Ruling by fooling

On 21 December 2022 the Irish News in Belfast published a front-page report that a senior Irish government official was actively spying for the British government.

The report was based on an interview with a former member of the British army ’s “Force Research Unit,” which operated both side of the British border in Ireland.

The former British agent, using the name “Mr Rosenfeld,” spoke about his activities in Ireland over the course of nearly thirty years. He stated that he had met this now very senior figure in the Irish government on many occasions, and was even a guest of his when he visited Dáil Éireann.

The Government claims that it has a relationship with the British government based on mutual respect, shared goals, etc.—the usual blather we hear from the establishment. If we have a partnership of “equals” and respect for each other, why has the British government got at least one significant spy at the heart of the Irish government?

We have to ask why this story failed to gain any traction in the Dublin media, or RTE; nor was it raised in the Dáil. Why has the British ambassador not been called in to explain this major breach of Irish sovereignty? Why no clamour from the establishment about this “breach of trust”? Why no investigation into who this spy is?

If it was a supposed Russian agent at the heart of the Irish government there would be one hullabaloo, and loud demands for the closing of embassies, etc. Yet all remains quiet.

The political and cultural legacy of British rule in Ireland runs deep. British imperialism set down deep roots, creating the basis for a small minority to hanker after the “empire” and all that it stood for. While they may have a number of paid collaborators within the state, from senior civil servants to the Garda Síochána, their political and cultural influence extends far beyond a few individuals.

As James Connolly put it over a century ago, “Yes, ruling by fooling is a great British art—with great Irish fools to practise on.”