The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

the crunch question


Question: What is the difference between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda and Isis?

Answer: There is no difference between them. They are the same thing.

ooh ahhh up the community groups campaigning on law and order issues

The IRA mafia and their parliamentary proxies Sinn Fein feature much in the news in our green Republic this week.
In a clear pre election strategy Rah men are once more cynically trying to flood the airwaves with stories of their victimhood at the hands of the British army circa 1972.
That old gag.
There have also been a slew of newspaper stories about the Rah and Sinn Fein seeking pre election deals with left wing candidates in the forthcoming Irish elections.
Sinn Fein is close to government now.
So close they can smell it.
But perhaps the choicest IRA Sinn Fein news story of the week concerns an IRA murderer who has been found taking part in a community action group campaigning on law and order issues in County Louth.
Ironic what.
He murdered a police officer in the 1980's.
And the community group of which he is a member has just called for extra police officers to be assigned to their community following the IRA's most recent spate of murders of police officers in County Louth.
I suppose the IRA are afraid County Louth might run out of police officers if they keep killing them all off at the present rate.
Bless.
So having already infiltrated the media, the judiciary and the trade union movement, the IRA mafia and their parliamentary proxies Sinn Fein are now infiltrating community groups who campaign on law and order issues.
These are dark days for Ireland.
Thankfully there's a cure.

Friday, October 30, 2015

book review with constant weader


This week's title: Immaculate Deception by Jim Gallagher, Merlin Publishing, 2009.


