Thursday, 13 August 2015

"Kidnapping" or "Abduction" alleged by Pat Kenny in Tallaght protest


As a pacifist I don't engage in violence.  So, I don't approve of the throwing of a well documented single brick towards Tanaiste Joan Burton by one individual at last year's peaceful Tallaght protest against water charges.  (It missed).  Nor would I approve even of someone throwing a water balloon at the same Tanaiste and scoring a "hit".  Although, the throwing of a water balloon is much akin to throwing a soft snowball - there can be a fun element in it as well as intent to cause mild distress.

Neither would I personally hold up someone's car purposely by joining with others to surround it for over two hours.  The danger here is that over such a long time someone - either an angry protestor or an agent provocateur - will bang at least once on the car and the occupants may correctly or mistakenly fear for their physical safety.

Especially when I believe, as in this instance, that the protest is justified, I would always advise that it should be absolutely peaceful.

The cost to the vast majority in a peaceful protest when an individual resorts to the throwing of a water balloon or banging on a car or throwing a brick is monstrous.  It gives an excuse to those who oppose the protest to lyingly  label the whole protest as "violent".  It also can give rise to charges in a court of law.

The above incidents were reported  as having happened in Tallaght last year.

The news emerged last night that no fewer than 23 of last year's protestors at Tallaght are now to be charged variously with "false imprisonment", "violent disorder", "public order charges" and/or "criminal damage charges".

One of the people present at the protest was Paul Murphy, an anti-Austerity T.D in the present Dáil.

Paul Murphy is a non-violent person.  This morning there was an item about the protest on "Newstalk 106", a commercial radio station owned by billionaire Denis O'Brien. It concerned an earlier interview with Paul Murphy

The speaker was Patrick Kenny, better known as Pat Kenny, who could be described as the silver-tongued doyen of the right wing, conservative, pro-establishment radio hosts who flood the air waves of Ireland.

In his flagging of the subject beforehand, Pat Kenny referred astonishingly to the "kidnapping" or "abduction" of Joan Burton in Tallaght.

To Kidnap is defined in the Oxford dictionary as:
to abduct (someone) and hold them captive, typically to obtain a ransom.

In the Merriam-Webster dictionary it is defined as:
To seize and detain or carry away someone by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom.

In Ireland the word "kidnap" reminds people of the violent kidnapping and imprisonment of Tiede Herrema (1975) during which an Irish Garda lost a finger in a shooting incident, and the violent kidnapping (1987) of dentist John O'Grady who had his two little fingers cut off in an effort by his kidnappers to force a ransom.

"Kidnapping" here is an extremely ugly and loathsome word.  The wily and intelligent Pat Kenny would be aware of this.

He would also know that kidnapping as a crime has been removed from the Irish Statute Book by the Non-Fatal Offences against the Person Act of 1997. So he has no fear of legal consequences as a result of using the word in respect of the Tallaght protestors.  He can throw sludge all over the accused and slide away to the next topic.  

The reverential hushed tones of his interviewer voice and his pleasant bedside confessional manner with interviewees are completely out of kilter with the vicious damage he can cause to the reputations of innocent people by his clever choice of words.

This was a low, mean, hit-and-run blow by Mr Kenny, a flagrant upping of the ante against the still innocent protestors.

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