Citizen Journalism Ireland: Good Friday Agreement 1998: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”. Edmund Burke Scholar by Michelle Clarke

For me, today, this Christmas day 2015, it is nostalgia and a journey through my computer files and my decision to extract articles written in years gone by and considering them in the context of now; Ireland facing a General Election in early 2016, a year which is the Centenary of the Easter Rising which led to Ireland, the Republic, the Independent State, a member of the European Community as early as 1973.  Never forget, we Ireland, are a very young State yet a very old country and Independence came at a very high price.

Strange times.  Mercurial.  Peter Robinson, DUP (First Minister) in coalition with Sinn Fein, Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister, hands over the mantle to Arlene Foster, a Lawyer, a daughter of an RUC man a woman who has had direct impact from IRA attacks during the Troubles.

Newspapers of recent date are inundated with articles about a case taken by the Criminal Assets Bureau for failure to make tax returns over a number of years. Thomas “Slab” Murphy is in the dock; it can be said without doubt that this man ranked highly in the IRA – all of this about the IRA and Tom Murphy still remain allegations because To Murphy was never convicted of membership of any organisation.  This has resulted in the decision in Ireland to try him in Green Street in other words a “Diplock Court”, there is no jury and the panel consisted of 3 Judges.  The New Year will reveal the sentence this man will get; it could be prison.  Is it not fair to ask – and I take no sides herein.  Was the Court not more suitable for Sean FitzPatrick, Bradshaw, and so many more and soon to come home Mr Drumm, all former staff of Anglo Irish Bank.  I mean Tom Murphy, I know it is relevant is millions a mere few (alleged); but these Anglo Irish elites cost the State e68 Billion and a banking Inquiry that has just collapsed before the Old Year ran out.

It is like yesterday:  the article I include here is written in 2006, the time of the Revd Ian Paisley now deceased.

Article published on Open Publishing site:  (789 words)
January 2006.  The Good Friday Agreement…/the-good-friday-agreement-and-today/

To: Dr. Ian Paisley, to the  Progressive Democrats (PD’s)and their harsh sentiments to Decommissioning and to those who heckled Mr. Caoimhghin O’Caolain, Sinn Fein, in the Dail yesterday.

It was my humble belief that it was time for reflection with the hope of PEACE.

I lived in Zimbabwe in the 1990’s and worked in the City, London, in the 1980’s early 1990’s. I was involved in a horse riding accident and suffered traumatic brain injury. This hampered my life but I can read and relate to pre-accident. Today, I completed a book I found in a second hand shop. The title attracted me – The Real Irish Peace Process – A Socialist Democracy Publication published in 1998.  I would recommend this factual account of ‘The Troubles’ and how people moved above war and focused on the Peace Process. The main elements of the book emanate from discussion papers and articles written in 1997, they also revert backwards to the John Hume  (Nobel Peace Prize recipient) and Gerry Adams discussions.

Now let’s go back to Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia. 1982 saw the end of Guerrilla war in Rhodesia, the former British colony, and the Lancaster Agreement was enacted – the new State was formed. It would be fair to say it was partially modeled on the Republic’s cessation as a colonial power. Like Ireland, the Zimbawean people had to endure a civil war. The golden rule ‘Divide and Conquer’ applied yet again and pithed the Shona tribe (President Mugabe) against the Matebele tribe (Joshua Ngoma). One need only listen to the news and realize the heightened sense of conflict in this country. Lord Acton’s words about ‘Absolute power corrupts and power corrupts absolutely’ could be said to be apt and famine and drought blights the poor. The people of this troubled country need support.

Ireland on the other hand has consistently through generations sought a Nation State. Now with the committed efforts of all parties involved in the Peace Process – there is hope.

