Seamus Breathnach’s Irish-criminology.com examines Irish society through its norm-creating as well as its norm-breaking agencies. These include the Church controls of Ireland’s State -- its Schools, Law, Police, Courts, Prisons, Media and much more...

 

1.) Site Overview 

 

1a.) Ag a’ Baile

 

(Agallamh ag an udar leis fein i bfhoirm Qs-agus-A’s idir Sean agus Seamus)

 

1b.) Raison d’Etre

 

Dialogue

Sean: Seamus, I know you have been working on some interesting areas of criminology for quite some time now. If I understand it correctly, most of them have to do with the unique composition of Irish society and the peculiar make-up of its responses to periodic crises. What is it you are trying to say in this regard? And – frankly – why bother?

Seamus: While the ‘why bother?’ question is, possibly, the one I can identify with most, when one thinks of the nature of Irish society and its ease of manipulation, then the answer to ‘the why?’-Question becomes clear. I have always believed that my business was educational, to show people something: not to cry ‘wolf’, but to make available scenarios that were not countenanced by the existing social arrangements in Ireland. Circumstances may have changed in the second half of the twentieth century, but essentially the things, which James Joyce saw, have not changed. Ireland is a remarkably totalitarian society, a bit of a throwback, one fears, to a less enlightened age.


Sean: For me this is not the case. I find Ireland a really relaxed place: really easygoing, and, indeed, an under-populated society. Ireland may even be overreligious, and possibly terribly corrupt – but its religion is not for me malignant, nor is its corruption of a violent nature.

Seamus: What you say I think I appreciate. But it is such a personally oriented rather than an intellectually oriented kind of commentary. It is partly because of what you describe – and the manner in which you put it – that when translated from the personal to the social or the intellectual, is the main reason for the corruption that you don’t find violent and the religion that you don’t find totalitarian. Is it not violent to repeatedly beat children in school, on a daily basis? Is it not violent to rape young boys – or does your personal accommodation with Irish society exclude these matters conveniently at the point of judgement? Is the deal done by the Church – indeed, in its total governance of the Republic – is that not malignant? Is the work of Opus Dei – in the schools with CORI, in the Banks, in the Civil Service, in the Bar-Bench Bruderbund, in the Hospitals (or hitherto in the Hospitals), in the combination of the Pope’s men in Spain, Ireland and Catholic Australia in East Timor, in the American Bishops punishing Massachusetts for prosecuting their paedophile clerics by urging a vote for Bush and the continuance of a world-wide religious and unjust war, and our readiness to aid these things --- are these not ‘malignant’ to the political health of the Republic?


Sean: I see what you mean. But you have to admit that what you said is a bit-of-amouthful.  Let me put it like this: Where is the totalitarianism of the Irish Republic in you opinion most visible?

Seamus: I suppose the most immediate place of its perfect visibility is the line of power that descends from de Valera through Haughey to Bertie Ahearn. All the things that we have talked about are interrelated, just as the Department of Justice is related to the Department of Education and to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Taoiseach and Tanaiste and the Minister for Finance oversee these most important ministries, because they are the ones that deal with the social rather than the natural sciences. All the rest are – pardon the phrase – dim reminders of independent thinking. All the rest, more or less, do what they are told.


Sean: But can we not isolate something? Can you not demonstrate what you mean by reference to something checkable and visible to others? You are, after all, in education; why not give us a solid example?

Seamus: I have just given you an example; the most visible acts of totalitarianism in Ireland in recent times are to be seen in the extension of the line of political power from de Valera through Haughey to Bertie Ahearn. And there are so many isolated acts of totalitarian power encapsulated even in the short period of descent from Haughey to Ahearn that they are difficult to isolate further and pin-point them. It ‘s like taking a snap-shot from a movie, or in the words of Henri Bergson, moving your hand from A to B, knowing that between A and B there are all kinds of what we call ‘resting’ or ‘discrete’ places, a little like the difference between real and ordinary numbers. Bergson, of course, knows that we only think in ‘stills’ and are a little brainwashed to that method of perceiving reality. Whereas we apprehend reality in the totality of ordinary experience, in a cinematographical way, and not by categorising its photographs.


Sean: Unfortunately the categorical, logical way is the only way that I for the moment can appreciate. So, can you illustrate further what you mean about the totalitarian nature of Irish life, particularly as it has been applied to the passing of political power from Fianna Fail and Haughey to Bertie Ahearn?

Seamus: O.K. But please allow me an introduction itemising the events I wish to recall by way of demonstration.


Sean: Of Course.

Seamus: Much of this website has been about the matter of Irish history, and in particular the manner in which it has been suppressed. Apropos that, it has also been about the manner in which the foreign and Roman church appropriated Gaelic and Anglici fertility and more or less bottled and manufactured it for Imperial consumption. This means that the church destroyed the polygamous and tribal relations of the Gael and introduced VI pulsa the Roman notions of the Patria Potestas Thus, the skeletal value structure of the Holy Family, was the container of Irish fertility and reproduction. The nation – and beyond the nation – was, if you like, shaped into a kind of Christian factory of reproduction for the Holy Roman Empire. How am I doing thus far?


Sean: I have to say that if I look at history in such great sweeps I can see what you mean quite simply…What you say is hardly deniable, even if that was not the intent – the stated intent – of the contemporaneous church.

Seamus: It doesn’t really matter what they said or why they believed they were doing it. This is what they did, and still do. I know of a woman who lost her baby at birth. She prayed every night for the salvation of her child, to rescue its tiny soul from Purgatory. It gave the poor creature a constant headache thinking about it.


Sean: But Purgatory is now gone. It is not to be believed in…

Seamus: Maybe so. The remarkable thing is that this woman still prays, and still gets headaches…. But let us not dwell on the personal. We lose sight of our argument all the time reverting to the personal. Examples are very good ways to argue, but examples do not always mean that one must argue personally.


