8/27/2009

If Lynch had invaded

That is the title of a new RTÉ documentary to be shown next Tuesday night and it lasts for an hour and a half.


The synopsis of the documentary is presented below

"At 9pm on the 13th August 1969 the Taoiseach Jack Lynch made a dramatic television broadcast on RTÉ which outlined his government’s response to the outbreak of violence in Derry the day before. The crisis marked the greatest challenge to his political career as Lynch declared that “the Irish government can no longer stand by and see innocent people injured and perhaps worse.” What did Lynch mean, and was this a precursor to an armed invasion of Northern Ireland? Co-presented by Keelin Shanley and Tom Clonan, If Lynch Invaded tells the story how Jack Lynch dealt with the crisis of August 1969, and explores what might have happened had the Irish Army crossed the border."

Before we start to look at the entire premise of the documentary I have to take issue with the title.

Invade! That word for me smacks of negative overtones and conjures up images of the British invading foreign countries and subjugating the local inhabitants with a foreign writ and way of life.

You can't invade your own country!

If Lynch had sent the Free State army North it would have been about the assertion of National Sovereignty, Re-Uniting the country and forcing out a foreign invader.

Why not call it "If Lynch had asserted the primacy of Bunreacht Na hÉireann" or "If Lynch had stood up for fellow Irishmen" or "If Lynch had any balls" or "If Lynch wasn't such a total coward, a free-stater and a panderer to the British".

Anything but invade!

I suppose one needs to remember that it is RTÉ we are talking about.

Lynch was never an Irish Republican, not like Kevin Boland and Neil Blaney. He stood idly by as Irishmen and women were killed.

I don' know what would have happened if Lynch had sent troops North, none of us do.

J. Bowyer Bell, in his book about the IRA, suggested that the Brits waited 14 hours before deploying British troops in the hope that the Irish government would send troops North.

Lynch was good about making statements about Irish Unity but when it came to action he always fell short.

An attitude of "I'm alright Jack" pervaded his government with only a few notable exceptions.

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