This Peace Process has been endorsed by people like President Clinton, Senator Edward Kennedy, George Mitchell (American lawyer, primary architect of the Good Friday Agreement), Mo Mowlam, Secretary for State for Northern Ireland and many others in the US. Prime Minister Blair has been committed in his endeavours as has our Taoiseach, Mr Bertie Ahern. People like Mr. Trimble, Mr. Hume, Mr. McGuinness, Mr. Gerry Adams, Mr. Gerry Kelly and so many more have been relentless in their endeavours to work with the IRA and to achieve all that is but one step a way from the Hope of an Island of Ireland.

I did not include Dr. Paisley for one reason. As a person I do not know him but his behaviour and apparent narcissism, is not acceptable. I feel it is time for him to leave aside similar remarks that I recall coming from a certain nun I lived in fear of at school. The remarks aimed at creating fea the combatant of love.

Doris Lessing now in her late eighties moved from Persia (now Iran) to Rhodesia and was one of the Revolutionaries expelled from Rhodesia by the Ian Smyth (British Colony) government.  Given my experiences in Zimbabwe I bought her book ‘African Laughter’. President Mugabe invited her to return to Zimbabwe in the 1990’s and the book was the outcome of the visit.

Subtlety appeals. I recall that every office, hotel, public space, had a photo in a prime location of President Mugabe (perhaps just in case one would forget!!!). Doris Lessing however found a ‘Poem’ in most offices.

Appropriately, the title is: the message is clear.


The Boss drives his men
The Leader inspires them
The Boss depends on authority
The leader depends on goodwill
The Boss evokes fear
The Leader radiates love
The Boss says ‘I’
The Leader says ‘WE’
The Boss shows who is wrong
The leader show what is wrong
The Boss knows hot it is done
The Leader knows how to do it
The Boss demands respect
The Leader commands respect


I would hope that during this time of reflection that we can look to the leaders and ignore the narcissists. Narcissists are the people concerned with how they appear as distinct from what they FEEL. They deny feelings. Acting without feeling, they tend to be seductive and manipulative, striving for power and control. They are egotists focused on their own interest but lacking the true values of the self – namely self expression, self-possession, dignity and integrity; on the cultural level, narcissism is seen as the loss of human values’

I am sure we all can identify Boss/Narcissist people but these too are part of what David Hume refers to as ‘Diversity in Unity’

Michelle says bye and one more comment: Stockbrokers Bond: My Word is my Bond – surely the suggestion of “photos” diminishes the principle.

Christmas night 2015:

How many other inner agreements were signed and sealed to leave certain people alone who were also the architects of decommissioning.  I wonder how many people in large rooms off long corridors tonight are thinking 2016 may be for celebration but as Gerry Adams said – the Judiciary can get it so wrong.  Why a Diplock Court for mere tax returns?  O we know, the DPP requested the Certificate from the Supreme Court to produce Mr Murphy to a Diplock hearing.  Again, the men who cost the State billions and it is generations forward who will continue to pay this debt.  Yes, so many questions and many worried souls tonight.

To conclude:

We have a Taoiseach now in five years.  He only gives interviews on his terms and the questions are censored by his advisers.  He would never appear before Vincent Browne, yet Micheal Martin has and even Jack O’Connor of Siptu has.

Kenny as one Fianna Failer put it – yes the Grandson of Eamon De Valera said, Eamon O’Cuiv, ‘Kenny is the most bunkered Taoiseach in the history of the State’

Boss or Leader?

I recommend an interview of a young Gerry Adams by renowned psychiatrist Dr Anthony Clare in the 1980’s.

I also recommend interview of George Mitchell by Charlie Rose

Mo Mowlam unfortunately left life a little too early.…/the-good-friday-agreement-and-today/

About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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2 Responses to Citizen Journalism Ireland: Good Friday Agreement 1998: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”. Edmund Burke Scholar by Michelle Clarke

  1. Pingback: Good Friday Agreement 1998: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”. Edmund Burke Scholar | canisgallicus

  2. Pingback: Good Friday Agreement 1998: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”. Edmund Burke Scholar | canisgallicus

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