Cartoon by Brian Mór
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On the Rocky Road

Cartoon by Brian Mór
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  1. McGuinness confronted by dead soldier's son

    Updated: 19:16, Monday, 10 October 2011

    Martin McGuinness was confronted during his canvass in Athlone by the son of a member of the Irish Army who was killed in an incident after the kidnap of Don Tidey in Ballinamore in 1983.

    Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness was confronted during his canvass in Athlone this afternoon by the son of a member of the Irish Army who was killed in an incident after the kidnap of Don Tidey in Ballinamore in 1983.

    David Kelly, whose 35-year-old father Paddy was shot dead, called on Mr McGuinness to name those responsible.

    Mr McGuinness denied he knew the names of the IRA members involved in the kidnapping of Mr Tidey.

    He told Mr Kelly that while he sympathised with him, he was not a member of the IRA army council when it happened and repeatedly denied suggestions by Mr Kelly that he was a liar.

    Afterwards, Mr Kelly said the Presidential election should be about truth and that was what he was looking for.

    He also said that he and his family had considered the coroner's report on his father's shooting and were now 100% certain that the bullet that hit their father came from the gun of an IRA man involved in the incident.

    He rejected suggestions that there was any doubt about this and that his father had been hit in crossfire after gardaí and the army confronted the gang who were holding Mr Tidey.

    Earlier, Mr McGuinness condemned those behind a death threat phoned into a Sunday newspaper.

    He said he was unaware of the details of the alleged death threat made but would condemn it without hesitation.

    He is canvassing in Longford, Westmeath and Offaly this afternoon.

    Mr McGuinness said the economy is central issue in the campaign and he would be discussing ways in which the President could make a difference throughout the campaign

  2. Impongo2,

    it looked bad on TV. He has no real way of dealing with that type of challenge. He is forced to lie and the lying becomes so transparent. Imagine the President of the country confronted with that,particularly in the presence of foreign dignitaries.

  3. Anthony,

    I am not sure what such confrontations mean or achieve. For example, could not a Vietnamese citizen have confronted John McCain during the 2008 presidential election about the roughly 2 million civilians that were killed in Indochina during the Vietnam War, which he fought in and still supports?

  4. Alfie,

    It would seem self evident. Such confrontations mean publicity for the case of the person making the challenge and a measure of discomfort for the person being challenged.

    Harriet Kelly from Belfast once did it with Thatcher and it stands out in my mind.

    There would be nothing wrong in my view if a Vietnamese civilian had challenged McCain. It would have been much less effective given that McCain would have stood over the war and his role in it. He would hardly be claiming to have left the US military in 66 or whatever and would be unlikely to be describing as murder some of the actions carried out by his troops and for which he gave operational clearance

    I suppose those who do it might well feel it gives them a chance to draw serious attention to what they feel is a serious grievance. Who in the country is now not aware of this particular case?

  5. A debate on Today FM with Matt Cooper you can text in questions starts 4.30pm

  6. AM- Alfie-

    Surly the same charge could be made against any goverment party / partys
    which allowed american troops to stop of at shannon airport before being sent into other peoples lands to kill-
    will the media bring over relatives of dead civilians that american troops killed from Iraq or afganistan to confront those who supported this-or will they look the other way again

  7. Michaelhenry,

    yes they could but it wouldnothave the dramatic effect yesterday's confrontation had.

    Did the media bring this guy? I thought he brought himself and that the media were actually accompanying Martin McGuinness.

    However Martin decides to answer, the question he was asked remains a legitimate one. We have all been asked legitimate question that we did not like having to answer.

  8. Martin can't point a finger
    Eilis O'Hanlon

    By Eilis O'Hanlon

    Sunday October 09 2011

    According to the latest world rankings, TCD is now lagging behind such intellectual powerhouses as the universities of, er, Sheffield and, er, Uppsala (Sweden's fourth largest city, fact fans).

    It's not as if Trinity is an undemanding employer. David Norris was able to work full time in the Seanad, and insists he's up to the gruelling job of president, but such was the strain of putting in a few hours each week in TCD's English department, the poor dear had to give it up after he fell ill. Who'd have thought droning on about Ulysses was that exhausting?

    The real surprise is that the latest revelation hasn't increased Norris's popularity among voters. He managed to pull off working at a job in one talking shop while being unfit to hold down a job in another talking shop. And the senator did it for nearly two decades. Respect! Still his ratings are falling. Perhaps the voters don't want to wear Norris out by sending him to the Aras -- especially on top of the repetitive strain injury he picked up from writing all those letters.

    An interrupted employment record is probably the one thing the flamboyant Joycean has in common with Martin McGuinness. The former butcher boy says he left his previous employers, Provisional IRA Ltd, in 1974. It's not known if they paid him disability too, but the fact he also claims never to have killed anyone during his time in a balaclava does seem to suggest there was something wrong with Marty's trigger finger that stopped him shooting straight.

    Or maybe he just brought in a note from his mum: "Dear P O'Neill, Martin will be unable to take part in any bombings today as he has a cold."

    Aw, bless.

    - Eilis O'Hanlon

  9. impongo2,
    loved the bit about the note!
    But the reality of the situation not appears he was never even in the Provos.