The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

The Culture Of Lies And Deceit

A Quotation On A Heavy Piece Of Glass

Liam O Comain • 30 August 2004

In the room where I am now writing on the window sill there sits a piece of heavy glass upon which my son Gaelan has written in gold ink a quotation from Thomas Davis. The quotation is as follows:

'Freedom comes from God's right hand and needs a Godly brain, and righteous men shall make our land a nation once again'.

Gaelan copied this down from one of my books when he was quite young, not yet a teenager, but the truth or sentiments within this quotation had obviously captured the purity and idealism of a young boy. Sadly that truth and idealism is now missing from many who claim to be Irish republicans. Of course the culture of lies and deceit is not restricted to the republican community for it also permeates the Dublin political establishment, the SDLP, and certain cliques in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and of course the nationalist media.It is also worldwide!

Considering the thought of Davis and indeed that of Patrick Pearse who wrote of the importance of truth in our hearts as a necessary ingredient in the armoury of those pursuing the republican cause perhaps the latter patriots were of a kind who were far removed from the world of real men and women. But whatever their position I admit that in my weakness as a human being I long for the truth of Davis and Pearse. And in this longing I try to be truthful with my fellow humans and because of this principle I feel I must oppose the lie which exists especially when an account of an experience which I shared or in some way been associated with is not in accord with what really happened.

Which is why I had to oppose the culture of lies and deceit which has been brought into the Captain Kelly campaign not by the family but by others associated with it. The taint of lies has appeared in the press and on the internet and I would draw the readers attention to the duplicitous nature of the internet forum Stormont Watch which champions the Kelly campaign. As well as its usual segment who have not the courage to state their own true identity and who are experts at personal assassination behind pseudonyms, a situation of personal abuse which its administration claims not to tolerate, there is the less than honest behaviour of the sites administrator. For example, a recent copy of The Blanket has yet to appear on the Stormont Watch site inspite of the fact that in relation to a query relating to censorship the sites administrator declares that there is no censorship on the site. Of course the missing Blanket issue contains an article relating to the Kelly Campaign written by myself.

The most recent lie of course is that the administrator of the site was a delegate from Derry at an IRA Convention in the nineteen sixties. This is not true for if he was then he has the gift of bi-location, that is being capable of being in two or more places at one and the same time. For on the week end of that convention the person who states that he was in attendance was in Letterkenny in Co. Donegal being responsible for getting a few dozen republicans ejected from where they were based because he earlier had distributed leaflets calling upon Irish Army personnel to desert. I am privy to this because upon my return from the aforementioned IRA Convention I could not gain entrance to our original base and met the ejected republicans including the Stormont Watch administrator in a new base - a large barn just on the verge of Letterkenny...

As to the question of plagiarism which has raised its head recently I was always of the opinion that to plagiarize one had to copy word for word what someone else had written. For example to copy this piece entitled 'The Culture Of Lies And Deceit' word for word condemned one as a plagiarist. But apparently this is a very basic definition for thought and ideas is also a part of that defined as plagiarism. Based upon this position there would be very few of us if indeed any who are not guilty of some form of plagiarism in the verbal arts. For example if one uses a quotation used by another writer ( not his own) in a piece dealing with a similar topic is that plagiarism? I doubt it based upon the first definition of the subject within a verbatim context. If one reads a contribution from another scribe or letter writer and one is inspired by the thought of the latter writer to write something relating to the same subject is that plagiarism? I doubt it. In fact although I am open to learn and be corrected I believe that to keep within the area of safety a verbatim definition of plagiarism is acceptable otherwise we could enter the world of the bizarre. To stretch it did Einstein and Darwin start from a clean sheet and ignore the ideas and thoughts and writings of earlier thinkers. A close look at their works will show otherwise even to the extent of the more complexed definition of plagiarism. Equally were Engels and Mark original or did some of their thought just happen to coincide with some other left thinkers including Thompson of Cork. There is also the complicated area background of the relationship between language and thought and what comes first. And of course the debated complexed philosophical question of what is originality.

The latter subject however is one where deceit and untruths can survive but how much of this deceit and lies is conditioned by the media consciously or unconsciously (and this is a fact of life) and of course our wounded human nature which can prevent us from attaining some grasp of that which is noble?

My son is a young man now steeped in the language and culture of his Nation as well as the culture of Europe and the world. I have never spoken to him about the quotation of Thomas Davis on the piece of heavy glass but I believe that it is still an element of his thought. Alas many republicans have lost this innocence of truth and perhaps we all need to regain it if we are sincerely committed to helping Robert Emmet write his epitaph.





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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

6 September 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

Not In Our Name
Fred A Wilcox

Child Murderers
Anthony McIntyre

32 CSM Urges Russian Government: Recognize Chechen Independence
Sean Burns

Who is Really to Blame?
George Young

Resistance, by ANY Means.
David A' Gardner

Reality Check
Patrick Lismore

Fairy Cleansing
Seaghán Ó Murchú

The Culture of Lies and Deceit
Liam O Comain

Labour Steps Up Pressure on IRA to Disband
Paul Mallon

30 August 2004

The Knackers Yard
Anthony McIntyre

Spin Cycle
Mick Hall

Reality Check
Patrick Lismore

32 CSM Pays Tribute to Memory of Republican Socialist Volunteers
Marian Price

Let Them Stay
Davy Carlin

"Fine Words"



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