120 thoughts on “A ‘Nightmare Precedent’

    1. Dhaughton99

      Remember Pavee point wanted a flag for traveller rights last year.

      Go make yourself a flag but don’t expect a pole to be erected for it.

  1. Del McG

    A reasoned argument, well made, without the usual foaming-at-the-mouth vitriol associated with both sides.

    Well done, that man

    1. ZeligIsJaded

      A reasoned argument?

      “Granting special status to any one group because of its sexuality is entirely discriminatory and anti-democratic”.

      Maybe you should think about that statement for a minute, before you sign off on your critique.

      1. smoothlikemurphys

        “Granting special status to any one group because of its sexuality is entirely discriminatory”

        That’s actually true.

        Should I head on down to the Garda station and demand that they fly my flag of heterosexuality? And if so, should they fly it?

        1. ZeligIsJaded

          If you don’t believe heterosexuality has special status in this country, then beginning a conversation with you now on the matter would be futile.

          As you are old enough to type, the time has come and past for education of this sort.

          I will therefore abandon you to the sh1t-heap!!!

    2. Ahjayzis

      It’s nothing of the sort.

      Gay people are not a cult, a group or an association – they’re citizens and a minority who for decades could not rely on any arm of the state’s justice system for protection.

      You could literally murder a gay man and get away with it.

      As a gay man I think this is brilliant, another sign that things have changed and I’m desperately sorry Patrick feels he’s in the invidious position of being part of this new underclass – straight white men.

      1. Don Pidgeoni

        Straight white men are terrified by everything – gay cults, feminazis, asylum seekers. All terrifying to them.

      2. Medium Sized C

        Similarly flag poles on garda stations are of no democratic significance.
        And there is no recognised right to fly flags on Garda stations.
        And its a flag for a feckin festival not an attack on Irish Nationalism.

        It makes me very sad to think that anyone could read this and think its even remotely reasoned.

  2. Peter Cogan

    Also agree – but wish he hadn’t used the word ‘cult’ at the beginning of the letter. That is not a word that should be used in the context of people supporting equality.

    1. Nially

      Could it be -*gasp*- that maybe he doesn’t actually support equality, and that his poor choice of words reflects what he actually thinks about people who think/feel differently to him?

    1. Lorcan Nagle

      From the bottom of the page: Staff at Henry Street Garda station, Limerick will fly the rainbow flag during Limerick Pride.

    1. Caroline

      Ah no. Common sense is fine for some people, but I love a good slippery slope myself. Wheeeeeeeeee!!

  3. Caroline

    And as we all know, the Gardai will be unable to evaluate these crackpot flag requests on the basis of whether they advance equality or not. Unfortunately under current rules of An nGhovernmáint na hÉireann they will just have to line up and give the nutjobs a boost up the flagpole and then stand under the flag of the BabyEaters Association and salute it and then say “Gooba Gabba” a few times and offer them all a cup of tea.

    1. Chris

      No, argument failed. The rainbow flag is for EVERYONE. The Gooba Gabba Baby Eaters flag is just for Gooba Gabba Baby Eaters.

  4. Jog On

    What a silly thing to get the Mont Blanc out for… “A nightmare precedent” – get a grip man.

  5. Drogg

    See this is a perfect example of why i said before that there shouldn’t be a letters section in the newspapers for moronic loons to spread their grievances. Seriously how does showing some support for the gay community challenge hetrosexuality and by proxy attack equality? this is nonsense.

      1. Drogg

        Comments section is different, having a letter printed in a national newspaper especially the one that is considered the paper of record gives the lunatic fringe justification to their argument and puts a weight behind it.

        1. Medium Sized C

          I think we have been here before, and I don’t agree that airing opinions give justification to them.

        2. rotide

          So you don’t have a problem with letters sections, you just have a problem letters that you dont like being printed?

  6. Sinabhfuil

    I find it very very very very very heartening that these gardaí stand for equality of citizens.

    1. Paul Davis

      Wow, the point is they are doing the exact opposite.

      Seriously read the piece before making a comment

  7. fmong

    speaking as a member of the Church of Satan I’m delighted to see the Gardai reach out to us, where should I send our flag?

    1. Chris

      Are you a LeVayan Satanist? That means you cherish pride, liberty and individualism so don’t worry the rainbow flags got you covered.

