Drapeau En Berne



From top: the French Embassy, Paschal Donohue and Jean-Pierre Thebault

This afternoon.

Minister for Tourism Paschal Donohoe joined French Ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thebault at the French Embassy, Ailesbury Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 paying respects to the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris yesterday.

(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)

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49 thoughts on “Drapeau En Berne

  1. Soundings

    It’s dreadfully sad the killings of the journalists, especially such brave journalists. And the “je suis Charlie” has overtones of what many people felt in 2001 – “we’re all New Yorkers” – to express solidarity with our neighbours and friends in France, but come on, in Ireland, and in the middle of the RTE series on CJH, it’s just sickly hilarious. Not to mention “charlie” being a bit of a buffoon in the English-speaking world as in “proper charlie”

    There’s a video of the few remaining journalists at INM holding up the sign this morning, I nearly peed myself looking at Charlie Weston’s gormless expression. If Charlie Flanagan appears holding the sign, I’ll need a diaper!

    Could we not just hold up the Banksy cartoon which might be more befitting


    1. sickofallthisbs

      Brave journalists? Sorry, what? This was a satirical magazine that published deliberately provocative material in order to get attention and sales as a result. That is not bravery, it is stupidity. Same tactic as Eamonn Dunphy or any other scandal merchant. While what happened them is a travesty, let us not lose the run of ourselves.

        1. sickofallthisbs

          Like I said earlier, you should become a therapist because your analytical ability is top notch – yest, I saw that very clever cartoon; there is still a difference between something that is satire and something that is offensive. Free speech doesn’t give you the right to say what you want, it gives you the freedom to express your opinions in a respectful manner.

          1. Liberté Capillaire

            But who decides if it is offensive? Who decides it is expressed in a respectful manner?
            You might have been offended by some Charlie’s cartoons (even if I doubt you ever read it) but you should know that there is a very complete set of laws in France which define the boundaries of free speech. If you are unhappy with a cartoon you can take the journal to court. Charlie Hebdo remained within these boundaries…

          2. sickofallthisbs

            And I suppose you have read all of Karl Marx? Pretentious? Moi? I am not going to answer your questions because a) they are childish and b) you should know them already seen as you fancy yourself as an intellectual (see, isn’t it annoying when people draw assumptions about you). If CH remained in those boundaries, why were they warned on several occasions to tone it down? And yes, they were brought to court for the offense they caused, but lets face it Muslims in France don’t really get a fair deal – hence the editor was acquitted.

          3. Liberté Capillaire

            Do you find Karl Marx offensive? Do you think it should be forbidden? Should we burn the Capital?
            As a therapist, I am questionning you to help you finding your way (an address for the invoice?).
            They have been warned to tone down by religious fanatics – hardly people with a commitmment to treat everybody (including people with other religious beliefs than their own) with respect.
            CH offened Catholic, Jewish and Muslim. Strange that none of them managed to have them condamned in court…

          4. tinyd

            Free speech does give you the right to say what you want. It doesn’t give you the right to be listened to, or to be given a platform for your views, or for you to be immune from criticism or anger in reaction to your views. The only limit should be if you use your free speech to directly incite violence against others. Obviously it’s better all round if people go about their lives trying to be respectful to others but IMO that shouldn’t be a requirement of being allowed to live in a free society.

          5. sickofallthisbs

            Yes we should burn Marx’s books, not out of censorship, but because they are nothing short of an exercise in academic wankery. I have no problem with Marx as a person but I do find people who openly claim and boast to be a student of Marx are similar to those who boast about reading Ulysses; vacuous personalities desperately trying to hide a substandard intellect. Engaging with them is therefore tedious and irritating.

            Maybe, Christians and Jews did not take CH to court because there was not as much of a racial/xenophobic undercurrent? Just a thought.

          6. sickofallthisbs

            Tinyd, no it doesn’t – you cannot use free speech to incite people to hatred. If I go to a football match and chant monkey noises at a black player, I can be arrested and prosecuted. Free Speech does not give you the “right” to say what you want.

          7. Liberté Capillaire

            Well I am grateful you dedicated some of your time to enlighten me – still some work to bring me from sub-standard to almost standard…
            BTW, I am not a student of Marx – nothing against him – just a ‘poor’ joke focusing on the hairiness of the man (liberté capillaire) rather than on what he is really known for (his intellectual work which does not seem to totally please you).

            Ah burning books… Such a respectful and democratic idea. Should we burn the Bible, Coran and Torah are they could be considered as “nothing short of an exercise in academic wankery”?