Sean: Yes; and you were talking about recent times, not ancient history.

Seamus: The one is the other in some cultures. And in Irish culture -- a bit like America, where there is no sense of history, only a sense of things past – the same arguments that applied fado apply now. Why? Because the same socio-religious circumstances have not changed, or because the preponderant religious beliefs are exactly the same, and it is about them that we are arguing all the time.


Sean: That’s what you say. Could you please get on with it!

Seamus: In more recent times de Valera, when he left the IRA, had to win favour with the RC church in order to occupy the same position as Cumann Na nGael did between 1922 and 1936. The only way that it was possible to oust Cumann na nGael – for they, as you know, were very Catholic and very keen not to ruffle the feathers of the most frightfully finicky bishops. Forget Michael Collins and all the men of war.  They had their moment of reality around the General Post Office and in the Castle. When the dust settles and the priests issue forth from their parishes, the real Irish world begins. And de Valera knew this by 1936. So, what did he do to oust Fine Gael from Holy Roman favour? He started the notion of a new beginning, a new social contract, a new constitution, and a new Bunreacht Na h-Eireann. And before it was drafted he gave a Carte Blanc to his Holiness, to write his own Constitution for – what was after all – his most pious people (semper fidelis). And when the Pope overviewed the very bourgeois Bunreacht and registered the Special Place for Catholicism in it, it lacked for nothing. Naturally, the words ‘Papal Ownership’ and ‘Treason’ were never mentioned. But here the Irish, after struggling with the British for 800 years, and oblivious of their destruction by the Holy Romans for over 1,000 years, fight like blazes for their independence. And when they receive it, what do they do? Within a decade and a half they crawl hand-and-foot back to the first authority that sold them into bondage, and yield themselves up like the ignoble shits they are. There is a passage from Coriolanus that is most apt for such an event. What was it? He calls the Volscians ‘dogs’ and ‘curs’ and all the things that come so easy when one thinks of what de Valera did. And the horrible thing is that one knows in one’s heart that even if someone had accused de Valera of negotiating the new sovereign powers of the Irish with a foreign potentate, no one in Ireland would have the nerve to do a Cromwell on it. What Irishman could do what Cromwell did? He too the traitor Charles 1, who conspired against the people and the commonwealth of England, he took him out and chopped off his head. Realism of that historical order was never Irish. To the Irish all was ever reaction, never action! For our purposes the main thing is that de Valera passed the torch of Catholic power down the line of the Free State and the Republic to those whom the RC church wanted in power. Moreover, two respective lessons were to be learned from these events. These were: One: Irish accession to power is always and invariably a return to the right. Each government is more conservative and more biddable than the one before. In other words, the only movement in Irish politics is historically backwards from contemporary standards of liberty, equality and fraternity. It is a return to Rome’s medieval notions of a monkery or monastery or sisterless-Bruderbund. Two: All those calling themselves Political Parties, to gain power, have to do something like what de Valera did. In any event they have to please their master in Rome, because it is through him and his agents that the people are most affected. Unfortunately all phenomena have proved these two propositions correct.


Sean: I think I see where you are going with this argument. And however plausible it appears, there are many who would disagree. If all governments are more conservative than the one before, how come we have Divorce and Contraceptives now available in the Republic?

Seamus: This apparent step-back is part of a strategy – a strategy by which the medieval church is educated a little, and by which the Irish are the last to avail of

what is available to everyone else in their environment for decades. If this is not the case, then why is Rome against the use of contraceptives in Uganda? And why, where the matter of a scientific piece of rubber that could save thousands and thousands of lives, is it forbidden to be used by those poor faithful and foolish people? More importantly, why is the Pope allowed to make such decisions by the rest of us who know that it is perverse and deadly? As for Divorce and those who opposed it, the ones who opposed it are in government, and the people who have benefited from it have the church and those in government for having delayed their liberties so long. Why would anyone vote for someone who tried to put chains on him or her? It’s a bit Irish, isn’t it? And by ‘Irish’ we mean in this context, irrational, operating under false consciousness, or a passive intelligence, which will not allow one contradictory aspect in an argument to confront another. In a way, it’s a bit like the way we approached the death penalty or how we presently relate to Irish soccer: when we eventually grow up to the realities that others have left behind, when we come to realise what others have been trying to tell us for ages, we not only begin to imitate, to accept things that we denied for ages. The fact that neither the death penalty nor monogamy was really necessary must have come as a great shock to some Irish people. The unfortunate thing is that, like Irish soccer, we eventually begin to convince ourselves that we– the last tatter on the most conservative member of the rear garde -- that we invented soccer, we drove the revolution against the use of the death penalty, we sponsored divorce, we invented contraceptives, and that we would never vote into power those people who tried their damndest to prevent all these civil rights being conveyed to the people. What we could do if we only had a history, or even a memory!


Sean: That’s as maybe… but you still haven’t demonstrated how the Republic is totalitarian? It’s true that the line of power passed on to people like Jack Lynch, the Cork Hurler and good Catholic, and then with the bifurcation of Fianna Fail, Haughey, who brought in people like Cearbhaill O Dalaigh, Brien Walsh, Michael Woods, etc. They were – as one might expect – all good Catholics. but so were George Colley and Martin O Donoghue, so what was there between them that is possible to call totalitarian?

