Turning Tables


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Last night.

Singer Sinéad O’Connor was on the Late Late Show last night and, during her appearance, she interviewed host Ryan Tubridy..

At one point she mentioned she saw a video of a woman being thrown on the streets by a guard, during an Irish Water protest.

Sinéad O’Connor: “How do you feel about the 1916 people being discredited lately by the State and do you think it’s because they don’t want us being inspired by 1916 to revolt?”

Ryan Tubridy: “Ok, well what I’d say to you is that I do have a role in this programme as what you’d call a moderator. So, in that sense, I have to kind of balance and even out debate. So, when I’m sitting where you’re sitting, I have to say, ‘OK what do you think? what do you think? what do you think’. Now if I was sat here, even in this interview that we’re doing, I didn’t know anything you were going to ask me, I didn’t know we were going to be talking about 1916 and water but here we are, and I don’t mind that by the way, that’s why we’re here, that’s what we’re doing, we’re just shooting the breeze. But, if I start getting into personal thoughts about these things, suddenly, I couldn’t moderate a debate anymore. So I’ve got to be, I’ve got to leave that stuff for the pub, Sinead..”

O’Connor: “Ok, so I’ve a minute left, the lady is saying to me in the earpiece…”

Tubridy: “…which I love going to and by the way I’ll have it out with you in the pub. I love the pub.”

O’Connor: “Ok, so one final question, I’ve only got a minute and, to me, this is my most important question…”

O’Connor: “…and I’m going to ask Ryan this but I’d really want the audience to think about, and the viewers, ok? It’s my belief that nothing born of the slightest violence can succeed spiritually and, consequently, it can’t succeed financially or any other way. It’s my belief that the first republic of Ireland failed because it was born of spiritual corruption and it’s remained corrupt. To what extent would you all, and would you, consider, supporting the idea of an absolutely non-violent revolution, in the form of peaceful, civil disobedience and the creation of a second republic of Ireland?”

Tubridy: “Oh, a brand new republic? Well, look, I think that the, it’s a conversation worth having.”

O’Connor: “I think, based on the fact that the cops are throwing women around the streets over the water charges? It’s time for a revolution, right?..”

Tubridy: “Well..”

O’Connor: “Non violent, civil disobedience…”

Tubridy: “I think the emphasis should be on non-violence, so you know…”

O’Connor: “Yeah, absolutely, so you can’t throw balloons, you can’t …”

Tubridy: “You can’t rock a car with a woman or man in it..”

O’Connor: “Absolutely not.”

Tubridy: “You can’t throw a woman onto the street. I would say, and I said this to somebody on the radio this week. Because somebody gave out to me for what I was saying. And I said, ‘look, the best people you can look to in the world, iconic people like John Hume and Martin Luther King..”

O’Connor: “Gandhi.”

Tubridy: “Gandhi, they were marked and defined by their dignity.”

O’Connor: “Yeah.”

Tubridy: “And I think that the water charges has been stripped down bait because…”

O’Connor: “Yes, but let’s not be afraid, Ryan, there has to be..”

Tubridy: “…because of the dignity of the people.”

O’Connor: “But we mustn’t be afraid of all the temptations not to revolt. There has to be absolutely non-violent, peaceful, civil disobedience. Non-violent means don’t throw the balloons, don’t throw anything at anyone. Sit down on the street and get shot if you have to get shot, silently sit there…”

Tubridy: “But non-violence is the key, yeah.”

O’Connor: “But we have to claim back our country. The spirit of 1916, they built a country out of rubble. We have more than they had at that time. And we don’t need to be violent or create rubble. But we need to get that spirit and resurrect it..”

Tubridy: “But didn’t they need violence to eh…”

O’Connor: “It’s deliberate that our state is trying to discredit the 1916 people.”

Cheers and applause from audience

Tubridy: “OK, but I’ll just say one thing..”

O’Connor: “One second, you can, the very fact is this discrediting of 1916 is being done on purpose so that we won’t revolt. We must understand we can revolt without violence. And study Gandhi. Everybody start watching Gandhi.”


