When The Stench Of Corruption Reeks To High Heaven

Norman Finkelstein was recently snubbed by the President of the Trinity University Philosophical Society (Dublin). Here is what he had to say in An Open Letter to Students, Faculty and Staff at Trinity College.

When The Stench Of Corruption Reeks To High Heaven: Sorcha Ryder, Niamh Lynch, and Truth

If one’s olfactory organ comes under assault from the foul stench of official corruption, then what’s to be done: cover one’s nose or clear the air?

I’ve opted for the latter civic course of action.

On 14 July 2018, I was informed by Sorcha Ryder, President of the Trinity University Philosophical Society (Dublin), that I was “chosen to receive the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society” and that I had “topped the lists of elected Patrons voted on by Fellows, Staff and Students of the College.”

However, just as I prepared to finalize a date for my Honorary Patron’s Day, Ms. Ryder went into self-imposed deep seclusion.

My emails to her went unanswered for months on end.

In early January I started making inquiries among the Trinity College community.

Word got back to Ms. Ryder and she miraculously resurfaced among the living.

Where had she been?

Ms. Ryder first alleged that my emails had gone to her spam folder.

She then alleged that she had taken off Christmas break.

These were shameless lies, as Ms. Ryder effectively conceded.

Last week Ms. Ryder informed me that the award ceremony had been deferred until next year because the Phil was financially strapped.

That too proved to be an easily demonstrable lie.

It is now clear that Ms. Ryder has unilaterally rescinded the award.

The Phil’s constituency has not been informed of her decision.

Why did Ms. Ryder cancel the award?

A president of the Phil often sees this office as a stepping-stone to a career in politics.

Did Ms. Ryder decide (or was she persuaded) that it would be imprudent to host an unabashed defender of Palestinian rights and bane of the UK’s organized Jewish community?

Still, it might be wondered if any of this matters.

The editor of the school paper, Niamh Lynch, thinks it’s just a teapot tempest. She informed me that the paper would not report the story as it was of “no interest to students.” (Her co-editors agreed.)

I beg to differ.

When the elected officer of a venerable student organization rules by fiat and mocks her constituency in order to promote her career, and then lies, and lies, and lies some more to cover her tracks, it certainly ought to be of concern to students as well as faculty and staff.

One hopes that at least some members of the Trinity community will be outraged by Ms. Ryder’s cynical highhandedness and Ms. Lynch’s smug condescension.

A draft of this Open Letter was sent in advance to Sorcha Ryder and Niamh Lynch. Neither of them disputed the facts contained therein.

Keep up with Norman Finkelstein.


  1. Proof again that Trinity is no better than UCD.

    When I was at UCD, I'd ask questions in class.

    Mostly in response to dubious political statements by some of the Professors.

    My fellow students would sometimes pull me aside and warn me not to do that.

    “Just shut up and suck it up or you’ll never get a job here (in Ireland)!”

    I found it all to be anti-intellectual and career crazy.

    Even the weekly guest lecturers at UCD ranked between dull and boring.

    A friend of mine at Trinity said it really wasn’t any better.

    But once back in the US I got to sit in on a guest lecture by Norman Finklestein.

    He spoke rationally and with conviction about Israel and Palestine.

    His coverage was comprehensive and concerned for the rights of all people there.

    And he took all questions from the audience without rancor or disrespect.

    Wow what a difference between him and the colonial careerists at UCD!

    He is a very learned published scholar with a Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton.

    I invite all readers here to check him out on YouTube if you haven’t already.

    So, any university who won’t have him is a university you don’t want to go to.


  2. Well said Norman - universities should be founts of knowledge not manipulation and distortion. But the societies at Trinity have form here

  3. I know several students at northern universities that question the narrative of some professors, particularly the politics and history ones. The penny finally drops that to obtain the right results and contacts its best just to nod and agree. And some on here think 'The Murder Machine' isn't relevant these days? Jesus wept.