Seamus: This is what I meant by isolating a still from the flow of the film. En

passant we don’t just have a passing of power, but we have a great dislocation and the rumblings of a secular beginning amongst the clergy-driven Catholics. Moreover, in a short time the ideologically strong left-wing parties (such as they ever were) are going to die in the dark and never raise their socialist banners again. The question is: what will they raise? And the answer is nothing. They will now go the way of deValera and wait, and wait, and wait…. for some bishop to take them under his wing. When the Pope planned to get the Jesuits into East Timor, do you know who was sending out the help-me letters in the colleges? The’ left-wing’ parties. Please help the Pope in East Timor, they said. This a preliminary to the Bush advances were meant, inter alia, to test the waters, and the so-called Irish left wanted to come in out of the cold so badly. It was pathetic. You must remember that the dialectic of Irish politics –never up to much – is now without any balance whatsoever. The road to the right is the road to Rome and there can be no one to halt or hinder the stampede. Indeed, the only active movers is the RC church; for this is what the Opus was set up to monitor. As part of the new religious corruption the inevitable growth of secularism made its appearance. What we were really seeing in Ireland was the triumph of fascism at the same time as Ireland was creating the first Catholic middle class, otherwise (with the possible exception of Northern Ireland) the last, the least and the pettiest bourgeois formation in Western Europe. One thing about Haughey was how he loved nice things, and liked them in public. -- a secular vanity establishing itself in the incensed chambers of the New Jerusalem. And was it not Noel Browne who talked of how the bishops liked their fast cars (and women), their brandy, their Taj Mhicheal, and their big cigars? At much the same time Whitaker and Lemass had read John Maynard Keynes –more secular materialism on the creep…and when you like nice things, it is perfectly understandable that you acquire the necessary cash to buy more of them, regardless of where the money comes from…


Sean: I’m getting your drift, but I am still short of totalitarianism? Where do all the French shirts and English mistresses make up one ounce of totalitarianism? What are you trying to say?

Seamus: What I am trying to say is no more than I have been saying since I contracted to establish a criminological centre in the old College of Rathmines. It really hasn’t changed, it just got clearer. At that time – in the 1980s – we used occasionally to invite Ministers and an array of others to talk on matters affecting crime-and-punishment, but the gap between those who studied the matter and those in authority over the institutions comprising them was so great, that it was simply unbridgeable. These days, of course, there is no connection whatsoever. Indeed, as far as DIT is concerned, the greatest virtue you can have is that you don’t know a word of the first official language, and that you despise whatever it is that people call ‘Irish’ and most of all “Irish history.’ But to get back to the more interesting times of the ‘80s. It was embarrassing to hear a Minister say (after the debacle in a Bank Robbery in Athy, when the security forces shot civilians) that the Gardai should not be armed with guns. Instead, the army ought to be brought in aid of the Gardai. And with their military weaponry—not to mention the Constitutional issues – this was thought by a lawyer to be the better option. Of course, when they then went so far as to practically execute Dessie O Hare, while the Gardai stood by – at least for me, it simply was the end of a lost logic – and there was no party or political or moral consciousness within an ass’s bray of knowing what really happened.


Sean: Well, what really happened?

Seamus: It’s a while ago now, but the essential events were perfectly clear at the time. And their thrust remains with me. The first news we heard in Rathmines – for, as criminologists, we had more than a passing interest in it -- was that a few shots had pierced the car they were looking for. I felt instinctively that they had riddled it. What I didn’t know was that they had shot the wrong guy. But it didn’t matter…


Sean: How can you say it didn’t matter?

Seamus: Sorry: I mean to say that ‘Politically’ speaking, it didn’t matter. Politically, if you go back and look at the newspapers of the time, I believe you will find the following to be true:

1. Fianna Fail was in power;

2. A previous government had signed an extradition treaty with respect to terrorists; 3. Then the Enniskillen explosion occurred, and

4. The Fianna Fail party faithful went up to see Haughey and told him that there was to be No Extradition…. Margaret Thatcher was bellowing and so was her Attorney General. International agreements didn’t matter to the Irish – especially if they involved the odd priest with thousands of detonators in his pocket –


Sean: Yes; I remember it. But what’s your point?

Seamus: Well, if you were Haughey, what would you do? You were due to meet Margaret Thatcher shortly and other European leaders to deal with matters of terrorism. You were in a bind: what would you do?


Sean: I suppose I would delay matters, put some time between the Enniskillen bombs and Fianna Fail. Yes; I would allow some time by way of delaying tactics to allow the people’s feelings to subside.

Seamus: Precisely! And that was what made Margaret Thatcher and her Attorney General mad with rage, if I remember correctly. But by these delays you have still only solved one aspect of the dilemma that you are in. It may sound Machiavellian – as a matter of fact that is precisely what Machiavelli meant when, in the Prince, he pointed out that the Prince was not a born liar, but an acquired one. By virtue of his position and the contradictory forces he purported to manage, he ipso facto became a good liar. And while you have answered the first leg of the dilemma, you have not touched the other leg, namely, what are you going to say to Margaret Thatcher and the Europeans about you being ‘soft’ on terrorists and unable or unwilling to stand by former agreements. Already, she has warned Europe that you are in league with terrorists…what are you going to do at the next meeting?


Sean: I don’t know. And I still don’t know what it has to do with Dessie O Hare?

Seamus: After Enniskillen Haughey had to do two things: as you rightly pointed out, he had to put distance between him, his party and their ‘Republican’ sympathies, and the public clamouring for justice, including the extradition of terrorists. The second thing he needed to do was to win the trust of Margaret Thatcher – because relations were at they’re lowest and the Unionists were in high voice about it. Failing, that he had to convince the Europeans that he was in earnest about the repression of terrorism – and the facts simply did not favour his words anymore.


Sean: So?

Seamus: Enter Dessie O’ Hare.


Sean: What? Surely you aren’t suggesting that they made Dessie O’ Hare chop people’s fingers off? Surely they didn’t make him into a terrorist to suit their purpose?

Seamus: No; of course not –


Sean: Well, what are you saying, then?