  8. Nially

    I mean, he’s right in one sense, in that the Gardai do have a duty to serve every citizen regardless of sexual orientation.

    Of course, there are a number of things that prevent the Gardai from serving LGBT people equally. One of these is that LGBT people are often more reluctant to approach Gardai, particularly when they’re the victims of hate crimes, due to a mix of (a) the general societal hostility that LGBT people have traditionally faced, (b) the often inadequate responses by Gardai in years gone by and (c) the fear of being outed, which even in these post-gay-Rose-of-Tralee times, is still actually kind of a Big Deal for a lot of people.

    One might posit that, given these background factors, the best way to ensure that LGBT people are served equally is to take active steps to ensure that the Gardai are seen as supportive of the LGBT community. In fact, you’d almost think that the Gardai were aware of and trying to take action around these concerns, given that they’ve commissioned multiple internal reports on how they can better serve the LGBT community, and taken actions like appointing LGBT liaison officers around the country. You could even take Cooney’s point about other “cults” looking for similar treatment and point to the ethnic liaison officers that have been appointed for similar reasons, and infer that other “cults” will be accommodated, assuming that they too have a similar history of alienation from the state and not engaging with the Gardai.

    Or you could shove you head in the ground, decide that the only type of “equality” that matters is the type that doesn’t in any way discommode you as a straight white male, and that any active positive outreach to minorities (as distinct from the more passive positive relationship that you and others like you have enjoyed for many years) is inherently anti-equality. But to do that you’d really have to be an ignorant spanner.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Bravo, sir. Very eloquently put… which is more than I can say for Mr Nightmare Precedent and his fear of de quares.

    2. Spaghetti Hoop

      Agree. Well explained.
      Another reason for the active display of the flag would be to show the Gardaí as equal employers regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation etc. Especially in light of the hassle that gay teachers have been getting in RC schools.

  9. andyourpointiswhatexactly

    If the guy’s “nightmare” scenario consists of non-tricolour flags flying over garda stations, then I would posit he leads a very sheltered life.

  10. Chris

    All the fools critiquing this. Do any of you actually know what the rainbow flag means, it’s not a gay call to arms, hoisted by the gay legions as they march on us. It’s a freakin flag for EVERYONE that’s the whole freakin point…

    “The use of rainbow flags has a long tradition; they are displayed in many cultures around the world as a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and of yearning.”

  11. Llareggub

    Dear Patrick,

    Why the quotation marks for “gay flag”? Why the capital T for tricolour. Why the ignorance?

    My kids go to state schools in state buildings. They fly green flags to show that they care about the environment.
    Should that be made a thing of? Should I write to the Irish Times about it?

    Is mise,

    My A*se

    1. Ahjayzis

      Gadaffi-era Libyan flags flying over Irish schools?!


  12. Planet of the Missing Biros

    He’s absolutely correct but the more self righteous aggressive LGBT elements will ignore his core point and accuse him of being anti-gay which I don’t believe he is. Some gay friends of mine don’t buy into the louder side gay rights campaigns and don’t participate in Pride because they think it actually undermines progress in gay rights. And anyway, what ARE gay rights?

    Equality means that. No special treatment.

    Stay Gay and Carry On.

    1. Ahjayzis

      Those gay friends of yours sound really well adjusted.
      Without the ‘louder’ side of the gay rights campaign they’d still be criminals. It’s a testament to it’s success that your friends are in such a good position that they can deride the people who gave them that freedom.

      There’ll always be a cohort of gays who think we would have achieved equality faster had we just toned down a little and hid the drag queens in the keg room. Bullshit – Log Cabin Republican style bullshit.

      1. Nially

        “Those gay friends of yours sound really well adjusted.”

        They are! And they’re totally non-fictional too! Definitely not made up to bolster an internet argument, nosirree.


      2. Medium Sized C

        “Those gay friends of yours sound really well adjusted.
        Without the ‘louder’ side of the gay rights campaign they’d still be criminals. ”

        You knocked that one out of the park.

        1. Ciarán

          kind of – tangentially – like those ‘I don’t need feminism because…’ girls. You feel you don’t need feminism because of the feminists who fought over the 100 years or so as to get you to your place of relative equality and privilege (as young Western women)

    2. Ahjayzis

      Equality also demands amends be made for the injustices of the past. Also as someone said above, outreach to minorities doesn’t undermine the majority.