Watch back here in full

40 thoughts on “Turning Tables

  1. Der

    100% agree – we just need someone to guide us. I love Sinead but I don’t think it’s her. It’s certainly not Richard Boyd Barrett – I’m not sure who has the credibility

  2. Alfred E. Neumann

    How do we claim non-violent protest as “the spirit of 1916”? I’m no historian, but I think a couple of them had guns and stuff.

        1. Jess

          Well I don’t want to put words in her mouth but when you read the proclamation it’s very much a progressive document which prioritises equality of classes and sexes. Considering were now a very unequal society a new republic should act on those principles rather than look the other way.

        2. Alfred E. Neumann

          I hope that is why they invoke 1916, and it’s not just a novena to a waxwork past. I have my doubts.

  3. Eliot Rosewater

    Agree, Alfred. She seems a bit confused about the ‘spirit of 1916’ (blood sacrifice, and any blood sacrifice is necessarily violent) and the need for peaceful protest.

    Peaceful protest is great when it can be done. But how many times has it worked in history? I can think of only one time, and that was India. People assume that if it worked there, it can work anywhere, but circumstances are very important. In India you had the vast, vast majority of a huge population essentially threatening non-participation. If/when that happens, the whole state collapses. In MLK’s case, the movement achieved (limited) civil rights advances, but there was also the considerable threat of other (non-peaceful) movements like the Black Panthers and the Nation of Islam, as well as ‘disturbances’ and ‘riots’ that were bordering on civil war in some urban areas. And again, what they achieved was limited civil rights (at the time).

    So, what we need, if we want to go down the peaceful route, is a mass movement that threatens the total collapse of the state. I’m not sure if that’s what people want, and I’m not sure if we have the numbers. But we definitely have something that is as close to a mass movement as we have ever had (since 1919).

  4. Franco

    Love how Tubbs felt he had to emhasise, in the middle of a serious conversation, the fact that he loves going to the pub. Just in case we though he was a complete tw@t

    1. Just sayin'

      The French may be on their fifth republic but that doesn’t make them any better than the previous four. The Fifth Republic was a power grab by De Gaulle. Revolution is not an effective way of improving governance. Today’s revolutionaries are tomorrow’s establishment.

  5. Dissident Citizen Frilly!

    I actually think Sinead has planted a seed.

    Spirit of 1916 has the potential to arise a lot more onto the streets than
    Not a Penny Ends Kenny

    You have my ear Sinead.
    Now use it.

  6. isintheair_

    Two wealthy south Dubliners backslapping each other and rubbing ego on TV. What’s new.

    What time is the Ireland game on?

    1. ahyeah

      Dismissing Sinead O’Connor as nothing more than a product and a representative of her social background is pretty thick.

    2. Lilly

      @isintheair_ Oh please, why don’t you listen to what she has to say with an open mind instead of filtering everything through your prejudices.

  7. Hashtag Diversity

    Support for the Spirit of 1916. A declaration of support for our gallant allies in Europe – Germany? Clearly, it lives to this day. She’s a deluded fool. We need to move on past 1916’s “spirit” of blood sacrifice, socialist tyrrany and Gaelic hell.

    1. Dissident Citizen Frilly!

      Ah here what are ya like with yer Gaelic hell. The feckin drama outta ya.

      Are you just in a humour ’cause the lads lost the Compromise Rules Series

  8. bobsyerauntie

    I have always admired Sinead, and she has often been ahead of the curve in terms of social issues. She has opened up a very seriously needed debate about what kind of country do we want to live in? What kind of Republic needs to be built in order to create fairness, peace and prosperity? The Irish Water debacle has stirred the spirit of revolution, change and protest in the Irish people and I hope it continues.

  9. Anne

    Good woman Sinead.

    For someone that’s supposed to be a bit whack, she talks a lot of sense an awful lot of the time. :)

  10. Hashtag Diversity

    “It’s deliberate that our state is trying to discredit the 1916 people.”

    Translation for the real world:

    “The Government (not the state) doesn’t want Sinn Fein to win any more seats.”

  11. DizzyDoris

    Sinead. I hope you read this. When you are not too busy complaining about having to do some real work to earn your next million because of downloads, change is already happening. People are genuinely counting cents to buy bread and milk here in Ireland. It’s called grassroots for a reason.
    You have no idea what it feels like to be poor now do you?

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