Seamus: It’s not that they made him exist, but they brought him into being… If he didn’t exist, they would have created him. For, look at what problems his execution solves – and look up the role that the shooting in Gibraltar served at this time! . After his attempted execution Haughey can now go to Europe and point to what he does to terrorists – who else could behave so boldly against them. O’Hare would silence – and did silence – all voices, not that there were ever many searching voices in the Republic of Ireland. But time – Enniskillen time—had now come and gone, the party was happy, and Haughey could go and face any European head he liked; for none, up to this time was anything like as totalitarian with respect to terrorists as he was (even if it didn’t include erring priesteens!). Of course the fall out was enough to make this Irishman quite sick… It was even worse than the Pope’s visit… that feeling of being a part of a nation of leprechauns…


Sean: What fall out?

Seamus: The Press, the Church, the Lawyers (‘Jurists’), the Trade Unions, the ‘Opposition’, the whole country concurred in this dreadful act. For the first time in my life I witnessed how a whole nation could be reduced to nothing but a band of

powerless and chalk-like creatures in the face of totalitarian power. Haughey had the power of a religious community. The homogeneous monolith was really as manipulable as a monkey on an organ. Ireland, a modern society? Forget it! If they wanted to hang persons out of every second lamppost, all they had to do was fan the people to it. Only in the most phlegmatic would deny the evidence of the phenomena before them. The Irish were to government as they were to soccer. In the same breadth they couldn’t stand it as a ‘foreign game’; then, after Charleton, they almost claimed that they invented it! Such manipulability, such instability, such settled nothings – all demonstrated the potato qualities of the New Republic, and actually scared the wick out of me! For the political career of one man, the Constitution was torn up, the Army proper were on standby, the President couldn’t give a cabaiste, and all those legal checks and balances envisaged by lawyers -- like arrest, trial, and due process – by which I thought we lived – were instantly and unanimously abandoned. If my memory serves me correctly, even Connor Cruise O Brien, whose articles at one stage tracked Haughey as one would a diseased panther (because Haughey always ran an incredibly successful drinks-for-the-Kinsealy-boys campaign), that it was a strain to read him. But then he wrote an article once – I can’t say when exactly – but I thought it rather insightful. And he more or less predicted that if Haughey were returned for a second term as Premier, he would probably have everything by then in a state of maximum corruption. These views were the first I had heard of real politic in Ireland, and, what’s more, it coincided with my own opinions. But Connor, if insightful sometimes, is all too often unwittingly Irish. When Haughey did precisely what he predicted, however – who backed him? The bold Connor. If my memory serves me correctly, it was shortly after this, taking the lead from Haughey, that Thatcher had the Gibraltar terrorists executed. And you know who complained of it most? It’s almost as hole-in-the-head-Irish as the Catholic church, whose only interests were furthered by the IRA, conferring honours on Margaret Thatcher, but none on those poor young men who gave their lives to free up Northern Irish society for Catholics. Indeed, there is, in my opinion, no power on earth harder or purer than a young man giving even his life in the cause of perceived justice. I knew that Margaret Thatcher, nor all the King’s horses and all the King’s men could possibly break such a bond as the hunger-strikers had. Young men are like that: they will die in the dark rather than yield to the enemy. It’s the oldest and best thing we know. So, who then, did break the hunger strikers? We know, don’t we? It couldn’t be an ‘earthly’ power, but one that could get near them, push their buttons, and, at the same time, honour their enemies.


Sean: Haughey has now gone and all that era is over. We know what he said about Bertie Ahearn and all that. But Bertie has survived and so has Fianna Fail. And these days they have to form a coalition to get into government. Is this not a safety valve against future threats?

Seamus: Have you never asked yourself how Mr Ahearn remains on in power?


Sean: You’re not going to tell me that he is in Opus Dei, are you?

Seamus: Of course not; they wouldn’t have him. And what’s more they don’t need him. They have Ms Hanafin, daughter of Des… and everybody in Fianna Fail 

remembers Des. He though nothing of funding an action to save us all from ourselves, that is, from getting divorced from each other and remarrying another. Des Hanafin knew better than all of us what was good for us. And his daughter? In any event Michael McDowell, the moralist, is in Justice and we know why he is there?


Sean: Why?

Seamus: Do you not recall how he got there? And why he is kept there?


Sean: No; tell me!

Seamus: A letter sent to the Irish Independent made the following claims about the election Bertie Ahearn went into the election as the prime successor and inheritor of Haughey’s sleaze. Many unanswered questions gave the most unsatisfactory of trajectories in this respect. But his immediate problem was to answer promises that had been already made about abortion and the status of abortion under any circumstances. Michael McDowell couldn’t get a vote no matter what he did, and there was no hope on earth of his being elected. He was regarded as a Rothviler. But where Earth offered no hope Heaven was to prove a more rewarding prospect. The cognoscenti, a small legion of civil servants and pious party zealots. Who are to be found in every country; but who, in Ireland, approximate Opus Dei types, read the scene and came up with a solution. These pious people move constantly between the available polarities of power, especially between the Taoiseach of the day’s office and the Archbishop of the millennium’s office. They are the ones who know certain things. The know that whoever runs in the elections, the RC church will win; they know that they work either doing God’s Work (Opus Dei) or the Government’s work – which is one and the same thing; and they know that everything and anything is commandeerable in the interests of their new creation. Now whether you call these men Opus Dei, or good Catholics, of social climbers, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. This will be their function no matter where they live. Because of their preponderance, their ubiquity, their intelligence and their unimaginable wealth, Opus Dei. All the rest who act as satellites about them, like well meaning, never offensive, easily put- intheir- place civil servants, are rarely the inconstant inspiration; but they are the very loyal followers. Long before the election, it became clear to Opus Dei that Bertie Ahearn had to be saved, if Fianna Fail was to continue its sterling service to the church. Now, to save Bertie Ahearn from the Haughey legacy, not to mention his own rather shifty performance, he would need strong – very strong, almost Rothviler support in the morals department. Thereafter, the ship of state could sail the least turbulent path towards the EU leadership. And a new young President who had already shown her proclivities in opposing Mary Robinson, no just in criminology, but in being the bishops’ girl, would not go amiss either. The point was – where to find a Rothviler and how to get him elected. Well, Michael McDowell had been on the books for ages. Was he ready? Gagging for it! Was he willing? Frothing out of the mouth! Was he able? Line them up for Senior Counsel! If he didn’t frighten them to death, he would talk them down. The only question remaining then was: how to get Michael McDowell elected? The Opus knew he needed help. And the answer was very straightforward. Put him on the Fianna Fail ticket! But how could one do that? Michael McDowell was a PD through and through – the party of forked Fianna Failers and Fine Gaelers. Of course, 10

