Louise Richardson

Louise Richardson

IT OCCURRED to Goldhawk on recently reading the Irish Times’s political editor, Pat ‘The Brigadier’ Leahy, that he had contracted gout on some mission abroad, such was the testy, belligerent language he used to describe Irish hypocrisy and blithe indifference to earth-shaking developments afoot.

Amid sneers at Irish pacifists who speak of peace and neutrality, Leahy warned that we do not appreciate that “the EU is preparing for war”. The Brigadier knows this because he has been chatting to chaps from the war office (“two senior members of the government” who are “highly engaged at EU level”, no less) who told him so. Yet we are planning to spend a mere €1.5 billion a year on military spending by 2028 while the EU gets ready to spend billions on defending Ukraine – and Ireland, don’t forget! – from Russian invaders.

There has been a noticeable build-up of media sermonising from warlike ladies and gents recently about the need to defend Ireland from invasion and Brigadier Leahy has not hidden behind the editorial lines in the heat of this editorial battle. Indeed, his chivalrous defence of Dame Louise Richardson, chair of Micheál Martin’s anti-neutrality forum last summer, rivals the story of Walter Raleigh’s cape and Queen Elizabeth 1’s puddle. It was that forum, and the bad publicity that Irish warmongers received as a result, that first stung Leahy into delivering editorial white feathers to pinko pacifists everywhere.

Despite the forum’s poor public reception, Dame Richardson recommended the scrapping of the triple lock that deters snap decisions to embark on military adventures abroad. Martin, would you believe, has now announced plans to do just that.

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