The following review of Mary O’Rourke’s memoir, Just Mary, appears on Amazon.
I really enjoyed this book, the story of Mary’s life and her political career! An honest politician with great ethical principles. So nice to read about someone like this!
Practically all the reviews are in the same vein. The following is my contribution on Amazon.
This book is little more than a self-serving, delusional attempt by O’Rourke to distance herself and her beloved Fianna Fail party from any blame for the economic catastrophe visited upon Ireland and its people.
Ireland’s economic downfall and international disgrace in 2008 was the end result of decades of political corruption principally led by Fianna Fail under the corrupt politician Charles Haughey and his incompetent successors.
O’Rourke was and remains a strong supporter and admirer of Haughey. It was Haughey who first appointed her to ministerial office and she remained a loyal supporter throughout his career and beyond.
O’Rourke’s admiration for the corrupt Haughey is reflected in her decision to dedicate a separate chapter describing a Christmas visit to his home.
This visit took place after Haughey’s corruption had been exposed and suggests that she has more respect and admiration for the traitor than she does for her country and its people.
O’Rourke blames everybody for the economic catastrophe visited upon the Irish people allowing only token, mealy mouthed, admissions that Fianna Fail may have been to any degree responsible.
She blames the global financial crisis, Fianna Fail’s coalition partners, The Progressive Democrats and, most disgracefully of all, the ordinary people of Ireland.
In her own words:
The biggest factor in our decline as a party was the blight of the global recession which hit us in 2008.
There is no escaping the fact that some aspects of their (Progressive Democrats) central philosophy and the concrete measures which this engendered – such as policies on taxation and financial regulation – undermined our effectiveness during a crucial time in government.
But most of all, this arrogant politician blames the people of Ireland (my emphasis).
Banks can be blamed for speculation but they were responding to demands from the people – It is the people who pressed for such financial facilities. Everyone wanted the bigger house, the next holiday the private school for their offspring and so it went on and on.
Throughout the book O’Rourke expresses very little real compassion or anger in response to the events following the collapse of the economy with one glaring exception – when she addresses how the media and ordinary Irish citizens have responded to Fianna Fail’s part in the catastrophe.
When writing about those who dare to criticise her beloved Fianna Fail party her anger is as uncompromising as it is revealing.
The paragraph is worth reproducing in full as it provides us with a clear insight into the delusional world in which O’Rourke operates.
I find it utterly outrageous that it is considered nefarious to be a member, even a grassroots member, of our party and as I write this today, this seems to be the common thread emerging in the media and in public discourse.
I rail against the fact that there are many writers and commentators who in my opinion could be accused of breaching the code of incitement to hatred, in the way in which they write and talk about Fianna Fail.
`Toxic’, `disreputable’, `underhand’: all these adjectives about us are heaped one upon another. I feel it is strongly reprehensible and grossly unfair to the ordinary men and women throughout the country who are the foot soldiers, unpaid, of the party of Fianna Fail.
How dare people cast aspersions upon them? It is as if over all those years, the pent-up hatred of the success of Fianna Fail has cut loose and commentators are giving vent to it, and in a way that completely lacks proportion or even-handedness.
It is nothing short of delusional to suggest that words like `toxic, `disreputable’ and `underhand’ could be used as a basis for accusing writers and commentators of breaching the code of incitement to hatred.
This is particularly so when much stronger words like `corrupt’, `criminal’ and traitorous are entirely appropriate when commentating on Fianna Fail’s political record.
It is nothing short of delusional on a grand scale to suggest, as O’Rourke does, that the negative reaction to Fianna Fail following the economic catastrophe has little to do with the activities of its members and leaders but is entirely down to jealously of Fianna Fail’s success as a political party.
But as delusional as she may be it cannot be denied that O’Rourke is immensely popular with the media and general public.
Her book is a best seller and has received an almost universally positive reaction.
On principle I could not bring myself to add to O’Rourke’s wealth by actually buying the book and so had to wait about two months to obtain it from my local library.
When I finally got my hands on it the librarian asked me to return it as soon as possible as there was a long waiting list.
It is disturbingly ironic that Irish citizens who probably cannot afford to buy the book principally because of the financial devastation caused by O’Rourke’s beloved Fianna Fail are queuing up to read all about her absolute loyalty to that very party.
Indeed, O’Rourke’s popularity within the media and throughout the general public can be seen as a measure of just how far Irish citizens have to go before they grasp the true meaning of democratic accountability.