since the inception of the Free State, if you took the guns out, Fianna Fail and Fine Gael were all good Catholics; they just had to give some reason to the world for playing the game of democracy. Unfortunately, they themselves began to believe that they were different. In the eyes of the Lord (and the Pope), of course, they weren’t, but just to give some verisimilitude to the notion that Ireland had a Democratic Party political system, like all the other European countries, the game had to be maintained. In other words, there never was any real difference between Fianna Fail and Fine Gael, but if they united, then their real base would become self-evident, and their attempt to play at ‘nation-making’ would be dissolved. So, here was the next best thing to the united front: McDowell (once Fine Gael) would run on the Fianna Fail ticket, while retaining with the Tanaiste and a few others the fiction of a coalition. To secure Michael in power Bertie instructed the faithful to give him their Number 2. At the time the 20million euro spent on political spin came up with the most modest of theatre. The press came up with the widespread story regarding how clever Bertie Ahearn actually was. He told the faithful to give Michael their number two votes, on the basis that if they did that, they would not give him their number one. What brilliant advice! Now they could get Michael in without being seen to do it. The mind in Ireland boggles. To add to the theatre, some angry words were exchanged between Bertie and Michael, mar dhea! Michael called Bertie a Ceausescu – or was it the other way round? – and on the circus went, making out to the public that they were having some kind of free election. Of course all the deals had to be done by now. Opus Dei delivered the mechanical massaging methods to secure the church’s favourite party in office. And for its part the church would agree to a very limited scope for contraception. This took the carpet from under the opposition parties who were waiting for Fianna Fail to trip up and confound the religious electorate. What a gullible opposition! For this all the deals were then secure. With McDowell to protect Bertie as Taoiseach, he would lead the lights away from the corruption-inheritance, and lead on new initiatives that the bishops wanted secure, about drink, about youth, about making the Gardai answerable to Opus Dei supernumeraries. Woods would secure other deals in education, especially the appointment of Opus Dei types in the Regional Technological Colleges, The Dublin based colleges and universities were already secure, and Foreign Affairs would look after Catholic immigres by exporting the non-Catholic Romanians, collecting a whole plantation of Philippine-nurses to make Ireland the most nurseprone society in Europe, and, of course, to secure the plantation of future Catholics by getting the lawyers and judges to allow them the right to bring in their families. And what if they went to England in great droves as well? Weren’t they all good Catholics? And didn’t England need more Catholics? But Foreign Affairs wasn’t finished dealing yet. There were the Poles to be looked after, the Slovakian Catholics as well, and the East Timor old soldiers in the EU…. A letter on these socio-religious-political arrangements was sent to the Irish Independent. It also had much to say of the Protestant wets in the South of Ireland, and of their bands of secret societies. But the Independent only published half the letter. And Bruce Arnold was the only person at the time to pick up on the deal with Woods. Moreover, he showed great courage in following the story and revealing the deepest shades of Roman proprietorship of the Irish Republic.


Sean: I see what you mean by the line of power being passed down to Bertie Ahearn. But if these things put the possibility of an Irish Criminology out of your head, why now? Why make this elaborate website?

Seamus: I was born in 1941. I’m in my sixties, and when I was sixty I was quite

happy to lecture on my notes to my students for the following five years. Indeed,  I enjoyed it – not with the same relish after the Dessie O’Hare episode as before, but I was content to do my lectures. To your students and your friends you just tell the truth. Publications and things like that never really interested me. —Not, that is, since I wrote the History of the Irish Police back in 1974. Sometimes you do these things, just to get them out of your system. And a lot of this website is to allow me to move on.


Sean: I understand. But move where? You’re lecturing in criminology since 1981/2?

Seamus: I devoutly wish to put these political things behind me. I even wished it when I became sixty and before. I had developed a very strong passion for music over the years. It’s like this: you tell yourself a few lies. I once got rid of all my books. At first I tried to sell them on the cheap to the late Jim Hickey for the ‘criminology department’ in the College of Commerce. Failing that, I just delivered them for storage there and gave them to the College; but they had no room – and no storage space. What happened to them? They were fecked. Week after week, they just dribbled out and disappeared, not into the college, but out of the college. But in some ways I didn’t mind this, because I had got rid of them. Then I gave a lecture there in computer music software. At that time I was into –what d’ya call it? —Amiga, I think. And a lot of my discs are in that now obsolete format. Anyway, I wanted to write an Opera, and that’s what I wanted to do – until in 1992 the greatest load of bullies ever assembled in academia descended upon the College of Commerce. As you can imagine they were mostly ‘runners’ who hadn’t a clue about either Irish culture or Irish history. Some were Bible-zealots and an odd Das Kapital-zealot. ‘Odd’ is the operative word. Anyway, to cut a rather long story short, the ‘runners’ made the place so uncomfortable, and it became obvious that it was utterly inimical not only to criminological studies but to any form of social or scientific enquiry. The social sciences were simply impossible, not least because political science was staring you in the face. Sleaze, opportunism and nepotism were in your face every day and everywhere. The notion of studying it was too actual to be removed enough to be studied. Indeed, the astonishing thing about fanatics in Ireland is that they are imports and they hate both ‘Irish’ ‘Irish culture’ and above all else ‘Irish history.’ And this was – and this is – a precondition of higher education in Ireland, not just in the DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology). You see, prior to the inauguration of DIT – and I sometimes thing that the Opus concocted the whole notion of regional technical colleges and more or less told successive Ministers for Education to get on with it. They even told them to appoint supernummeries of the Opus in each and every college. This is not only a strategy of the Opus internationally, but it is how the Catholic mind first broaches ‘science’. It is essentially foreign to scientific thought; it fears it as secular and distrusts it and is impatient with it. As a result of this alienation, it fetishistically wishes to appropriate it by owning it and the privilege of appointing whomsoever they wish to these colleges is how the Catholic mind, under the instruction of Opus Dei, is how the Irish bishops wish to control the scientific and technological areas of endeavour. –What got us onto this?