            Jewish and Catholic religious authorities did bring CH to court. And they lost…. Probably these French Marxist & racist judges again…

          8. sickofallthisbs

            Well done Liberté you have won. There is a medal of honour special division website warrior waiting for you in Paris.

          9. tinyd

            @ sickofallthisbs – I agree that inciting violence / hatred is too far. But there’s a huge gulf between “not inciting hatred” and your earlier criterion of “being respectful”. The cartoons certainly weren’t respectful, but in no way did they incite hatred or violence.

          10. sickofallthisbs

            Tinyd – they might not offend you, but imagine being a Muslim living in Paris, part of a minority community in a racist society and have your identity mocked by a state that is reluctant to prosecute those responsible?

            My original point was that I find it hard to believe that these journalists were “brave” when in reality all they were doing was stirring up racial and sectarian tensions in France.

          11. B Hewson

            So it was offence caused by the “Life of Brian’ that spurred the IRA bombing campaign in Britain in the 70s then, or if it was you would ‘understand’. You consider the Monty Python crew as ‘having it coming to them’ for offending Catholics. Your (badly) trying to defend murdering intolerant €unt$. Don’t like Europe and our freedoms, move to IS, I am sure they would welcome you there when you finish college.

          12. bisted

            @sickofallthisbs and @Liberté Capillaire …a little quote from Ulysses:

            ‘…..–Mendelssohn was a jew and Karl Marx and Mercadante and Spinoza. And the Saviour was a jew and his father was a jew. Your God.’

        2. sickofallthisbs

          @B Hewson I don’t know what you are talking about, nobody mentioned the Life of Brian or the IRA in this thread of conversation. Plus your reading of what I am saying is incorrect. Not once did I defend the murder of those killed. I abhor the actions taken by those extremists; the murder of innocent civilians and police is despicable. My problem is that because of this tragedy people are claiming the magazine was/is some sort of champion of free speech when it isn’t. People seem to think that all types of satire are covered by free speech; however, when something moves beyond a humourous, witty and insightful critique of society or an aspect of society and turns into hate speech, then it is not satire. Plain and simple.

          1. B Hewson

            Your painful and can only hear your own nasal voice. You should try face sitting, I think you would enjoy it.

      1. Bobby

        They knew that if they continued, they stood a good chance of being attacked and/or killed by radicals. They chose to continue in spite of this fear. That’s pretty much the definition of bravery.

        1. sickofallthisbs

          I don’t agree – while I am all for satire, insulting people’s beliefs/political views/sexuality in a provocative manner such as they did (admittedly not all the time) is not bravery, it is crass, incitement, pathetic and attention-seeking. They were also warned to stop stoking racial tensions – curiously, nobody is mentioning that in the media reports that I have seen.

          1. Don Pidgeoni

            Have to agree with you there a bit sickofallthisbs, why is it so essential to free speech to look like an a**hat?

          2. sickofallthisbs

            Julomoppet, first off, what you are talking about is totalitarianism, which is not the preserve of the Right and no my views are not laying the foundations to Fascism; it is merely an expression of an opinion on an article posted on a website. If you think I have that power, I applaud you and will reward you when I finally take over.

            I have no problem with satire once it is done respectfully – like I said above I don’t believe it is acceptable to slag off anyone for their beliefs, politics or sexuality through the use of provocative cartoons/articles/hate speech etc etc. Incitement and provocation is not satire.

            I don’t agree with vox’s analysis of Charlie Hebdo, I think it a product of the travesty that has just occurred and so should be read with a pinch of salt. In my opinion, CH was at times a deliberately provocative magazine. They can pretend that they had a right to publish those cartoons under the provisions of free speech, but free Speech does not offer a protection of ALL speech, it simply guarantees your freedom to express opinions in a respectful manner. Quite often I find people claim free speech in a bid to cover their racist, xenophobic and homophobic views.

          3. louislefronde

            While I understand your view, I would disagree. Being French I am perhaps more familiar with Charlie Hebdo than you would be. This journal has always been provocative in the great French tradition of incisive which is an integral part of our political culture. Satire for us is more than an art form, as Voltaire said “Qui plume a, guerre a”

            The essence of satire is to challenge any dogma, including political correctness which owes its origins to the Maoist philosophy ‘the correct line’.

        2. sickofallthisbs

          Louislefrond – yip attacking a dogma is important, but attacking a faith that is a strong part of the identity of a minority community whose views are not adequately represented in contemporary politics strikes me as the worst possible kind of racism. In much the same way, in Ireland I would think it wholly unacceptable if cartoonists began to sneer at the beliefs of Muslims and incite people to anti-Islamic sentiment.

