In 2012, when I pointed out that certificates of Irish heritage were silly, I was attacked repeatedly in Niall O’Dowd’s tabloids. Now that the Irish Government is ending the scheme, according to RTE, O’Dowd now claims he predicted they wouldn’t be popular. I don’t recall O’Dowd predicting that. What I do recall is that O’Dowd attacked me at the time for saying the scheme was nonsense. And Irish Senator Mark Daly piled on in O’Dowd’s publications, demanding that I be hauled before an Oireachtas committee no less! And by Googling, I see Larry Donnelly also attacked me in O’Dowd’s publications. (I took the opportunity to meet with the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Oireachtas at the time and addressed the certificates issue.)
O’Dowd’s attack on me was loaded with false and misleading assertions but this was nothing new. He’s been on the warpath ever since I wrote an opinion piece in the Irish Times more than seven years ago accurately predicting that the Irish who were illegally in the US would not be given a special deal as O’Dowd had be predicting. He even revises that story. Despite being at the forefront of that effort, when O’Dowd realized there wouldn’t be one, he started to claim that he had never sought a special deal! Marion Finucane was one of the few to challenge O’Dowd on her RTE radio program on 22 March 2008. O’Dowd told Finucane that the Taoiseach was mistaken, that “we were not looking for a special deal.” Finucane, referring to me, said, “She said you were.” O’Dowd: “She probably did but she is also incorrect.” There is endless evidence of O’Dowd calling for a special deal.
He does have chutzpah.