by Pat Brosnan


RTE in Major Blunder


While ordinary people are still baffled by the motives behind the RTE defamation of Fr. Kevin Reynolds it now looks as if many heads are likely to roll as a consequence of the ill-famed documentary that members of their investigative team cobbled together in an extraordinary blunder during which the Galway- based priest was the victim of unfounded allegations of a most vicious nature. The stress and trauma that Fr. Reynolds went through before the true facts were revealed was surely extraordinary. The deplorable accusations that the RTE programme made against Fr. Reynolds is going to haunt the Broadcasting Station for years to come and make listeners very reluctant to believe and any sensational stories that the National Broadcasting Station puts out is likely to be taken with the proverbial of salt.

According to recent media reports the RTE investigation was all based on the groundless theory that Fr. Reynolds looked guilty without having a shred of evidence other than the vivid imagination of members of the Prime Time Investigates team who obviously were in no way concerned about the damage they were about to inflict on a totally innocent person and moreover a priest who at the time was serving the people of his Galway Parish.  Did these RTE people who contrived this notorious act of defamation have any idea of what they were doing not alone to Fr. Reynolds but also to the Broadcasting Station that employed them? According again to weekend media reports €1.3m has been mentioned in the cost of making this costly documentary.  How much of this amount of taxpayers’ money was spent on the expenses of the investigation team? was more of this money paid to the coloured woman who told the RTE team the obviously groundless yarn about Fr. Reynolds being the father of her child and if so what amount exactly was paid to her for these obvious false allegations?

It appears to have been stated by Fr. Reynolds that he would not wish to see anyone sacked from RTE jobs over the allegations that were made against him in this particularly vile and completely unfounded programme of the most dastardly allegations. While we must all admire his spirit of Christian charity and forgiveness, there are not many who would be so tolerant of those who would undermine their reputation.  While we are not aware of what steps RTE proposes to prevent anything like this from ever happening again it is to be hoped that the tax payers money and the license fees that are funding the station will be put to better use than attempting to destroy the characters of honest, decent, honourable people such as Fr. Reynolds. If any lesson is to be learned by the head people in our National Television and Radio Station it is this – they will have to be far more vigilant in making a clear distinction between truth and fiction in the material they are going to broadcast in future.


Fleadh by the Feale

By all accounts the Fleadh by the Feale on this occasion was once again very successful and all the various events were supported and went down very well. On Sunday afternoon those of us who attended Daisy Kearney’s storytelling, singing and recitation session thoroughly enjoyed it. Kieran Curtin presided at the opening of the show and welcomed Daisy and all the other entertainers. Daisy herself told some of her great stories and there were some fine songs and recitations from many of the guest performers.  These included – Con Warren, Kathleen Herlihy, Donie Lyons, Con Curtin, Pat Brosnan, Chrissie Roche, Jim Lyons and some others including the couple from Wexford who attend Daisy’s show each year.  Ita McQuinn gave a very amusing recitation with a great anti-climax finish and Donie Lyons and Daisy Kearney performed the famous “Railway Line to Ardagh” which was composed and often performed by the late Paddy Faley. There was a special request for Jim Lyons to sing “Nancy Hogan’s Goose” before the end of the show and he gave a rendering of the song that had everyone laughing.  After the session which was held in St. Ita’s Hall the performers and the audience were all treated to a lovely meal of tea, sandwiches, apple tarts and buns which was very much appreciated by all. The Fleadh Committee were very lucky that the weather held up so fine throughout the weekend which certainly added to the enjoyment of the events.


The Austerity Treaty Booklet

The booklet which was issued and sent to every home in the State last week by the Government and misnamed “The Stability Treaty” when its proper and realistic title should have been “The Austerity Treaty” and which, no doubt cost a fair sum of taxpayers money from scarce resources, money which could have been allocated to better use in some other direction such as the Health Service. The contents of the booklet in our national language as well as in English, which apparently was supposed to inform the citizens about the implications of the so-called Treaty on which they are being asked to vote on May 31st.

Instead the so-called “Your Guide” is a continuous rigmarole of legalistic mumbo jumbo which even the most intelligent and well educated people will find difficult to understand. If the population before the issue of this booklet were undecided about which way they ought to vote, after reading through this so-called guide they are likely to be more confused than ever now.

If it was the intention of the government to inform the people (and by this we mean the plain people), then it should have been the duty of the Government to outline in plain, simple terms the implications and as far as possible the consequences of what their voting choices would mean for themselves and for our country.  Instead they decided to issue this booklet at the expense of the taxpayers which tells us nothing about this treaty that any ordinary lay person can understand. Already the Pro-Treaty Parties are out there at their usual scaremongering tactics trying to induce people to support the Treaty proposal and also warning of dire consequences if we oppose it. But, of course, we have heard all this usual propaganda before about previous European Treaties and where it has left our country other than in the worst situation that we are in since gaining National Independence.

But anyway, it now looks that whatever the Irish people vote in the forthcoming referendum it is likely to be irrelevant anyway as the new French Socialist President Francois Hondalle has promised to renegotiate the EU Fiscal Compact Treaty as he most likely understands the growing opposition across Europe to the austerity measures that are being implemented. Not many of the progressive minded citizens of this country will regret the defeat of Nicholas Sarkozy in the French Presidential Election which he failed to win for a second term. It will be remembered his remarks about this country when our people had rejected the first  Lisbon Treaty Referendum