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Sunday 29 December 2013


Why I show no mercy to Ming, McFeely and Adams

Ruthless Ruth Dudley Edwards is drawing up her list of newsmakers who merit a one-way ticket off our island

I didn't even long-list Jedward for the Most-Annoying-Celebrity slot in my annual list of those I wish to deport until they turned up in the Irish Times Christmas magazine. Explaining why Christmas Day wasn't that special for them, Edward confided: "Me and John give so much all year, it's not like a different day for us, of giving, because we always give so much to everybody."

Such generosity is contagious. Guys, I'm chucking you out with a one-way ticket. Bono's off the hook till next year.

Next comes Ming Flanagan, our top political clown since the retirement of Jackie Healy-Rae. It's almost 2014 now and we must put childish things behind us. We are a sovereign people once again, so do you really think we should be taking seriously an elf called Luke who won a seat by giving himself a makeover inspired by Ming the Merciless, a character from Flash Gordon, a Thirties cartoon strip?

The primitive Beast-Men of Mongo revere Ming as a god, but is that an excuse for the voters of Roscommon-South Leitrim to continue to take him seriously? It isn't just that this anti-corruption campaigner who had vowed to out those who had penalty points quashed had had his own wiped twice. It's that he is unashamed, unrepentant and blames the gardai. You claimed to be different, Mr Merciless, but you're as bad as any of those you revile. Off with you!

Many of those who helped wreck the country have been bankrupted, decamped or have the decency to keep a low profile, but we've still got a class act in Tom McFeely. This one-time IRA hunger-striker learned nothing from the misery and destruction of the failed Provo campaign. Asked about the 1972 bombing of his local village of Claudy (nine dead civilians, five Catholic and four Protestant), he told the Guardian: "If I'd been there I would have planted the bombs ... I only regret I wasn't able to do more." Decades later, as a ruthless businessman, he became notorious over the scandal that was Priory Hall, the tantalising discovery of €200,000 in the bathroom of his old mansion, his insistence that he was a British citizen who should be allowed go bankrupt in the state he had fought so brutally and the hundreds of million of euro he has cost the Irish taxpayer.

McFeely is a poster boy for the worst of Irishness, a ghastly combination of callous paramilitary ideologue and greedy and unscrupulous capitalist who despised the laws that vainly sought to protect his victims. I'm sending him to a special place, the desert island I usually reserve for Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley.

Adams has had a memorable year. There was the discovery that he had allowed his brother Liam, whom he knew to be a paedophile, to be a Sinn Fein youth worker in Dundalk and Belfast, there were the allegations about his role in having hapless victims killed and disappeared and there was his explanation after the report of the Smithwick tribunal, that since the Provos had a duty to kill them, the murdered policemen, Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan, had been complicit in their own murder by taking insufficient care. For those who know what he is, Adams's Twitter persona (selfies with the politically respectable and confidences about his teddy bears) is an insult.

Adams -- who is clinging to the leadership of Sinn Fein -- is down 8 per cent in the opinion polls, something he can brood about as he fights his old comrade McFeely for the slender resources of the desert island.

I'm not sending him the Rev Ian Paisley as I feel the old bigot's son and political heir might prove even more tiresome. I can't stand Ian Junior at the best of times, but his determined opposition to extending reform of libel law to a wee province that badly needs investigative journalism has got my goat. Off with him, and may he take Paul

Tweed, his favourite lawyer, with him.

Just a few for the road. Enda Kenny's cynicism over senate reform -- before, during and after the referendum -- earns him a passage on a slow boat toChina along with Pat Rabbitte, who condemned as "cave men" anyone who doesn't watch TV or use the internet.

Much, much worse was the morally shabby response of Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan -- who will be in steerage -- to the findings of the Smithwick tribunal and its suggestion that gardai place loyalty to the force above honesty. As many of our charitable enterprises are demonstrating, institutions foul up when ethics are sacrificed to self-protection and personal greed. That's the big issue for 2014. Forget about Jedward.

In the meantime, a Happy New Year to all those who struggle to make the island of Ireland the better place it would be if my deportation orders really worked.



Ruth Dudley Edwards

© Ruth Dudley Edwards