Monday, March 13, 2017

Back from RTE

Well, I'm just back from being in the audience of the Claire Byrne Live show on RTE, and this time I did get to speak! Not that my contribution to the discussion was all that substantial, or eloquent for that matter, but at least I made it and I don't think I made a complete fool of myself. Unlike the previous time I spoke in a TV studio, I didn't freeze when somebody responded to me, and I even engaged in a bit of back and forth. So, I'm happy with that. I hope I get future opportunities because I do enjoy the experience of being involved in public debate, though I'm a bit shaky at it so far.

I did learn something, though; lead with your main point. I started with a secondary point, a response to something someone previously said, and then the discussion got away from me. I never got to make my main point, which I think was a good one. We were discussing the separation of Church and State.

That was the first time I've been in the hallowed (or unhallowed?) halls of RTE, even though I walk past it every day, working as I do only ten minutes walk from it. I have to say they were all very nice and even laid on a taxi home.

I was sitting beside Donald Clarke, film reviewer and columnist with The Irish Times, who very often takes potshots at the Church in his writing. I've never agreed with a single word that particular journalist has written, on films or religion or anything else-- right down to "the", "is" and "or". However, we didn't speak.

The show can presumably be seen on the RTE Player online, though I assume it's only viewable to people in Ireland. I'm the guy who mentions bishops washing the feet of abuse victims. I won't look at it myself, though, as I would cringe.


  1. Actually,RTÉ player came up on my phone quite easily, but I couldn't actually play the segment, I'm not officially connected to internet, except what services come with the phone.
    The mention of a representative from Amnesty International is curious though. I assume he was debating the rep.from Iona institute? What has Church/State separation realistically got to do with what was traditionally their (very good) work?

    1. Good question! Amnesty International used to be concerned with prisoners of conscience, however now they seem to have become a left-wing pressure group. In Ireland they lobby against our abortion laws. Colm O'Gorman, the chap who was there last night, also played a major role in campaigning for gay marriage.

      Indeed, Peter Hitchens stopped supporting the organisation after thirty years for reasons like this (second item down):

  2. Hadn't heard of him before, [the Maltese-born here are usually pretty straight- which made it all the more surprising that out was the Maltese bishops that have pushed for Communion for those in irregular marriages.]
    I know a conservative Kerry-woman(she goes to Mass at SSPX) who sent them donations for many years until their abortion rights stance.
    I was actually asked to sort out some old 70s/80s CTS pamphlets by a priest last year, mostly they were too old to give as a current resource, except as supplementary reading, but they were good enough to keep- one lot I had to throw into the "round file" however:a catholic social justice statement. The cover had a photo of an altar or shrine of the Risen Christ somewhere in GB, in what seemed like a modern style church, decorated with candles with the Amnesty logo. I knew straight away what the priest would say about that... amazing what a difference the years have made. As recently as 2000 the principal Mercy(Sisters) girls college here had an AI youth group.... Not sure what happened to it

    1. It's undoubtedly the case that the surrounding culture is moving further and further away from the for Peter Hitchens, he's constantly having to point out he was born in Malta, it's a bit of an odd fact about him.

  3. Have watched your contribution (though not the whole programme) from across the Irish Sea. Well done! You seem to do well with the cut-and-thrust parrying of argument. The man you are up against is also rather a smooth operator in that he is well-practised in appearing on television and being ever-so-reasonable. I'm a long way from daring to appear in such an arena, wimp that I am!

  4. Thanks! The fellow I was talking to is a media favourite in Ireland and is rarely off the airwaves so he has plenty of practice.

    As for "daring to appear in such an arean", it's all relative. A situation like that doesn't bother me in the least, but I will do everything I can to avoid asking a stranger for directions, or phoning up a business.