          And sorry CH – as part of a great French tradition? Please, cutting political satirical cartoons in France peaked in the 18th century.

          1. julomoppet

            If I decide one day that my religion forces me to walk naked in the street, will you respect that? Come on. All religions have ridiculous dogmas that we are perfectly entitled to laugh about if we (atheists) don’t share, and say it loud. That is what Charlie Hebdo is doing. I repeat, any kind of self censorship in front of religion is unacceptable in democracy.

          2. sickofallthisbs

            Julomoppet, come on, that is a facetious example; why don’t we talk about race instead of faith as a means of underlining my point? These cartoons are as offensive as those cartoons published during slavery in America that depicted black people as ugly, toothless and stupid in a mocking manner. They used crude racial stereotypes to mock and ridicule black people, which had long lasting consequences in American society. Either way, by modern standards such cartoons are a form of hate speech.

            Now what about the Holocaust? Would you mock Jewish people for their beliefs, which led to their persecution? Would you mock them for the Holocaust? No, you would not because it is a form of hate speech.

            Hate speech is hate speech regardless of whether its target is a race or a faith or a political creed or a sexuality. It is not free speech.

          3. Mani

            No they’re not. In fact if you look at any of the other cartoons published by hebdo, ridiculing other religions you’ll note they simply follow the well established rule of cartooning: exaggerating the facial characteristics of your subjects be it the evil eyes of papa Benedict or the jowls of Buddha. Hebdos cartoons in fact were in the main mildly provocative and drew attention to the more ridiculous aspects of Islam, as well as all other religions.

          4. dan

            How exactly is it possible to do respectful satire? It’s intrinsically disrespectful. Of the cartoons I’ve seen only one seemed to cross the line into hatespeech, but I don’t know the context of that one.
            The idea that they were simply being provocative for money isn’t likely, they weren’t making enough to justify risking repeated murder attempts. I’m sure they’d agree they did want the attention, but I’d guess they’d say for the issues dealt with.
            And freedom of speech is precisely intended to allow them to say what they want regardless of what other people think of it, or their motives or their delivery of their opinion.
            This obviously doesn’t apply to direct incitement, and I’m not saying the cartoons were good, but they should definitely be protected by free speech.

      2. Dan

        The offices had previously been petrol bombed. Satire has a function in a democracy. A society’s dedication to free speech is only tested when a member of that society says something that others disagree with or find offensive. By being ‘deliberately provocative’ as you said they are in fact being far braver than some academic’s opinion piece in a national broadsheet or some hack’s dry analysis. They are testing the values that as a society we claim to adhere to. Satire is a very serious business. It can educate, remedy and test a democracy. It has nothing to do with a sensationalist media, which you seem to be comparing it to. If people like these journalists didn’t push the limits of free speech, we wouldn’t know what it is.

        This is one of my favourite cartoons. It has nothing to do with Islam, or what happened, I just think it sums up nicely how good satire can work well.


        1. sickofallthisbs

          I love that cartoon and had a good chuckle, thanks! I agree satire has a place – but I think people are misrepresenting the work of CH, it is not the magazine people are making it out to be (certainly not while I was living in France and in the issues I have seen from time to time since). Just an opinion.

  2. Friscondo

    Maybe if journalists want to show bravery, they could mock Judaism and see how long they would last in their jobs. Freedom of speech can be very selective. How many of the current advocates for free speech would be jumping up and down screaming antisemitism?

  3. louislefronde

    To quote sickofallthisbs – who wrote the follow above…

    “I have no problem with satire once it is done respectfully – like I said above I don’t believe it is acceptable to slag off anyone for their beliefs, politics or sexuality through the use of provocative cartoons/articles/hate speech etc etc. Incitement and provocation is not satire.”

    To answer….

    There is no such thing as respectful satire! The whole point of Satire is to be disrespectful and provocative. Perhaps, you should read Jonathan Swift that great Irish satirist (and who still doesn’t have a statue to him in Dublin?) to understand the concept.

    One of Swift’s most brilliant pieces is ‘A Modest Proposal’ in which he suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. Naturally Swift was satirising the heartlessness of those who cared nothing for the poor and famished.

    Back in 1984, a really ignorant crowd in the Gaeity theatre (including that idiot Patrick Hillery) started booing Peter O’Toole while he read a passage from A Modest Proposal.

    1. Mani

      Yeah, if memory serves swift was a self hating paddy and would prefer one in Britain over one in good old Dublin.

    1. Soundings

      Yep, and that all look a bit ISISey – couldn’t we do nice cerise paisley 1960s summer of love posters.

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