Sean: You were talking about moving on.

Seamus: Yes; I wanted to write music But just as I had gotten rid of all my other books – or most of them – I began to read music and lo and behold, I found that my  shelves were beginning to stack up with as many music books as I had on all the other subjects of philosophy, sociology, criminology, law, etc…


Sean: Do I understand you correctly? When you became sixty you wanted to write music, and you were looking forward to five last years so lecturing in the College of Rathmines, but because they bullied you so much and were generally such an obnoxious lot, you quit

Seamus: Quit nothing. The whole course in criminology was terminated summarily. And it took three ‘runners’ to do it. Indeed, the Opus got in on the act and matters became real Irish. I could not lecture to students, but I was not sacked. I could be abused (by a runner!) for being on the premises, but I wasn’t sacked. I was cut off the payroll and had no income, but I wasn’t sacked. I couldn’t recruit, hire, recommend reading material, as I had done for twenty years, but I wasn’t sacked. I couldn’t advise --- nor was I consulted – and the new Directors of DIT spent not one-penny piece on criminology, yet I wasn’t sacked. My telephone, computer, office and library connections were wrenched or closed down; I was cut off all my social welfare payments, including VHI, but I wasn’t sacked. And then there was the Opus. What a lovely crowd!


Sean: Anyway, were these the only reasons why you felt the necessity to write up this website?

Seamus: No. There were at least two others. One had to do with the late James Hickey. James Hickey was a very unassuming kind of Irishman – nothing like the runners presently saturating the college. James Hickey was quiet spoken, given to speaking Gaelic and encouraging it in the college. Of course, at that time there wasn’t a penny-piece to be had for anything. It was before the great days of the Celtic Tiger, when Europe paid one in five pounds produced by the Irish. They got so many handouts from Europe that the Irish persuaded themselves that they had a Tiger on their hands. Anyway, James Hickey hadn’t a penny to spare, but he ran the college to some other kind of standard. To cut a long story short, I contracted with the College to found a Centre for Criminological Studies. I’m not sure that they knew precisely where criminology could lead. Indeed, I doubt very much if at the highest level of DIT up to the most recent times, any distinction was made between the social and the natural sciences. And I always have the nagging notion that the most that was ever envisaged by ‘science’ in DIT really amounts to no more than mere technology. And what is meant by ‘technology’ is what the Bishop of Limerick did after the famous kidnapping of Tiede Heremann – they blessed the machinery in his factory. In a way, Irish technology is about Opus employees and people working in a low level type of technology – and everybody talking about ‘science’. The only way out is to do ‘research’, and by Irish ‘research’ is meant importing foreigners to give the place a name. James Hickey was otherwise made. And when he wanted Irish Criminology, I think that’s what he meant. Anyway, I felt indebted to him and that is one reason for this website.


Sean: And the second reason?

Seamus: The second reason concerns criminology itself in Ireland Truth to tell, there is the awful state of Irishcriminology. It’s simply appalling rubbish. And one feels demeaned by being associated howsoever with it. You can get guys in Irish

criminology – they hang about (women as well) for years and years, and they haven’t got a word of criticism about anything. It’s a little like the golfer you meet at the golf club. Some people have a natural flow, hurlers and the like. But you have this guy. He loves golf like he loves his mother. He adores it; he loves being about the club; he knows everyone and is ever so helpful. And you wish to heaven that he would win things… but he never wins anything. He is present at every sort of do, and he is laughing and smiling and thoroughly enjoying the events, just as he enjoys every single thing about golf, the club, its politics, its outings, its competitions. But when he takes to the first tee, you can see in the way he swings that there isn’t a hope in hell that he will ever develop a fluidity that is even comfortable. But, undeterred, he soldiers on, and on, and on…


Sean: What’s the point?

Seamus: The point: nature is so cruel! He loves so much, yet he gets such little in return. Or, maybe I put that badly. He loves and gives so much, yet he has such little natural talent, that all the rest will never make him good at what he wants to be good at…Of course it doesn’t take from his enjoyment – although this is hard to see –for, in a way he gets more out of the golfing culture than anyone else, no matter how good they are… Similarly – and this is my point – people who find themselves stuck deep in criminology, haven’t a clue either about Irish life or about what criminology is about… and in Ireland, this is what comes to the fore. At least in the golf club, the pious member is seen for how he is; in Ireland he is appreciated for the very reason that he has nothing to say. It is some kind of religious relish in utter and absolute ignorance. I know nothing like it anywhere else in the world…and that is another reason why someone should put down a stake or two and say what Irish and Criminology are really about…


Sean: You never got to write the Opera?

Seamus: I prefer the word Operetta, but it’s a musical I have in mind.


Sean: By the way, what happened to your pension?

Seamus: The runners have it…


Sean: By the way, are you proud of your Irishness?

Seamus: Let’s not talk nonsense, please!


Sean: Are you ashamed?