Jim Gallagher's hatchet job on the claims of Achill Island visionary Christina Gallagher to be receiving personal visits from the Blessed Virgin Mary, is well worth another look with the passing of a few years since its original publication date.
Christina's loyalists have not abandoned her and nor have students of the nature of reality like me entirely lost interest. (My own conspiracy theory du jour for Christina is that she has currently reinvented herself as internet loon prophet the self styled Maria Divine Mercy, a not for profit Prophet, if you believe her publicity handouts.)
Jim Gallagher's original attempt to blow Christina Gallagher out of the water, still has merit and is still relevant.
Caveats: His book may be seen as a personalised and vitriolic attack on Christina Gallagher. It is these. But it is more.  It may also be seen as an exculpatory piece, intended to justify The Sunday World newspaper's three year long campaign to ruin her. It is this too. But it is more.
The book is billed by its publishers as "the shocking true story," and the truth is in here somewhere I'm sure.
I'm just not sure that the Sunday World ever really found the smoking gun it insists it has found. Nor am I sure that the evidence as presented in Jim Gallagher's book justifies his trial by newspaper attempts to ruin a private citizen.
If you read Jim Gallagher's book I think you will end up asking yourself not just about Christina's integrity but about Jim Gallagher's and the Sunday World's integrity as well.
The book is fascinating because all these moral contradictions become relevant in any consideration of it.
Presumably Jim Gallagher is no relation of the reputed visionary Christina Gallagher although the coincidence in last name's creates a little confusion for the unwary reader.
The book features a clear narrative overview of Christina and her claims even if the author seems at times to prevent our access to any details that might happen to be in the visionary's favour.
There is a dissatisfying reliance on sources who are permitted to remain anonymous. Jim Gallagher tells us how decent his sources are, how brave and how sincerely religious.
But he would say that, wouldn't he.
I reckon fully ninety percent of the allegations in this book are attributed one way or another to supposedly real individuals whose identities remain Jim Gallagher's little secret.
This stuff would not pass in a court of law where witnesses have to stand over their testimony particularly when the reputation of another human being is being dragged through the mud.
And that's the problem with this book.
Can we sincerely believe Jim Gallagher is on the side of the angels, genuinely trying to shut down a fraudulent visionary in order to protect the elderly and vulnerable who according to him would otherwise be ripped off by her?
Or is it more likely that the Sunday World having come to the conclusion that Christina Gallagher was not quite oxo, decided to label her as a fraud in order to sell a few newspapers, at a time when their title was running up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt soon to be written off by collapsed gangster banks?
I'm asking the question.
Even if Christina is doing a fakey poohs with her visions, who is the bigger criminal here? Consider it! Independent Newspapers which owns the Sunday World has just had at least three hundred million dollars of its debt cancelled by banks recently nationalised by Prime Minister Enda Kenny. (Yes the man who closed the Vatican Embassy and legalised abortion.) Independent Newspapers which owns the Sunday World is itself owned by three billionaires, Tony O'Reilly, Denis O'Brien and Dermot Desmond.
And through the cancellation of Independent Newspapers debts by banks that Enda Kenny has decided you and I own, you and I are effectively paying those debts! We are paying the newspaper debts of three billionaires. You couldn't make it up...
If Christina Gallagher was the Fakiest Fake from Fakeville, Illinois, going door to door for the rest of her life ripping off pensioners, she still wouldn't have cost the elderly and vulnerable gulpens of Ireland even one millionth of what the ageing brilliantine billionaire playboy proprietors of the Sunday World have cost us.
Whaddayathink folks?
The problem is that the Sunday World needed her to be guilty more than they needed to get at the truth. I'm suggesting that the pillorying of Christina Gallagher was corporate strategy and not a hunt for the truth.
In his book, Jim Gallagher adroitly describes the mounting tide of what he calls evidence against her. At one stage the Tax Authorities began to investigate her. Then the cops. The Cardinal Brady himself.
Each new investigation is trumpeted in Jim Gallagher's book as evidence of mounting public concern about Christina's bona fides.
What he does not make absolutely clear as far as I am concerned, is that each of the three supposed investigations took place solely on foot of allegations made by the Sunday World itself. It's as though the Sunday World was trying to use the Tax Authorities, the police and finally Cardinal Brady as proxy armies in their vendetta against Christina. Let's be clear. The Tax Authorities only investigated Christina because the Sunday World had forwarded them a dossier about her alleging wrong doing. The police only investigated Christina because the Sunday World forwarded them a dossier about her alleging wrong doing. Cardinal Brady only investigated Christina because the Sunday World lobbied him about her alleging wrong doing.
Three investigations sure. But all the wrong doing was being alleged by the same low rent tabloid near bankrupt newspaper.
The banner headlines with which the Sunday World announced each new investigation, (never quite making it clear enough for my taste that these were investigations launched solely in response to Sunday World allegations), these banner headlines were never matched, mind you, with banner headlines announcing that the investigations had led to no charges, no fines, no imprisonment and no sustained connotation of wrong doing against Christina whatsoever.
Alone among the tillermen of these three investigations, cops, revenue commissioners and Cardinal, only Cardinal Brady incurred the Sunday World's wrath for not going after Christina hard enough.
But of course Cardinals rarely issue rulings in such matters, preferring over the thousands of years of Church history, to let such visionaries stand or fall on their merits.
