November 15, 2005

Church 'as much part of Bertie's genealogical map as Fianna Fail'

One in Four

BERTIE Ahern's unique selling point is his ordinariness. He could be any one of us.

On the surface, he's an uncomplicated, amiable fellow - happy to work hard and enjoy his football and pints. However, there has to be more to him. Or else we'd all be the Taoiseach.

The magic ingredient in the Bertie mix is his landlubber's terror at the thought of rocking the boat. Safety comes first.

His conciliatory impulses make him an excellent negotiator, and he has carried this reputation all the way from the industrial storms in the Department of Labour to the Northern peace process. Just don't expect him to challenge the consensus. However, oddly for a socialist, he has no appetite for iconoclasm. ...

Like vast numbers of Catholics, he bears it familial goodwill. It is as much a part of his genealogical map as Adam and Fianna Fail.

After the Ferns scandal exploded in 2002, the Taoiseach announced that negligence in dealing with child abuse by priests was "a matter for the Church", when any other State would have been summoning the Papal Nuncio for what is euphemistically called a frank exchange.

While the promised inquiry into the Dublin archdiocese had run into its third year of delayed start-up, the Taoiseach spent last summer investigating the hours spent teaching the Koran in a north Dublin Muslim school.

Posted by kshaw at November 15, 2005 05:26 PM