Seamus: Let’s say I know something about Irish society, and I wish I had known it with greater conviction when I was younger. I know what it did to Gaelic civilization. I also know what the Mediterranean myth did generally – and still does -- to Irish society. I also know what it did to individuals, to persons like Adam Dubh O Tuathaill, Brian Merriman, Charles Stewart Parnell, James Joyce, Peter Lennon (Film Maker) Willie Birmingham, Edna O Brien, and Dermot Morgan, (and I know only damn well what they would have done to Oscar Wilde and Roger Casement if they had the chance)


Sean: But surely there was Emmet Stagg

Seamus: Amazing, isn’t it? I think these occasions are just vulgar episodes meant to stuff it down everyone’s neck that Catholic Ireland is cool and tolerant, especially with non-normative sex, where it is absolutely riveted to pieces with ordinary sex. It’s a bit like the new priest: at the wedding ceremonies, it’s the priest who produces ad nauseam the dirty jokes – fear of being tarnished with the other.


Sean: Ah now! You can’t be critical when the Irish are tolerant and critical when they are intolerant. There must be integrity in one’s argument, surely.

Seamus: I agree.


Sean: Well, where’s your integrity. In the case of Emmet Stagg the Irish people showed enormous tolerance of man’s weakness, and in the case of clerical paedophilia they – I suppose – did the same. What’s wrong with that?

Seamus: Well, what’s wrong with it is that it is totally hypocritical, or, as you like to put it, lacking in any integrity.


Sean: Please explain how you reckon that.

Seamus: You have heard, I hope of Dr Buttiglione?


Sean: Oh, Yeah! He’s the Italian that Barusso wanted in his European Government. When Barusso took over from Bertie, it was Barusso’s turn to rule the European roost. He went a long way to keep Buttiglione on board; but opposition from the Northern Europeans protested at his Opus Dei connections –

Seamus: Never? —


Sean: Well, I mean they protested at his lectures on sin and his intolerance of homosexuality. Yes; its coming back to me now; he was a friend of the Pope and the Northern Countries wouldn’t have him or Barusso’s government if it meant employing him. The basis for the Protestant and ex-Communist protest was, as I

remember it, because they had won tolerances and rights for minorities like homosexuals, and Buttiglione threatened that. As a friend of the Pope one can only suppose that he carried some weight – enough to warrant Barusso risking his whole government on it. Extraordinary! But what does it mean for Irish attitudes. Didn’t they all vote against the liberal North and for Barusso and Buttiglione? Oh Yes; wasn’t it Bruce Arnold who highlighted Avril Doyle’s illogicality, not to mention Fine Gael’s position, and Fianna Fail’s positive friendship with the Pope, Barusso, the Red Cross and East Timor. The Irish are so good at getting confused and voting in any event for what the Pope wants them to vote, don’t you think? Seamus: Yes; but what’s this about the Red Cross and East Timor? Oh1 I see…. Mum’s the word. Good, very good! But what ever happened to our tolerance for Emmet Stagg? Indeed, whatever happened to the tolerance shown to our buggering clergy when we picked up the tab for their crimes? We didn’t even get an opportunity to voice our displeasure at what they were doing -- which, in Durkheimian, or any body else’s terms, is the basis of criminological virtue. We didn’t even get a chance to rage against the most protected and secret paedophile ring in the world?


Sean: I see what you mean. It was all another awful piece of Irish Catholic theatre. And I agree with you: it is more than hypocrisy; it is positively evil, a bureaucracy of evil existing hand-and-glove, as Joyce so properly pointed out, between holy- Churchand- peasant-State. What did Joyce say: I go to forge… Forget about the forge, just go, young man; go…

Seamus: Didn’t some lecturer let the Opus Dei cat out of the UCD bag a few months ago when she threatened the students that they would not get their exams if they did not attend some events sponsored by Opus Dei? And what did the college do? ,


Sean: They announced that they would hold an enquiry into the allegations, for according to the rules of UCD there is no religious bias attaching to the administration of its faculties, not even to the Department of Law or the Institute of Criminology. I wonder what ever happened to the enquiry?

Seamus: I think they are looking at it very carefully, with the same care in fact that they managed to oppose the registration of paedophiles. What a University! Quel Institute!


Sean: But something that you might help me with. Why is there such a bother about criminology and the religious – I mean why does the Opus want to muzzle thinking people in the first instance? And what has Buttiglione got to do with thinking people?

Seamus: Everyone, I suppose, has heard by now of Dr Buttiglione. What most people do not know is that this‘ Professor’ and ‘friend of the Pope’ is replayed over and over again in practically every University in the Republic of Ireland. If one of them writes a letter to the papers, there is an echo effect of support, if it has anything to do with protecting the church from thought or enquiry. Because criminal law/criminology interfaces with Catholic ethics, the intolerant and militant

appropriation of these posts by Opus Dei is hidden. ‘The ‘Two Marys’, for example, both Presidents of the Republic, is a case in point. Both were Professors of Criminology, the successor to the chair removing all the secular overtures of the former. In the broader view, Buttiglione did not just represent the intolerance of Roman Catholicism, but the RC church (and Opus Dei) put the reverse complexion on their efforts to dominate the EU Commission, and had it not been for the tolerant North, Europe’s citizens and their civil rights would be the less, not to mention Emmet Stagg, David Norris and those in Southern Ireland who have some rights even if held on the oscillating knife-edge of Catholic ambivalence. Does that answer your question?


Sean: What you are saying is that they marshal all the faculties in the Universities and Technological Colleges and appoint and dismiss at their pleasure. Berufsverboten is actually practised in Ireland then?

Seamus: Yes


Sean: But isn’t that against the law, the Constitution?

Seamus: It’s against the words that make up the law and the Constitution; but, as I have pointed out before, when the Judges act for Opus Dei, there is no law or Constitution that is not muzzled.


Sean: But isn’t that a very violent matter.

Seamus: Most violent, indeed.


Sean: But can we be sure of the things of which we speak?

