CURRENT ISSUE:  OCTOBER 2023

Donnybrook: RTÉ

By John Myers

Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) is Ireland’s national public radio. It is in the Irish language, dating back to 1926, at the time of the birth of the Free State. RTÉ has been Ireland’s equivalent to United States P.B.S., but more like Canada’s CBC and Britlands BBC.

RTÉ is a publicly funded radio and T.V. broadcasting service serving the Irish Nation, including radio and T.V. stations broadcasting solely in the Irish language. It looms larger in Ireland as there is not the same level of private sector competition on the small island of Ireland.

Currently RTÉ is on the front page of news coverage in Ireland due to coverups by RTÉ leadership as to the amount of funds paid to its talent or on air T.V. presenters/newscasters. Under the direction of the laisse-faire Fine Gail and Fianna Fail government, elitism and arrogance was allowed to become the RTÉ corporate culture.

Today’s news is about the steps RTÉ leadership went to hide the high level of compensation that air news presenters were being paid. Why the secrecy? This current scandal may prove an opportunity to redefine RTÉ and return the public to public broadcasting. 

Not My King
Not my Kingwas the chant that greeted King Charles and Queen Camilla along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. Charles was doing a reprise of his Westminster Coronation as part of his desperate bid to hold onto his crumbling empire.

While some loyalists did cheer the Royals, most Scots ignored the pomp and circumstances. King and Queen were presented the royal jewels of Scotland and presided over the Stone of Destiny brought to St. Giles Cathedral for this celebration. Charles and Camilla were draped in ermine and the Queen wore a remarkably tall white plume.

Scotland and England have been united under one monarch since the Act of Union is 1707. Currently the SNP (Scottish National Party) controls the devolved Scottish Parliament. The fight for independence continues, albeit moving slowly at the moment while its charismatic former leader, Nicola Sturgeon, undergoes some ethics inquiries. Brexit continues to fuel the move towards a new referendum calling for Scottish independence.

Air Force One
The President’s planemade a fuel stop in London on its way to shepherding President Biden to the important NATO summit in Lithuania. This was a critical foreign policy trip with America’s NATO allies to keep focus on sustaining Western aid to Ukraine in its fight for freedom against Russian dictator Putin.

However, in an effort to placate those that incessantly whined that The leader of The Free World had missed the coronation in the U.K., and “oh my goodness,” what does this mean to the “special relationship”?, the U.K. visit proved worthwhile. President Biden was able to enlist Charles assistance in efforts to impact climate change, hoping to avoid the Forty Shades of Green becoming the Forty shades of Brown in Eire. The video replays were special to see as President Biden arrived in his black Chevy Suburban on the parade grounds of Windsor Castle.

But even better was to hear the Star-Spangled Banner played at the home of the British Monarch. Biden left Windsor to have a cup of tea in the gardens at 10 Downing Street with P.M. Sunyak and recap the P.M.’s commitments to Ukraine and Good Friday Agreement. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation
FBI does not stand for Full Blooded Irish, at least not in this case where FBI online files indicate reports of an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth during a trip to San Francisco 40 years ago.  Reportedly a victim of English state sponsored violence, now living in the Bay area, was motivated to drop an explosive from the Golden Gate Bridge as the monarch’s royal yacht passed below.

This ‘hot tip’ was overheard by a patron of an Irish pub in San Francisco, imagine. The stiff shirts at the FBI may sometimes not look at context, as in if one had a nickel for every time a grandiose plan was hatched or a impressive boast proclaimed at an Irish pub, one would be very rich….

Pebble Beach 
With much of the fizz off the top of the Men’s LIV/PGA tour, the Women’s PGA offered great play last month at the U.S. LPGA Open, held at Pebble Beach, California. Heading into the tournament, Leona McGuire, a native of County Cavan, was a heavy favorite. She played well, but Irish eyes ended up focusing on County Clare native Aine Donegan.

This was the amateur golfer’s first professional tournament, and she came out of now where to lead the competition at various points. The 21-year-old was three under par in the first round.  While neither McGuire nor Donegan won, they did give Irisher’s a lot to cheer for. Keep your eyes on these two for good sport entertainment. 

Achill Twinning with Cleveland
Mark your calendars for celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, USA with Achill, County Mayo, Ireland this September and October.  A festive dinner will be held in Achill the second weekend of September 9/10 and in Cleveland at the West Side Irish American Club on Saturday, October 28th, 2023.  All are welcome at both events

GAA
An additional reminder to not miss the Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) Championships will be held August 5-6, 2023 at the Barton-Bradley Fields in North Olmsted, Ohio.  Cleveland’s own St Pat’s-St. Jarlath’s will be hosting.  Stop by and see Irish sport in action and stop by P.J. McIntyres in Cleveland’s lovely Kamm’s Corner neighborhood for the after parties.

Twelfth
Twelfth is the shorthand name for the celebrations which take place each July to commemorate the victory of Protestant King Billy (William & Mary) over Catholic King James in what is known as the Battle of the Boyne. A much longer description could be given to the exact dates, but the crux is the concept of Protestant King beating Catholic King. 

King William was a Dutchman, William of Orange, hence the nickname of “Orangemen” for Loyalist Protestants. The event is celebrated with hundreds of bonfires and parades.

One community claimed to have the world’s largest bonfire. Being enlightened folk, this bonfire had the Irish Tricolor and a copy of the Good Friday Agreement situated at the top of the bonfire to destroy. Very nice folks.  

Rose
The Ohio Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians gathered for the state convention in Cincinnati in late June, where they greeted Sinn Fein T.D. Rose Conway Walsh from County Mayo.  Conway Walsh gave the keynote address to the convention and shared her observations and experiences from her work in the Irish Parliament and with Ireland’s oldest political party, Sinn Fein. 

*John Myers is an attorney in Cleveland. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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