Opinion Brendan O’Connor

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Outbreak of outrage saves a campaign about nothing

Can we not discuss anything these days without it descending into the usual spiral of outrage, asks Brendan O’Connor


MISCHIEF: Presidential candidate Peter Casey ‘suddenly there was a bad guy and his role was to make everyone else look good’. Photo: PA
MISCHIEF: Presidential candidate Peter Casey ‘suddenly there was a bad guy and his role was to make everyone else look good’. Photo: PA

If an alien had landed in Ireland last week and observed what was going on, she would surely not have concluded that we were in the midst of a competition to fill the highest, most dignified office in the land.

The alien would have noticed a bunch of people doing the rounds of various media outlets and being aggressively questioned, at times, as if they were criminals. But the alien would have been confused, because the nature of the crimes would have been unclear. The alien would notice one bald man being repeatedly questioned about his alibi. Where has he been for the last seven years, everyone keeps asking him. It would also seem to the alien as if this man had possibly committed a crime during the gay marriage referendum because investigations seemed to focus on where he was while that was happening.

Watching a bit more, the alien might have decided that what was actually going on was a very public financial audit. The alien might have concluded that it seemed like a very elaborate way to conduct a simple accountancy exercise. The alien would have concluded that the potential financial irregularities seemed to involve an elderly bookmaker who was being less than forthcoming about his expenses, and who seemed to like air travel and expensive hotels.

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