NUI Maynooth has appointed Bertie Ahern as a visiting professor.
Think about that now for a minute.
Professor Bertie Ahern.
I remember a time when professors were widely-read people with interests and knowledge extending far beyond their area of specialisation. Erudite, inquisitive people with a restless curiosity and a desire to understand all that came their way.
Now, Ireland is not short of oxymorons and never was. We have the Irish Management Institute. We have Garda Intelligence. We have the Financial Regulator. We have the Christian Brothers.
But to my mind, the most outlandish oxymoron yet has to be the violent yoking together of the title “Professor” and the name “Bertie Ahern”.
Wanted. Visiting professor.
Qualifications: Must be illiterate, anti-intellectual, dishonest gobshite with no ethical standards.
Forget the Large Hadron Collider. Scrap it. We don’t need it.
Putting Professor in front of Bertie Ahern’s name will cause an event — not just a singularity, not merely a tear in the space-time continuum, not a folding of space and not only the collapse of the galaxy — but the universe’s greatest wormhole for the universe’s greatest worm
This will cause a new phenomenon previously unknown to science: the Cosmic Absurdity, and the ripples from it will echo all the way back to the Big Bang.
Remind me if I’m wrong about something here, but wasn’t Ahern the man who crashed our economy into a cliff, accepted bags of money from dodgy builders, treated the subsequent inquiry with contempt, sneered at those who expressed misgivings about his ill-conceived e-voting system, gave over a billion euros of public money to bail out the child-abusing clergy, handed over our gas resources for nothing to the multinationals and lied barefaced to the nation on the main evening news?
What did they make him professor of?
Mediation and conflict intervention.
In other words, he’s there to teach the students how a slippery, two-faced liar can pull the wool over people’s eyes by believing two different things at the same time. When you swallow your own lies, everyone thinks you’re the straightest man in the world.
There you go. This self-centred, ruthless, deceitful corner-boy, who headed the criminal conspiracy called Fianna Fáil that bankrupted the country, is honoured with a professorship in a college of the national university.
Well, I suppose if anyone asks him how he earned this academic post without being able to read and write, he can always say he won it on a horse.
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