‘She was inspirational.’
Sligo News File.
Former president Mary Robinson is not from Ballina or so it would seem from what Roscommon Senator Frank Feighan apparently claimed in the Oireachtas today.
According to the record, Feighan remarked that when he was asked what woman he had found “inspirational” during the years he said he had replied, “It has to be Mrs. Mary Robinson who was elected as the seventh President of Ireland.
“It was a great day for women. She was inspirational. As she said, she had been elected by the women of Ireland, that instead of rocking the cradle, they had rocked the system. It was an iconic moment which opened up a very liberal Ireland.
“She is one of many women who have been inspirational and came from Crossmolina,” he said.
He then went on with words of support for the gardai.
“It pains me sometimes to see what is happening in An Garda Síochána,” he said.
“My grandfather who fought for the freedom of this country was the first member of An Garda Síochána.
“It is an occupation that escaped me because I do not have the skills or discipline to be a garda. However, I will not join in the chorus of those who are undermining the integrity of An Garda Síochána which has defended the institutions of the State since its foundation. It defended the State when there were actually people and parties that were trying to undermine it. Therefore, I will not join anybody who is undermining the integrity of An Garda Síochána.
“I have seen what happens. They undermine their respect and integrity and take away all of the good they have done.
“We saw during protests about water people who were not fit to lace their shoes shouting, ‘Shame, shame on you’.
“Sometimes we have to stand firm and say what has to happen within the structures and frameworks which exist.
“If gardaí are seen to misbehave, they should deal with the rigours of the law.
“I will not join a weak political movement which blames gardaí.
“The Garda is doing a difficult job and protects us and our State. As a politician and somebody who has always had huge respect for the Garda, I will not join that chorus. It is simple and cheap, and it has a very short future.”
Briefly on Crossmolina. The North Mayo town did give the country two notable political figures. Patrick Browne, a farmer and merchant, was elected to the Dail as a Fine Gael TD for the Mayo North constituency in 1937, and re-elected at each following general election until he lost his seat at general election of 1954.
His son, Miko, an auctioneer, represented the old North Mayo constituency as a Fine Gael TD from 1961 to 1965. He had been elected to Mayo County Council at just 21.