When the Sunday World labels Cardinal Brady as Cardinal Sin for not doing what the Sunday World wanted him to do in the Christina case, ie for not fighting the Sunday World's battles for them, it starts to become clear that the motivation of the journalists and editors concerned may not be of the purest.
JIm Gallagher's book covers the Sunday World campaign against Christina without ever specifying or revealing that there was a campaign.
In my view most of Jim Gallagher's thesis is based on guilt by innuendo. His book and his newspaper articles were fishing expeditions, designed to provoke Christina into a courtroom encounter.
References to her as a "roly poly housewife," and to her spiritual advisor Father Gerard McGinnity as "seeming effeminate," are not as convincing (or classy) as the Sunday World might think.
These were deliberate provocations.
And when she didn't sue, the Sunday World was left floundering.
Over the course of his book Jim Gallagher produces four main witnesses who in my view provide the closest he gets to courtroom standard accusers.
Two of them are an elderly couple who signed over a large sum of money to Christina's charity. Another witness is the man who as an employee of Christina persuaded the elderly couple to give their money to her.
So the star witness for the Sunday World is the guy who actually committed the crime that Jim Gallagher in this book is trying to pin on Christina. You couldn't make it up.
In any event, no charges have resulted from the elderly couple's claims and their money has been repaid to them in full.
The fourth of Jim Gallagher's witnesses whom I found credible enough, because at least she was willing to publish her name, was a disgruntled former associate of Christina's who had been on holiday with her and who suggested that Christina had indulged in less than visionary like behaviour while overseas. Her testimony, bitter and vindictive, is in my opinion another fishing expedition laced with innuendo.
It makes Christina look bad. But it doesn't really quite reach the standard of evidence demanded in a court of law to connote fraud. And by now the Sunday World is clearly desperate for Christina to sue them. It's their last play. But she never does.
There is another fascinating side to the Christina story that Jim Gallagher touches upon obliquely. He mentions that in 1998 while in prayer she performed a physical manoeuvre that seemed impossible. This incident was supposedly witnessed by a large number of people. He is very coy in not specifying what manoeuvre she performed while supposedly undergoing some form of spiritual experience.
I have met with a retired senior Irish army officer (at one time the fourth highest in the State) from County Kildare who has insisted to me that on at least one occasion he personally saw Christina levitate several feet into the air. My army source claims he does not however accept Christina as a genuine visionary and says he is of the belief that Christina was able to levitate only through the power of an evil spirit. I write this in cautionary language because if I was to nominate my own scoundrels du jour, I would have difficulty in the moral sense separating some of the entourage clustered around this army officer (they are certainly debased and evil but perhaps without his knowledge) from Christine Gallagher or indeed from the heroes of the Sunday World investigations team. The issue of who exactly you trust arises time and again in any consideration of testimony regarding supposed visionaries. The retired army officer was either lying to me, or else he's mad, or else he genuinely saw Christina Gallagher levitate. In any case if the Sunday World has evidence that she really has levitated, I think we should be told. I've never entirely believed levitation is real and if it's going on I'd like to know. I'd like to know even if it does make the Sunday World's sources seem kind of kooky. For me, the author Jim Gallagher is remiss in not saying exactly what physical manoeuvre "which looked impossible," his own sources say she actually performed. Nor does he explain adequately how certain strongly attested healings attributed to Chrisina's intercession with God, actually took place or were faked.
Jim Gallagher's book is going to always be a vital piece of source material on Christina Gallagher but it will never amount to a fair assessment of her.
For all the mud thrown, for all the spying, for all the inducements paid to former associates to give negative testimony, I reiterate, I don't think the Sunday World found the smoking gun.
But yes it looks bad.
I interviewed Christina myself on Achill Island in 1993. I was a student journalist at the time. By coincidence I was attending Journalism School contemporaneously with one Neil Leslie the guy who twenty years later has risen to high things as editor in chief of the Investigations Department at the Sunday World. He has overseen and originated some of the more lurid, and not all that clever, headlines about Christina. Incidentally Neil also won the Young Journalist Of The Year Award for our graduating class back in the 1990's. I always maintained that the school gave him the Award more for his working class Dublin accent than for anything else. The irony being that if I'd known they were going to hand out the Young Journalist of the Year award to the guy with the Best Dublin Accent, I would have spoken with a Dublin accent for the year. And my fake Dublin accent was a good bit better than Neil's real one. Well you know what I mean. When I met Christina Gallagher as a student way back then, I had given her a pattycake interview. Much too soft and respectful. I frankly liked her and indeed have never quite managed to bring myself to decisively repudiate her. I'd have to look her in the eyes before I could call her fake now. It wasn't a great interview even if I did raise all the salient issues twenty years ahead of the Sunday World. Ah memories.
Oh.
My blushes.
There was perhaps one item of merit in the interrogation I gave Christina Gallagher two decades ago. I had put it to her that the Bible warns that many false ones will come making all sorts of claims in the name of the Lord.
And Christina Gallagher had held my gaze and answered: "It becomes clear over time who is true and who is false."


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Glossary
Gulpen: Someone who signs over their house to someone else who claims she's received a message from the Virgin Mary instructing them to do so.