It says a lot about Ireland that the last written testament of a dead girl can be changed to protect the powerful, but the unwarranted vilification of an unemployed Polish immigrant doesn’t merit an apology, much less a retraction.
What it does tell us is, unfortunately, something we already know.
Ireland doesn’t do accountability.
Not from the politicians, one of whom saw fit to spoof his head off about “Magda” without knowing anything other than what he was told on the phone- by a non-Polish speaking journalist.
He offered to pay for her to go home; am I alone in hoping that he keeps the ticket for himself, and makes it one-way in the process?
Nor do we hold the bankers and bondholders accountable either, trucking over borrowed money to ensure that risk is erased from their portfolios, rather than forcing on them the losses that would make them accountable for those risks.
Nor can we get it from the fourth estate. Like the Irish Times before them, the Irish Independent- proud stable of thinly-veiled islamophobia as peddled by Ian O’Doherty, lest we forget – has neglected to offer any apology or explanation, other than the following:
YESTERDAY’S story about a Polish woman living on welfare payments in Ireland sparked much discussion and controversy.
Some parts of the original interview, on which the story was based, were inaccurately translated.
Let’s be honest here- they weren’t “inaccurately translated”.
They were wrong.
The article was wrong.
Publishing it was wrong.
Not deleting it immediately was wrong.
And not apologising to the readers and the Polish people is wrong.
What is most disturbing is the total silence from the two journalists who wrote the original cack-handed rubbish- where are they? Where is their explanation? Where is their apology?
Part of the job of newspapers is to hold others accountable.
And the major part of the problem with Irish newspapers is that they fail to hold either themselves or each other accountable, especially in cases like this or Kate Fitzgerald.
So there we have it- another scandal in Irish public life. There will be no resignations, no trials, no arrests and definitely no apologies.
It’s not what we do.
Those in power in Ireland are not accountable to anyone.
There is no-one policing those in power, and they cannot police themselves.
Is it any wonder we’re in hock to the world?
EDIT: I’ve just spotted on Twitter that the Press Ombudsman will not be taking any action against the Indo as they published a revised transcript and a letter from the Polish ambassador- so apparently it’s now OK to publish articles full of racist undertones and you don’t even have to apologise.
What was it I said about Ireland not doing accountability again?