‘You And I Know, Marian, You’ve Had People In This Studio Who’ve Done Far Worse Things”


From top: James Wray, William McKinney; Senator Michael McDowell

Yesterday morning.

On RTÉ Radio One’s Marian Finucane show.

Former Minister for Justice Senator Michael McDowell voiced his thoughts on the prosecution of Soldier F.

Soldier F is to go on trial next year for the murder of James Wray and William McKinney and for the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell during Bloody Sunday in the Bogside area of Derry in 1972.

Mr McDowell’s comments yesterday followed the former Minister for Justice reportedly making similar comments while speaking at an event last week to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Retired and Commissioned Officers.

Mr McDowell was on the radio programme’s panel with Justine McCarthy, Political Correspondent for The Sunday Times, Mary C Murphy, a senior lecturer in politics Department of Government and Politics UCC, Diarmaid Ferriter, historian at UCD and Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at Davy.

The barrister made his comments just after the panel had been discussing the potential political consequences of Spain’s Supreme Court ruling last month that the remains of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco should be exhumed from the state mausoleum, where his remains have been buried since his death in 1975, and reburied next to his wife in a graveyard outside Madrid.

Michael McDowell: “This is the point that I was raising in the week, I was asked to speak to retired army officers here. It sounds very dangerous.”


McDowell: “But in any event, it was a very enjoyable occasion. But in the course of my remarks, I said to them, you know, there is a sense in which you have to make a very cold choice as to whether you run a line across this page of history and say ‘we’re not going behind that again’, ‘we’re not going back there’.

“I mean Solder F.”

Marian Finucane: “Yeah.”

McDowell: “On trial for something 47 years ago when you know and I know, Marian, you’d had people in this studio who’ve done far worse things and…”

Finucane: “Eh no…”


Finucane: “Anyone who has been in this studio has assured me that they haven’t and that they were never a member of the IRA and that’s a fact.”


Finucane: “They told me.”

McDowell: “They told you…well I mean…”


Justine McCarthy: “I think for, to be fair to the relatives of the people who were killed on Bloody Sunday, there is nothing worse than to have somebody shot dead, an innocent person.”

McDowell: “I know there isn’t but I really do think, you know, we faced that in the civil war here. And on the day of the handover to Fianna Fáil, the Minister for Defence said ‘destroy all records’ to do with the executions and all the rest of it.

“By far, I think it was Desmond Fitzgerald who signed that order to the armed forces. He was saying we’re drawing a line under that and they didn’t go back under that. The army switched its allegiance to De Valera’s government and…”

Diarmaid Ferriter: “Well a hundred years on, that civil war legacy is still a delicate issue. So if it’s only 45 years…”

McDowell: “Or in America, they’re still fighting their civil war. The question I’m saying, I don’t believe, I have to say, in all, of this notion of a truth commission. You’ll never find out the truth about most things that happened in Northern Ireland. The people who did the terrible deeds will never put there hands up and say ‘I did this’.”


Later the panel were discussing the situation facing the Kurds in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.

McDowell: “You’ve the crass ignorance of Donald Trump, you know what I mean. First of all, he claims to have won the battle against IS single handed. Then he had to acknowledge that they did most of the fighting for him. Then he lets them down with this telephone deal with Erdogan. Then he justifies that by saying the Kurds, god help them, were no help during D-Day invasion in Normandy…I mean to have a buffoon like him…”

Diarmaid Ferriter: “But it’s also the power that it’s giving to Putin as well…”


Finucane: “You may not like Mr Trump, Michael McDowell…”

McDowell: “I don’t.”

Finucane: “But he was elected under their system whether you like it or not.”

McDowell: “I agree with you, he was elected and I would accord him the respect that that involves but I would regard him as an absolutely shameful character. And I really think he’s a standing insult to the American people.”


Ferriter: “There’s another headline today, suggesting he’s going to tweet his way to a second term which is…”

Finucane: “Well, you see, I know there is a complete bias among our listenership, not universal because they get very annoyed at about, how, when anti-Trump stuff is said. His supporters think he’s kind of god.”

McDowell: “So did Adolf’s and Joe Stalin’s.”

McCarthy: “Somebody said the other day that the only member of the army that President Trump admires is Col Saunders.”


Listen back in full here

Previously: ‘Sufficient Evidence To Prosecute One Former Soldier’

McDowell ‘deeply uncomfortable’ with Soldier F prosecution (Conor Gallagher, The Irish Times)

Sponsored Link

17 thoughts on “‘You And I Know, Marian, You’ve Had People In This Studio Who’ve Done Far Worse Things”

  1. Dr.Fart

    why do irish media presenters always beat that “he was democratically elected” drum all the effin time. it’s trump! he’s clearly the worst person on the planet, he’s also not listening to irish radio, so grow a bloody set, marriane. christ.

  2. Gabby

    Michael McDowell speaks his plain mind about foreign policy and about things that happened half a century or more ago, so he’s perfect as an invited guest on a radio show of this kind. Radio shows are meant to explore issues, enable guests to outline their considered views, and be lively enough to entertain listeners. I wouldn’t vote for McDowell since he’s an economic conservative like most centrist politicians.

  3. Amy

    Michael McDowell’s a Unioinst, he always has been. Justice for the families of the victims of Bloody Sunday is not going to preoccupy him.

  4. Truth in the News

    McDowells values are of the class he belongs to, the class that reversed and destroyed
    the Irish Revolution and as to what he’s doing on a RTE radio programme on a Sunday Morning
    needs questioning, who invites him on, anyways this particular series has run its course
    it’s time to bring on a new version with new people from outside Dublin

    1. Dawjaw

      So well said
      It’s a home for the bewildered and remaindered I find it utterly unlistenable and frequently disgusting

  5. Spaghetti Hoop

    Glad you highlighted this, Broadsheet. Until Justine McCarthy rightly spoke up, McDowell, echoed by Finucane, were casually dismissing the investigation into Soldier F, and as you can hear from the playback, laughing it off in ‘water-under-the-bridge’ fashion. I found it really disrespectful, both to the families of the victims, and the event itself.

    1. Gearóid

      Yes, thank you broadsheet, and thank you for your pertinent comment, Spaghetti Hoop.
      Whatever about one’s politics, or thoughts on legacy prosecutions, the laughter in that transcript is truly disturbing.

    1. Tea And Brexits

      He means Gerry Adams, as usual.

      We mean every Saturday and Sunday’s panel. Stop listening to the Marian Finucane brunch set bull.

  6. emma

    he was democratically elected” drum all the effin time. it’s trump! he’s clearly the worst person on the planet, he’s also not listening to irish radio, so grow a bloody set, marriane. christ.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Link