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Sunday 21 December 2014


Imagine if we had a Christmas free of 'undesirables'

Our fair island would be a happier place if we threw out some of its inhabitants

Ryan Tubridy
Ryan Tubridy - the first to go.

As a corrective to seasonal sentimentality and false bonhomie, this time of the year I nominate people for deportation from Ireland. This year, as an experiment, I sought suggestions from Facebook friends, an eclectic bunch with strong opinions.

Of course I retained a veto.

There was a tut-tut from the poet Theo Dorgan, who suggested there was "something just a tad, well, Cromwellian about deporting Irish people".

Theo needs to lighten up. He failed to put a stop to our gallop.

I've bad news for Ryan Tubridy, who was the first nominee on the grounds that Mayo resident Julian found him "just embarrassing". I might have let that go, but from Australia, Rosemary said: "My Irish work colleague tells me that Ryan Tubridy should be added to your list, Ruth. No idea who he is." And his fate was sealed by Karen, a Dublin-based poet. Hearing that he's split from his girlfriend, and knowing he often wonders aloud if he should defect to the BBC, it would seem kindly to wave him goodbye. Not for the first time, the words "sanctimonious" and Bono were linked, and there were suggestions he be despatched to Africa since he seems so keen on it or joins his money in the Netherlands, but - as Guy from London reasonably asked - "Is he ever in Ireland long enough to be chucked out of it?".

Still, the chap's had a nasty accident and he hasn't made a fuss about it, so I'm reprieving him this year.

While we're talking singers, Mairia from Belfast asks that One Direction "be headed in only one direction", and as I find them hard to bear too, Niall Horan's on the plane. Jedward earn twin seats for what Linda in London describes as "crimes against humanity". Of course, Sinead O'Connor was mentioned, but I won't sanction losing her before her plans for our island have been refined.

I know her new national anthem is not among her best work, but the woman is trying to give up smoking and I know how emotionally and intellectually draining that can be.

Sinead takes us neatly to Sinn Fein, whose leadership she wishes to overthrow. She'll be pleased to know that Gerry Adams is a popular choice: Mary in Maryland wants him deported three times, George in London would send him to North Korea, Fiona in Dublin wants him accompanied by "his bloody rubber ducky" and Jeanne in Sicily thinks his bears should be run out of town because Adams will follow.

I've ignored the plea from David in Alicante to keep Adams for "his entertainment value". He's off to the deportees' North Korean complex with his cuddly toys and the brain-washed Mary Lou McDonald, whose nominations included one "for pretending to be one of the people when she is in fact from privileged south side of Dublin".

I give them the UVF leadership for company, along with DUP MP Ian Paisley, because of his shocking campaign against libel reform. Gregory Campbell MP will be there to expiate that awful "curry-my-yoghurt" joke about Irish, which he directed at Caral Ni Chuilin (an ersatz version of Carol Cullen), whose reward for doing time for IRA crimes has been her appointment as Northern Ireland Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure - in none of which issues she seems interested.

She shows no interest in saving the Ulster Orchestra, so Garry in Gloucestershire will be pleased to have her out.

"I will vote for Paul Murphy TD," said Padraig from Sri Lanka. "There was a time when no one else did." .

At the suggestion of Robert from Dublin, I'm sending Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger, whose preferred method of destroying the Irish economy is whole-scale nationalisation.

Barry from Cork rightly suggests the awful Raymond Deane, who wants Israel to become "a pariah state among pariah states".

Jim from Bangor wants out "all the priests, monks and nuns along with Creationists and Intelligent Design merchants, then just savour the freshness and complete difference".

Well, Jim, I know some nice clergy and Intelligent Design doesn't offend me, but I'm open to getting rid of fundamentalists, who would include quite a few imams and Protestant evangelicals and secularists like you too.

What didn't come up was Kim Kardashian's bottom, which she brought to Ireland along with Kanye West when they were on honeymoon in May. I know they made only a short stay, but I don't think that bottom should be allowed back.

My favourite contribution came from Irish-speaking Ulster Unionist councillor, my old friend Chris McGimpsey. "As Sinn Fein claim the Indo to be pro-British could I respectfully suggest that you rename the column from 'deported from Ireland' to 'on the runs'. This way the Brits could give them letters to let them back into Ireland."

Of course, there were many other worthy proposals, not least the Taoiseach, Phil Hogan, high earners in Irish Water, President Michael D Higgins, Frank Flannery, Nell McCafferty and the staff of Poetry Ireland. Oh, and me. But I don't live in Ireland.

It's a parlour game. Play it yourselves and enjoy your Christmas.

Ruth Dudley Edwards

© Ruth Dudley Edwards