We should find a silver lining where we can, even in the worst moments.

Published: 27 February 2023

That horrible attack on Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell — yet another fine policeman hated by bad people — has had the unintended consequence of bringing Sinn Fein hypocrisy into the limelight in the Republic at a time when the media are at last subjecting them to unprecedented scrutiny.

In the Irish Times, the political editor Pat Leahy has been writing about how Sinn Fein use bluster, evasion and legal threats to avoid legitimate but embarrassing questions about their finances of the kind they demand answers to from other parties.

Yet they haven’t managed to close down extraordinary reports about what the Sunday Independent describes as “the shadowy nature of the party’s finances” under its standing director of finance, Des Mackin.

Once imprisoned for IRA membership, he told a journalist a few years ago that Sinn Fein “don’t want a parliamentary party running the organisation. We want to stay a party of activists. It’s a totally different model”.

And now it’s no longer enough for Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald to express revulsion at the attempted murder of a member of the PSNI in front of children.

The demonising of every dead or injured cop is becoming less convincing the more southerners are exposed to the truth.

How do they explain away the murder of Superintendent Alwyn Harris — father of the well-regarded ex-RUC now Garda Commissioner Drew Harris — on his way to church with his wife for a Harvest Thanksgiving service?

Too many people in the media are exposing the hypocrisy so well-known in Northern Ireland, but only just dawning on innocents down south.

Suzanne Breen, in the Belfast Telegraph, reported a message from a former police officer: “Why was it justified to shoot us — and there was no alternative — but now it’s an atrocity?”

It’s a question I’ve been asking since the world expressed its horror at the Omagh bombing while praising Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness as men of peace.

As the repentant IRA bomber Shane Paul O’Doherty put it in this newspaper: “Every Sinn Fein day involves the eternal task of squaring circles — celebrating and glorifying those who previously murdered and bombed police officers while being forced to utter regret when one of the movement’s junior offspring — the New IRA or the Continuity IRA or the Real IRA — copies its parent’s attacks on police officers.”

Nowadays, they are engaged in the even more ambitious task of trying to rewrite the entire history of the Irish state, to make villains of all those who were pro treaty and heroes of those who plunged much of the island into civil war.

They denounce the double standards of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael in honouring the “good old IRA” while condemning the Provos.

The Wolfe Tones, who star annually in the West Belfast festival, had a sold-out Dublin concert recently, covered by the Irish Times.

A sample song was: “We’re not British/we’re not Saxon we’re not English/we are Irish and proud we are to be/So f*** your Union Jack we want our country back we want to see old Ireland free once more.”

The mainly young audience were then fed lies about Irish history from the Sinn Fein bible of victimhood, and encouraged to sing along with a chorus ‘Ooh ah up the ‘RA, say oooh ah up the ‘RA’.

The band has been going with slight changes of personnel for 60 years, but most of those present were young.

The reporter, Patsy McGarry, no admirer of killing for Ireland, ended bleakly: “The two generations had a great night, with a version of Irish history passed to the younger one.”

Praising DCI Caldwell as the very best kind of person, Micheal Martin sounded an alarm about how dissidents are “poisoning the minds of the younger generation”, but the truth is the Provos have been the masters of that and have injected the toxin into the young.

Horrified about DCI Caldwell, the media has a major part to play in educating readers about history and encouraging the Irish people to stand up to the poisoners, stop singing along with their songs and uncritically believing their lies, and above all, think twice before voting.

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