Tuesday, July 24, 2007

There's No Show like a Joe Show

I'm told by a Garda friend that an Irish person kills a (once) loved one every day of the week. In most cases the snuffing out of an innocent life merits no more than 3-4 lines in the space fillers in our newspapers and at most a footnote at the end of the end of a news report. He calls it the "Troubles Syndrome" where loss of life, no matter how senseless, is so common place that everything that should be said has been said before. Media people aren't heartless just pragmatic.

Of course this doesn't stop the occasional juicy murder trial which, rightly or wrongly, captures the media and then through blanket coverage the public attention. Think Annabel's, Think little Robert..... I've forced myself to read almost every printed line about the Rachel O'Reilly murder and ask myself why this murder is so newsworthy. I've come to some conclusions but am frustrated that despite the acres of news print, many of the interesting points in this case have not been examined.

Why should our legal system be based on a presumption of innocence?
Can we not congratulate the Gardai for a job well done?

Should the Gardai be commenting on how pleased they are with the outcome?
Would they have said that they were disappointed had the verdict been 'not guilty'?

Is a jury of peers possible?
If so, why is it drawn from the Dail electoral register which excludes all non-nationals?
What would we have done had Joe O'Reilly had been from Romania?

Should we congratulate the Judge on a job well done?
Why in the prosecution of Joe O'Reilly, should Rachel O'Reilly's character have to be assailed?
How would a jury member have felt had they acquitted Joe O'Reilly and then read all the 'evidence' that as never put to them?

Is it always about opportunity, motive and method?
Can we stop referring to the 'perfect crime'?

Was the print media used by Gardai or was it a willing accomplice?
Is justice sweet?

Will Joe O'Reilly become a celebrated Irish blogger?
Will we ever know?

Is circumstantial evidence enough?
Should everyone be forced to sit through one day in the public gallery as part of their civic teaching?

Why do some murderers have to tease with their own capture?

What would the 40-50 journalist have done this week had Joe O'Reilly not murdered his wife?


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Saturday, July 07, 2007


It is only now after I've had my large skinny latte with an extra shot that I realise why the RTE Radio 1 broadcaster** announced that it was exactly "seven minutes after seven o'clock". At the time I thought, that's just so typically of RTE, happy to be precisely wrong rather than be approximately right.

Now I know he was just pointing out that the time and date was the very symmetrical

07/07/07 07:07

Shame he didn't wait seven more seconds and he'd really have rocked my boat!
Sad but true,

(** Don't ask me his name, they all sound boringly alike - earnest young men with bad haircuts who'd much rather be running around the West Bank than having to debate drink driving attitudes with a pissed Tipperary vintner.)