  13. Adonis cnut

    I’m a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster can we have our flag flown over a garda station?

  14. Aido

    “Granting special status to any one group because of its sexuality is entirely discriminatory and anti-democratic”.

    I couldn’t agree more. I take it that Mr Cooney agrees that denial of marriage or adoption rights to gay couples is utterly indefensible in light of this statement also.

  15. Finallyadmittingi'mstraight

    The argument implies there is a choice in being gay, as there is with joining a cult. Is there such thing as a gay cult or sect?

    1. Friday

      Yes. Read any of the conservative commenters in the Irish Times, they’re always banging on about the gay sects.

    2. Murtles

      There’s a obnoxious fella that lives down the road from me who thinks everyone is homophobic just cause he thinks being gay allows him the freedom to do what he wants when he wants and the neighbourhood be damned. Now he’s a prime example of a gay cult.

      1. Ciarán

        There’s a obnoxious fella that lives down the road from me who thinks everyone else is a boring old fart just cause he thinks being a straight Irish male 18-30 years old allows him the freedom to do what he wants when he wants and the neighbourhood be damned. Now he’s a prime example of a stupid c**t.

  16. Chris

    No you can’t The Church of The Flying Spaghetti Monster flag only represents it’s members. The rainbow flag is a symbol of hope and inclusivity, that includes everyone, ironically that even includes Patrick the scared angry man who wrote the letter.

  17. Malodorous Mike

    I don’t have anything to add to this discussion, I just wanted to say that I had a lovely meal the other night but it was overshadowed by the relentless bouts of flatulence which followed a few hours later. I’m not sure whether it was the onions or the chorizo, but could any of your readers offer any tips for airing out a room?

    1. Chris

      I don’t think you need a WikiHow to air a room, just open all orifices, except your anus, you’ve opened that already enough it seems!

        1. Alfred E. Neumann

          Go out into the garden and read a John Moynes limerick. Then go back in. The smell will still be there, but sitting in a cauldron of warm guff will seem like paradise compared to Moynes’ scansion.

  18. Malodorous Mike

    The Gardaí seem to be making huge strides and I commend them for it. A number of years ago, I was involved in a disgusting gaybashing incident and the Gardaí I spoke to were patient and understanding, they even held the guy down so as I could wallop him again and dropped me home afterwards!

    But really, I know a gay person who was targeted and assaulted on the way home from a gig in Dublin but was wary of receiving help from Gardaí as he was not out yet and didn’t want any attention brought on himself. The Gardaí seemed to be sensitive to his fears and promised him that all details would remain confidential. However, they didn’t keep their word as some of the details came out afterwards and as a result his whole family found out that he liked Mumford and Sons. They disowned him.

  19. zackersetu

    As long as they fly a nazi flag beside it …. for balance you know!!!

    for a less catchy reply:

    Crimes in Ireland against persons linked to their sexuality – not considered a hate crime. The fact that the Gardai are placing a gay flag (for the week of pride) is not a crumbling of morals of the country nor an attack on equality in some ironic twist (or borne of some smug shite’s letter to a paper) is but an indication of the Gardai trying to build trust. If you are attacked, even though our law is shite, we understand (or claim to) and we can try to help!

    All that being said ….. F**k right off, get a life, stop being such a moany shite!!

  20. Sidewinder

    Just want to point out that the point of the rainbow flag is to show the diverse nature of sexuality. It is inclusive, not exclusive.

    1. well

      if you ask all the crazy fundies about it they flip out and say its about gods covenant with man.

      1. Sidewinder

        Yeah, I saw that video of the parents abusing their child.

        “Word of god!” *froths at mouth* “Child abuse is justified in the name of the lord our god!: *froths a little more from holy spirit overdose*

  21. well

    Can’t the Gardai just say it’s in their Ethos to not hate gay people like this bigotted letter writer does?
    Why cant the schools also be forced then to also be apolitical so that we can stop them sacking gay teachers?

  22. scottser

    surely all garda stations should fly the gardai’s own colours of light and navy blue halves. for the weekend that’s in it, like.

  23. Royal M

    I wonder why he uses inverted commas around “gay flag”? It’s one Garda station for one day of the year! Get a grip Patrick!

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