RTE have tarnished the Presidency.

Let me from the start declare an interest. I am a member of the Irish Labour Party and gave wholehearted support to Michael D. Higgins during his presidential campaign including making financial contributions through the Irish Labour Party Lawyers group. For me, he was the best candidate and I count him a comrade.
But Michael was not winning the Presidential campaign. Sean Gallagher, promoting himself as an independent candidate was way out in front. He was leading in the polls, including the poll which indicated he would be the candidate most likely to benefit from transfer votes.
Michael and the Labour party were, by and large, avoiding a personalised dirty campaign and were not inflicting any damage on Gallagher. The other parties, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin had no such inhibitions, had their kicking boots on and were playing it as hard and as dirty as any Irish electoral campaign can be. Which is pretty hard and pretty dirty.
But they were having no effect. Independent candidate Norris was destroyed, although that was largely self inflicted, but Gallagher, they couldn’t lay a glove on him and the more they tried the more it backfired upon them.
Gallagher seemed to have it in the bag.
Then came the intervention of RTE, the national state TV channel. They set him up, kicked him in the balls and rolled him in the dust. It was over. In a piece of tabloid TV journalism that would have drawn gasps of admiration form the media advisors to Vladimir Putin they knifed him on prime time television and handed victory to Michael D.
They used a contribution from an anonymous twitter account, which they knew to be anonymous, to destroy him, with all the venom of twitter, and all the malice of the net, knowing, absolutely knowing, that it would kill his campaign.
By their acts RTE have tarnished the presidency. Whenever Gallagher appears he will be known as the man who was cheated out of the presidency by RTE. Whenever Michael D appears we will all know that he owes his victory to RTE, that it was an unfair fight.
And will RTE be guests of honour at Áras an Uachtaráin, the new home of President Higgins, I hope not for they have done no service to Ireland and have instead made us smaller than we should be. If the y ever need a new aerial at their broadcasting centre, then we should insist that it  be erected as a tall towering stiletto dagger, plunging into the heart of the Irish presidency.


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