Seamus: Well, you might well think that what you see in the papers is all an accident; I certainly don’t.


Sean: How do you mean?

Seamus: You may believe that the Irish need an Embassy in Thailand, and that they have a genuine interest in invading East Timor; you may even believe that the differential voters who got Bush into office was an accident or that those who voted for John Kerry were committing a sin; you may even believe that the Episcopal attack recently on Tommy Tiernan, the Irish comedian, who dared to joke at the Imperial church was called for, or, indeed, that the Da Vinci Code – a red rag to Opus Dei -- brought the Jesuits accidentally out of Barracks to decry the Code, lest anyone inquire into the working branch in Clonskeagh –you may believe all these things are accidental and not an explicit expression of an over militant church. I don’t. You may believe that Buttiglione is merely the Pope’s friend and was not used as a runner for the Pope’s men to seize control of the EU. I don’t. You may even believe that the RC church is a tolerant body. I don’t. For that matter, you may believe that the millions given by the Irish to the tsunami is out of concern and generosity and that the visit by Dermot Ahearn to Thailand and Shi Lanka are of no consequence but to put the Irish relief agencies in funds. I don’t. You may even think that his insistence the South East Asia authorities keep their frontiers open for Irish concerns for years to come is a

measure of true charity and a concern for the Irish dead. I don’t!


Sean: Where are you going with this?

Seamus: Here are two quotations from one issue of a magazine called The Irish

Family. Have you ever heard of it?


Sean: How apt. Never!

Seamus: This magazine between advocating the sale of indulgences and prayers for lost souls, quite sagaciously suggested the setting up of an exclusive Catholic Party in Southern Ireland. More disturbing, however, was the front-page response of Bishop Duffy, the chairman of the Irish bishop’s Conference Committee on European Affairs, who was reported as follows:

According to Bishop Duffy the “socialist group was expressing a form of secularism which we (Catholics) reject as inadequate and superficial.” The rigidity of the socialist position “ignores the foundations of society and would tend to a form of inhuman society,” he added.

One interesting aspect of the affair is the re-emergence of old battle-lines not seen since the religious schisms of the 16th and 17th the centuries.

The Scandinavian countries, which have become the latter day champions of the liberal social agenda, were traditionally Lutheran protestant societies with a historically strong anti-Catholic bias. The decline in religious practice in these countries, combined with their secularist outlook, may have led observers to conclude that their Pope-hating days were over. However, ancient antagonisms appear to have been stirred up again and tolerance, where it applies to Catholic views, is found wanting. The old anti-papal animosity, while apparently “lost in a sea of indifference, shows itself in crises like this,” Bishop Duffy said. The anti-Catholic sentiment underscoring the Buttiglione affair is yet another manifestation of what appears to be a deep-seated irreligious ethos within the EU structure. Earlier this year, a concerted effort by the Vatican and a number of member country governments (Ireland’s notably excluded) to have God and Christianity mentioned in the preamble to the forthcoming EU Constitution, was roundly rejected.

The fact that Europe was once known as Christendom, and that the continent’s roots and traditions are steeped in centuries of Christian belief held no sway.

 While Europe’s Christians past and present are ignored in the Constitution, the pagan Greco-Roman Classical era and the freemasonic-inspired age of Enlightenment are acknowledged as foundational pillars of the new EU. Voters in Ireland will be expected to ratify this Constitution in a referendum possibly next year. Now, what do you think of that? Could you believe that an educated man would talk in this manner? Isn’t there something radically wrong with a country when its Bishops have absolutely no grasp whatsoever of either time or history? “The old anti-Papal animosity?” In Denmark? I have been going to Denmark for twenty years and they are blissfully unaware of any connection or reference, good or bad, to the Pope. The Danes are happily indifferent to the Pope and the Bishop’s ridiculous neurosis. I don’t suppose it possible for anyone with such a medieval outlook to comprehend twentieth century secular people at all. It would make one despair.


Sean: And what about this Catholic Party?

Seamus: Well, that was thrown out elsewhere in the magazine alongside the sale of indulgences. Shouldn’t that be made illegal?


Sean: Which? The sale of indulgences or the creation of a Catholic Party - Which?

Seamus: Indulgences, of course. The creation of a Catholic Party is as brilliant as

creating an anti-Catholic party.


Sean: But you’re not anti-Catholic, are you?

Seamus: Never: just anti-bullshit!


Sean: So, why suggest an Anti-Catholic Party then?

Seamus: Because it is precisely representative of our social needs. Just as class was representative of those societies that have enormous modern cities and a division of labour and income to support such ideas, so, too, with the Irish, the most representative thing to have is an Anti-Catholic Party.


Sean: But what use would it be?

Seamus: For one thing it would break up all the existing parties, which are Christian, Christian and Christian, or rather Catholic, Catholic and Catholic. Secondly, by pushing them to where they belong, the people – especially the people in such makeshift parties as presently exist – would see for the first time who owns Ireland, what wealth, power and privilege the RC church holds in the rickety Republic, and how utterly slavish the political parties collective are towards it. As individualised parties they exert a theatrical influence, which tends to reflect a European secular reality that nowhere exists in Ireland.


Sean: But if Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Labour Party (and Greens etc) all joined together on a Catholic basis, we would have no semblance of politics forever.

Seamus: We have no politics, semblance or no; we have no political parties that are not united in total Catholic accord. And what about it if you lose for a generation or so; you now have the possibility of taking back the Parishes and driving the priests and their mythology to the seas. And that’s why this magazine is right in reverse. Why they won’t ever set up a Catholic Party is because that is what they have, that is what they always have had since the fourth century. An Anti-Catholic Party would demonstrate their treachery and the endless number of times they betrayed the Gaels, then the Irish and now the Republic.

 

Anyway, you get the drift as to The

Raison D’etre of this Website.

 

 
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