Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vincent Browne's double standards

Watching TV3's VB show the other night I was struck by the insistence on the part of VB that the reaction to the murder of Shane Geoghegan somehow meant that the populous valued different lives differently. It doesn't. People simply react differently to the murder of someone in a gang to the murder of someone not involved in any such criminality at all.

For the same reason that people react differently to the death on the road of someone who was young and made a habit of driving fast and reckless to that a pedestrian teenager killed by a car mounting the footpath. It's not that one life is worth more but that one is more unexpected. People reacted in horror at the murder of the young plumbing apprentice Anthony Campbell just as they are doing now to the murder of Shane Geoghegan. These were lads who had done nothing but go about their business as we all do. It has nothing to do with social background.

I really wish Vincent would stop stretching different events as he attempts to shoe horn them into his world view. One other related crib with Vincent Browne is he often seeks to bring in the state and society's rather woeful treatment of travellers not matter how tangentially related. Yet in his coverage of the murder of Shane Geoghegan he makes no reference to the likely individuals involved membership of the traveller community. To Vincent the killing of John Ward by Padraig Nally was all about him being a traveller and not about him engaging in criminal activity yet we see extended families engaged in turf wars who operate omerta in a manner that would do the Scilians proud and not a mention of they being travellers.


amadan said...

I didn't see VBs show the other evening so not sure about his argument about people valuing different lives differently.

I think people do discriminate in these scenarios, though not intentionally. I suggest that the more a person can associate themselves with the victim then the more the reaction from that person.

If it was a child abuser that was shot mistakenly, then it is unlikely the same response would have occurred. Similarly, if the person shot mistakenly was a refugee or asylum seeker, I can't imagine the same level of response.

I think that people react out of a fear that the same thing could happen to them. As the populace do not hang around people known to the gardaĆ­ or asylum seekers, their reaction of a victim from such bacgrounds is lessened because it is unlikely the same thing would happen to them.

Sorry, haven't really put much thought into this so it may seem like ramblings of a prejudicial nutter.

mgb said...

Its all in the consistency and the follow through. Nobody seems to be marching for the kids burned in Moyross in Autumn 2006. Yes the crime was solved, but the violence and gang warfare continued. So community and moral outrage didn't do much for us there.

Anonymous said...

The previous week to the Shane tragedy, there were 2 murders in Cork and God knows how many murders in Dublin over the past few weeks.

Look at the coverage of Shanes death compared to all the others. It would seem that indeed the media attach a higher value to the life of an honest to goodness Limerick man than it does attach to Dublin or Cork people involved in unsavoury behaviour.

Some lives ARE more valuable than others.

Cheebah said...

I didn't see Vincenzo either but I think there is something in what he says. They are some who have died in Limerick whose senseless deaths didn't provoke the same sense of outrage, Darren Coughlan been one who springs to mind. That isn't to take away from the murder this week, but I do think that there is no comparison in terms of outrage.

On the other hand I don't agree that Murray children didn't get equal exposure. I suppose the fact they were innocent children rather than young working class males helped. However I would agree with MGB in that what was missing was solidarity with those communities. I will always remember a Primetime/Rte news special on that 'moyross' weekend when Willie O Dea and Tim O Malley were interviewed from the top of the Cornmarket building, looking out on the city. No chance they would take a trip 2 miles out the road and be filmed in Moyross. No such gestures of real representation for a community under siege. One or maybe two politicians didn't baulk at making that journey and I wonder how they will fare in 2009 when the local boxes are opened from that area.

Bock the Robber said...

I don't hear Vincent shouting about the fact that Limerick drug-crime is dominated by three tinker families. Do you?

Hubris said...

What about the death of Brian Rossiter?

As innocent as Mr Geoghegan - BUT the culprits in this instance don't appear to be criminal Gang-members - unless you count An Garda Siochana as a criminal gang

No outrage - no demands for the perpetrators to be brought to justice - no demands for the perpetrators to be deprived of their civil rights - no demands for sticking Gardai into a Currach in the middle of the Atlantic and letting them fend for themselves ;-)

I have no issue with your critique of Mr Brown - and I await with baited breath your condemnation and demands for the jailing of the people responsible for the death of 14 yr old Brian Rossiter

For some reason people in this country don't seem to be able to make the very definite connection between Garda and Politicians impunity and Criminal Gang-members impunity (am I merely repeating myself there?)

Calling for heads to roll or hangings is ohhh so easy - dealing with the root causes is a lot harder and would require a lot more consistency.

John Gilligan claimed he made money from horses - and people rightly laughed and took away his property.

Mr Bartholemew Ahern also claimed he made money from horses - and people laughed - But the CAB still hasn't confiscated Bertie's probable ill-gotten gains.

Consistency Dan, is what is required.

If the so-called 'great and the good' of this land can break the law without any real fear of prosecution, an if the so-called upholders of those laws can also do so, then why not the criminal scum that killed Shane Geoghegan?