Well, that didn’t take long. Just a few days after the South’s general election thrust Sinn Fein to the doorstep of Government Buildings in Dublin, the mask has slipped.
A prominent Dublin party activist by the name of Enda Fanning, who is a member of Sinn Fein’s ruling ard-comhairle, has used Twitter to call for a new ‘monitoring authority’, ‘with powers’, to be set up by the incoming government to prevent criticism of elected Sinn Fein representatives by the media.
Here is the tweet issued by Mr Fanning yesterday afternoon which he published in response to items carried on RTE Radio One’s Joe Duffy programme and which Fanning said had ‘denigrated’ Sinn Fein representatives. Joe Duffy’s coverage, he claimed, was ‘utterly shameful’.
Sinn Fein was, of course, prominent in the campaign to repeal Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act which effectively censored that party from the airwaves in the South for most of the Troubles. The party presented itself to the world as a critic of government-led censorship and a friend of journalism in both Ireland and Britain.
But Mr Fanning’s tweet, which has not yet been disowned by Mary Lou McDonald or any of the party’s hierarchy, suggests that for some in SF that was merely a self-serving pose which hid a deeply authoritarian streak in the party’s make up and an intolerance of dissent that has a distinctly militaristic flavour.
Joe Duffy has the right to say whatever he wishes about Sinn Fein as long as he provides evidence to back up what he reports. Every journalist in Ireland should support him in his exercise of free speech and resist even the most misguided attempt to silence him.
Sinn Fein party leader Mary Lou McDonald needs to condemn Fanning’s remarks and publicly commit her party to the defence of the media’s right to free speech, especially in the reporting of her party.
Enda Fanning is also a member of the Art Chomhairle.
Yep, a good provocative contribution to a conversation that must be addressed. Mr Fanning bristled at the bias in anti-Sinn Fein bias in the media poses the old story of the clash between responsible journalism and the freedom of the press vs. yellow journalism.
To give Mr. Fanning his due and as a perennial victim suffering from persistent bias, discrimination and even hate I’d be horrified if no representative of the victims spoke up.
So, while freedom of the press is paramount, I trust Sinn Fein’s noted quest for egalitarianism is extended to protect all victims of hate, discrimination and prejudice. In the meantime, let’s savor this momentous moment.
If you object to what a journalist writes then confront him/her. Do not invoke the state’s power to censor. That is the coward’s response, the reactionary’s answer.
Rather fascist of SF/PIRA is it not.
SF/PIRA Calls For Media Monitoring Body Against ‘Anti-SF Bias’!
First they came for the journalists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a journalist
Click to access First-They-Came-with-new-branding.pdf
“If you object to what a journalist writes then confront him/her. Do not invoke the state’s power to censor. That is the coward’s response, the reactionary’s answer.”
No state censorship! Full discussion of everything, I mean everything, and i am not drawn to discussing much of the past either, but look forward, for example the position of people in Ireland at all points of leadership towards global warming, aka respect for science.
So his name is Enda Fanning and a former Dublin City Councillor. So hatred of Israel immediately comes into the equation because it IS Dublin City Council and they have a record of support for Hajj Amin el Husseini “Palestinians”…right!, and allied with long history of Jew Hatred in Ireland, and i mean long and vicious.
This is what gets me about this tweet by Fanning…I think he represents the whole of Sinn Fein in this…but they do not come out in the open. That is the problem here.
I personally am totally opposed to Fanning in this tweet. A new governing body which decides what we say…I cannot think of anything more less needed in Ireland at the present and I speak of someone who has global warming at the forefront of my views at all times. by the way the position of Sinn Fein in the election needs to be looked at MOST closely indeed and nobody has done it.
“Enda Fanning is also a member of the Art Chomhairle.”
Thank you for that information Brian Lynch. That answers a lot of my questions in what I wrote above and it intensifies greatly my issues about irish Politics today. i would not have known that. I am not in a position to know that.
But if Fanning is a member of the leading body of Sinn Fein then that answers myself above, and this is no casual tweet, but becomes a very serious matter for the whole of the Irish people and i think much wider too.
Thanks again Brian. I do not know you but that info is valuable.
And thanks to the website “the broken elbow” for airing this.
I notice that readers may not know who I am, as my contribution picks up a website, and I wish to tell you that my name is Felix Quigley and am easily found on the net if so interested. In other words I hide nothing but publish in full daylight.
I have given exposure to this issue concerning this dangerous tweet by Fanning on my facebook page which is:
i am wondering what is the next step and especially who on the so called “Left” in Ireland will enter the discussion on the issue of the tweet by Fanning!
Don’t hold your breath!
Don’t hold your breath! As you say out of your bitter experience I would say.
YES as regards do not expect ANY response or discussion, this is a situation in Ireland that has got to be cracked open by very good journalism and by organisation on a massive scale, never ever experienced in Ireland on the left.
The left was from an historical point of view swallowed up by the syndicalism of Larkin and less obvious but also real the role of James Connolly, great heroes to me that these two were and still are. Syndicalism can be shortened to “no politics”.
Roddy Connolly and then Nora were broken on the death spiral of Stalinism, which remember began to be set in, inside of the Russian revolution, as early as say 1922, only five years from the revolution.
From then on all things outside of Russia began to be coloured by Stalinism.
Yet there was a touching correspondence between Nora and Leon Trotsky. ( https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/ireland-fi/norac.htm) …by the way the super sympatico response of Lenin and Trotsky to 1916 is part of our history too.
But back to this issue of Fanning.
My explanation which is inadequate, after all of that history, including the GFA apologetics Sinn Fein are in no position to discuss anything. They are simply not that type of party.
And what Fanning has writ in large letters is that in Ireland it will be dangerous in how many ways to have sharp and open debate on the most vital concerns. Incidentally thejournal.ie a few years ago was blocking all my comments. Some human person had to take a decision to do that. But they really did me a favour!
By the way not much you can do about the Fanning tweet, they will cover it up, they are real artists in this science of cover up, “whatever you say say nothing!”, but we have been given a little bit of the truth in this memorable tweet.
While I doubt this will become party policy I see it as the usual SF threats that they will sic their supporters on any difficult journalists, and maybe adopt such a policy if they continue to get tough coverage. In other words this is posturing aimed at creating a chilling effect. And like the “political policing!!” reaction to Harris it is programming their supporters to ignore what they have heard, same as they do up here.