the world is now free

A day like today comes but once a century: 11/11/11. Add in the moment that the guns ceased firing, and it becomes: 11/11/11/11. What a strange verticality, a picket-fence through which to view history. Of course, like most historical events, the 1918 Armistice was not really how the popular imagination has painted it, for it certainly did not bring a universal peace. Instead of the Ottoman Empire being treated with wise civility, it was brutally and ruinously dismembered. Civil war […]

10. 11. 2011

Memory murdered by know-nothing land of TV

I had been watching ‘Downton Abbey’ these recent weeks in the fond and fervent hope that the great Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 would wipe out the entire household. And then, to my disbelieving horror, I discovered that last Sunday’s programme was not the last. Far from the flu making short work of the entire cast, it had done for just one of their number: a seldom-seen waif. Let me be frank. I have followed ‘Downton Abbey’ with the sick, […]

9. 11. 2011

Ryanomics is seeping into society like sewage

THE offer looked good on the Aer Lingus website: two fares to London. Cost? No cost. Free of charge; just one of those insane little gimmicks that airlines do these days to entice passengers aboard, and once there, we can maybe be persuaded to part with our cash on a breakfast roll for €200. The trick is not to buy the breakfast roll, of course. So we decided to buy the tickets to London. And that’s where it got interesting, […]

4. 11. 2011

Mountbatten — a vile psycho killed by thugs

THE IRA did a couple of enormous favours to Lord Louis Mountbatten when they blew his boat apart in 1979, killing him, an old lady, and two young lads. A brace of octogenarians and a couple of schoolboys: quite a bag. Firstly, the IRA gave Mountbatten the almost perfect death — instant and without any pain, doing what he loved most of all; messing around in boats. What this vile man really deserved was to die in his own filth, […]