The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

My Photo
Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Sunday, December 27, 2015


The playwright Hugh Leonard is dead.
He's been dead for years but I've only just noticed.
He was a somewhat talented fellow.
I didn't hold him in high regard.
Through four decades I found his conformist sneers at the Catholic Church to be without courage or insight.
It came as a surprise to me to discover an old book of his humour columns a few months ago and to realise that I'd spent my entire adult life trying to capture what he'd got.
I admit this in tandem with confessing I never liked him.
An adopted child, born to parents who were not married, he as much as any of us in Ireland owed his life to the Catholic Church's insistence on the sanctity of life in all circumstances.
Nowadays people abort such babies with barely a second glance.
Or contrareceive them ahead of schedule.
Because of Hugh Leonard's promotion of anti Catholic anti Life ideas through half a century of public discourse, a Hugh Leonard would not get born in Ireland today.
God always sends the best in inconvenient circumstances.
Hugh Leonard should have known that.
Abortion and contraception are denuding us of genius.
He should have know that too.
I think he did.
The accolades of the pseud media class in Ireland never felt like love to him.
Late in life he tracked down the woman who gave birth to him.
She didn't want to know him.
I cannot help thinking that Hugh Leonard had as much duty as I had to defend the ancient church and to advocate the sanctity of life.
But he rejected the commission.
He could have accomplished more than loose canons like me, as a somewhat credible somewhat talented figure.
As it is, he accomplished nothing.
To his credit, for most of his adult life he despised the IRA mafia and their parliamentary proxies in the Sinn Fein political party.
Yet as a young man, when Ireland's national broadcaster RTE, commissioned him to write a television series glorifying Ireland's 1916 bloodletting cum revolution, Hugh Leonard wrote a formulaic shoneen bigoted pro IRA style incitement to hatred of Britain, which is now credited with revitalising the terrorist movement across the Republic of Ireland.
This is not hyperbole.
Television was a mightily powerful medium in those days.
Up to that point in the Ireland of 1966, people had generally despised the IRA as murdering gangland scum.
In the slums of Dublin the IRA could barely show its face where its members were looked on with loathing by the people who remembered the frivolous murderousness of the Rah's 1916 revolution and dismissed Rah men with the peculiar Dublin epithet of "diehards."
It was not meant as a compliment.
After Hugh Leonard's romantic depiction of the mayhem of 1916, things changed.
Hugh Leonard's hackneyed television drama glamourised the RAH and gave it a new lease of life, allowing its members to pose as freedom fighters even while extending their rackateering subversion of Irish trade unions, media and Judiciary, their drug dealing, people trafficking, and paedophile ring activities across the nation, and their Cosa Nostra style forays into Europe and North America.
Hugh Leonard took the money and ran.
He did spend the rest of his life honorably opposing the IRA.
But it was too late.
He more than anyone else created the modern IRA and the pool of moral excrement in which it swims.
Let that be his epitaph.


Post a Comment

<< Home