29 2 mins 11 yrs

This is what happens when SOMEONE in the Media finally asks some tough questions of IRA Godfather Martin McGuinness;

“TV Presenter Miriam O’Callaghan was said to have been left “badly shaken” by an angry confrontation between herself and Martin McGuinness following Wednesday’s presidential debate. Eye-witnesses described to the Irish Independent how, following the debate, an entourage from Sinn Fein hung around the room allocated for guests in RTE.

The group were said to be irate about the questions put to Mr McGuinness during the debate, which had included the mother of eight asking the Derryman how could he claim to be a man of religion and yet be “involved in the murder of so many people”.

When Mr McGuinness arrived out of the studio, he asked to speak directly to O’Callaghan.  Sources said he took her aside into an adjoining dressing room off the Green Room. O’Callaghan was asked if she wanted a colleague to accompany her but she declined.Inside, he expressed his displeasure about questions posed to him during the debate. Witnesses said voices were raised during the course of the five-minute discussion. Mr McGuinness then departed with the Sinn Fein spindoctors. Last night it was confirmed to the Irish Independent that O’Callaghan had been “badly shaken” by the encounter with the Sinn Fein leader who had accused her of asking “disgraceful questions” during the debate.

I like Miriam, an excellent broadcaster. Whilst she may have been left shaken, she was at least ALIVE. Not all those who encounter the IRA got that result. The bully boy tactic is all too obvious and yet amazingly, this is the man who is co First Minister of the Northern Ireland assembly and aspirational Irish President. Both countries deserve so much better.

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29 thoughts on “WHEN MARTIN MET MIRIAM….

  1. I’d read about this.

    This guy is now swimming in a much bigger pond, one that he’s not terribly familiar with, and I’m not sure these tough guy tactics will sell as well in Dublin as they do in Derry.

    We need more journalists who ask tough questions.

  2. Great post David.

    Fascism exposed by honest journalist doing her job, i.e. asking honest questions as opposed to the media groupie / patsie questions these guys are used to. And geuess what? They don’t like it!

  3. Bookies have it as a two horse race between MDH and Gallagher, however mcguinness denies a bust up but says it did become heated. He has been under a lot of pressure, only a matter of time until he lost it, it’s been predicted that he would.

  4. He didn’t like her line of questioning and he is entitled to say so. RTE is an instrument of the government and McGuinness was subjected to an attempt at trial by television. But it backfired on RTE and on the government. The other candidates were invited to say McGuinness was not fit to be President and not one of them was willing to play that game.

    Interesting to note David that you have no problem with a state broadcaster having an agenda when that agenda coincides with your own. I’ll read your regular complaints about BBC bias in that context from now on.

  5. Henry

    Annoyed that the Butcher Boy is a bully boy? I am well aware of RTE and it’s pro-Statism. None of that excuses McGuinness. It exposes him.

  6. To be fair DV you haven’t mentioned tis which is very serious, after all Miriam herself hasn’t said if she was upset, and McGuinness said it was ‘heated’ rather than the bust up reported. You can be quite biased sometimes 🙂

  7. Annoyed? Hardly. Nothing would suit me more than for RTE’s bias to be made obvious to everybody and that is exactly what’s happening. Attacking McGuinness saw the Fine Gael candidate’s vote collapse to 9%. People know unfairness wen they see it and if anything O’Callaghan’s idiotic line of questioning will bring more people into the McGuinness camp.

  8. kateyo

    He was entitled to his say on the programme and if he was unhappy with the questions should have said so openly and publically on the tv show. Why did he then also feel the need to confront her with his cronies afterwards and take her into a private room to have a heated confrontation that left her shaken. It was a form of intimidation.

  9. So speech is only free on air and in public. When you speak to someone privately it should restricted. If speech is to be ‘free’ it should apply everywhere shouldn’t it. Perhaps its in the way its said rather than what is said. Shinners are quite prone to loosing it, but then so did others from other partys. It’s the arrogance that enrages the public I think.

  10. It was a form of intimidation.

    No I don’t think it was. I think he’d every right to ask to speak privately. Miriam isn’t a new girl on the block, she must have known – or at least had an idea what it was to be about.

    McGuinness is under too much scrutiny, they all are – for him to have been intimaditory. Imv he’s meant it as a private word and its got out of hand.

  11. Colm

    He was entitled to his say on the programme and if he was unhappy with the questions should have said so openly and publicly on the tv show.

    He did. Some examples.

    MO’C How do you square, Martin McGuinness, with your God the fact that you were involved in the murder of so many people?

    MMcG I think that’s a disgraceful comment to make.

    MO’C You were in the IRA.

