The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Forgetting Eric Honniker

Eoghan O’Suilleabhain • May 4, 2003

The sprawling Irish Cultural Center of Canton, Massachusetts is located just south of Boston in a corporate industrial park just off of Route 138 on the aptly named New Boston Way.

It is the procreative genius of native and descendant Irish who in 1989 saw the need to establish their own little nationalist Mecca much like Jewish Community Centers that dot the outer perimeters of many major metropolitan American cities.

Seemingly implicit in the proud design and structure of the place is (maybe) the Irish equivalent of Jewish signs that strategically hang in many JCC’s expressly stating “Where ever we stand, we stand with Israel.”

Ah well, hope springs eternal.

So until our day comes, we must all of us make it a point to read widely and read critically. For instance, I found buried in the back pages of last week’s Boston Globe weekend Calendar Magazine a bottom blurb barely mentioning the coming of Ed Moloney, Irish Journalist and Author here to speak at the ICC in Canton about his latest best seller The Secret History of the IRA.

Eureka! Talk about finally panning a nugget from this inky murk. And so off I went with his book in hand eager to hear and be heard.

Ed Moloney gave us a very good summary of his excellent book. And he also added an interesting analogy about George Washington and Lord Cornwallis. He pointing out that if George Washington had quietly opened up a back channel of communication with Cornwallis as Adams had done with Tom King signaling defeat without anyone else knowing it at the time then things would have turned out differently here in the US.

Indeed. And says Moloney -Washington would have been accused of treason, whereas Gerry Adams is or should be properly credited as a clever Irish statesman and strategist very much in the Irish historical tradition of Collins and DeValera.

At question and answer time I asked Mr. Moloney (who is English born & accented) if it really is all just a matter of perspective, that is, is treason here statesmanship there and if so why?

His answer, which struck me as both articulate and rambling, was something along the lines of one man's traitor is another's statesman.

My follow up question to him was: "Well then, are you implying perhaps an unpalatable truth, that the ends justify the means?" He seemed bothered by that question and adroitly replied that he was a professional journalist and so not in a position to make such personal judgements.

Don't get me wrong, Ed Moloney seemed like a nice enough fellow and I really enjoyed reading his book (and told him so), but he isn't the first Journalist I have seen genuflect to that professional cover. Like Journalists don't have or give their opinions. And he did after all just credit Adams with being a clever Statesman and Strategist. Was that opinion or description or merely descriptive opinion?

A colleague of mine who was present suggested that since the guy lives in Ireland he must watch what he says. But I reminded my friend that Moloney (according to the ICC Official who introduced him) lives in New York City. Moreover, lots of people live and have lived (like myself) in Ireland and don't seem to mind running the risk of having an unpopular opinion. Moloney did after all write not just one politically risky book or column about Gerry Adams and various others, but also wrote an earlier unpopular (for Loyalists) book about Ian Paisley (which I have also read and recommend).

Another fellow (with an Irish accent) in the room (which was pleasantly packed) asked if the GFA was in fact not working since the British had whimsically suspended the Stormont Government and Loyalists were attacking and killing Catholics. Moloney answered that while that was all true, the British suspended Stormont to save it and while stupid Loyalists were killing Catholics - they weren't killing as many as they used to.

In fact, he thought (lest you think he was damning the GFA with faint praise) that a lot of the Loyalists were finally copping on to what a good deal the GFA was for them given the obvious compromises the Provisionals had to make. Moreover, Moloney thought one manifestation of this Loyalist realization was the ejection of Johnny Adair and company from the Loyalist body politic, which he says would never have happened just a few years earlier.

At the end of the question and answer period, Ed Moloney sat at a side table to sign our (his) books. When it was my turn I suggested he write in it "Fuck the Machiavellians!"

But he replied smiling "They’re the ones who make history you know."

And I retorted "Yeah, like Eric Honniker and Nguyan Van Thieu".

He stopped smiling and asked me my name and its correct spelling and quietly signed my book. I shook his hand and said thanks for coming.

And lest you think I didn’t mean it, buy his book and read it …or be damned by another man’s poison.


Index: Current Articles + Latest News and Views + Book Reviews + Letters + Archives

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



"The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments."
- George Mason, Virginia Bill of Rights, June 12, 1776

Index: Current Articles

4 May 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Official Secrets and Official Lies
Carrie Twomey


Iran's Weblog Quandry

Pedram Moallemian


For A Free Press


Tutored, Managed and Castrated
Anthony McIntyre


Forgetting Eric Honniker
Eoghan O’Suilleabhain


Lukacs After Communism
Liam O Ruairc


How's It Goin'?
Brian Mór


Swept Clean

Annie Higgins


1 May 2003


Northern Ireland's War of Words
Brendan O'Neill


No Respite

Anthony McIntyre


Foreign Investors
Liam O Ruairc


Crowd Control American Style
Caoimhe Butterly


On Cuba
Douglas Hamilton


Hearts and Flowers

Annie Higgins




The Blanket




Latest News & Views
Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
Republican Voices