    MMcG I was in the IRA, I joined the IRA as a result of a conflict that broke out on the streets of Derry when I was 18 years of age . .

    MO’C But you’re a Republican, you know everyone in the Republican movement.

    MMcG I think that’s a stupid statement for you to make.

    Is this anyone’s idea of good debate moderation?

  12. Henry

    I never saw the debate but it would be interesting to know exactly what it was that was said afterwards that left her ‘badly shaken’

  13. Kateyo

    For an alleged non-shinner, I have to say that your views posted here seem invariably pretty close to the party line.

  14. Henry – I am confused. Was the IRA that McGuiness was deeply involved in not involved in murder? Does he not portray himself, among other things, as a religious man. If so, wouldn’t it be a failure of any journalist not to ask him how he reconciles the two?

  15. Mahons.

    He said in the debate that he was a Catholic but if he had been born in a different area he would have likely been raised a Protestant. He was making a point about peace not claiming to be particularly religious. Of course O’Callaghan missed the point completely and asked him did he go to confession.

    The IRA were involved in a conflict. Young men in the late 60s and early 70s reacted to the situation on their streets. I don’t think any fair peson who informed themselves about that time would fail to understand why that happened.

    The great tragedy was the failure of the Sunningdale Agreement in my opinion. After that it was all about a military victory. No government would talk to those who they saw as terrorists and everybody stayed in their trenches.

    That’s where we’d be today if it wasn’t for people like John Hume and Martin McGuinness and Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

    And that’s where we would still be if other people had their way. That doesn’t mean Martin McGuinness is entitled to win the election but he is entitled to be looked at in the context of his life as a whole and not as a cartoon Badie by people who have had the most privileged of lives in Dublin and are paid ridiculous sums if money now by the state controlled extortion network.

  16. Henry

    So Miriam shouldn’t have asked those questions? Just for the record, they should have been off-limits?

  17. Peter

    A journalist is entitled to ask stupid questions but the person who is asked or anyone else is also entitled to point out that they are stupid. That kind of free and frank exchange of views is better than censorship. Of course for most of his adult life censorship kept Martin McGuinness off the air completely. RTE are asking questions now about a period of time they failed to cover properly when it was happening. So ut’s hard to be impressed by that as an exemplar of the free speech principle.

    Then again should RTE even exist. On TV3’s debate Vincent Browne asked a much more decisive question about the role MCGuinness played in the IRA. But he asked in in a far more intelligent way and the debate was better for it.

  18. stupid questions

    In your view. I guess most of the viewers would not have seen them as stupid.

    Can you enlighten us on the “decisive” (in your view) question asked by Vincent Browne? And on the response from the candidate.

  19. Henry – i am reminded of David Duke, a lunatic white supremist, a Klansman and Neo Nazis who for a while became a player in Lousiana Politics in the 1990s. He was in the Klan and a Neo-nazis and uttered the great political hogwash statement of that era the “I was somewhat strident in my youth”.

    I feel the same way about McGuiness trying to portray his IRA activity as youthful indiscretion.

  20. Peter

    From what I can gather, trying to be objective, people on balance don’t like those kind of attacks on McGuinness. The candidate who led with it sunk like a stone in the polls.

    Vincent Browne (I’ll try to find a clip when I’m not relying on the IPad) produced a number if books by various authors which alleged that McGuinness was still involved in the IRA after 1974. In response McGuinness to issue with the credibility of some of the books but of course he didn’t get time to deal with them all.

    By the way McGuiness has a conviction for membership of the IRA in 1974. He was never charged since so we must conclude there was not enough evidence to support such a charge. We should note that he could still be charged if he himself made a statement placing himself as a member after that date. If you were his legal advisor what would you tell him?

  21. Henry

    Let’s hope that basic decency prevails on election day. Everyone on this island knows what McGuinness is responsible for. Except for “angels on the head of a pin” casuists like you, who claim to believe that he is as innocent of mass-murder over four decades as is that decent politician John Hume.

    I used to see you as a decent commentator on this site, whose values were on the side of morality, but I have my doubts now. Maybe you will prove me wrong?

  22. the debate, which had included the mother of eight asking the Derryman

    Erm, shouldn’t that read “the debate, which had included the mother of eight asking the grandfather of twenty-two”?

    These are self-evidently important details.

  23. Peter

    One thing I have done on this site and on any other site I comment on is to refrain from getting involved in personal attacks or rancor with other posters. I’m willing to accept that the views of others are sincerely held and where possible to find points of agreement. I’m not here to prove you wrong but to put my point of view on whatever topic interests me at the time.

    By everybody doing that understanding tends to be increased over time even if events and elections in particular appear to polarise from time to time.

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