Categories
Sexuality

A Poem For Cathal Ó Searcaigh

I watched the programme last night, and one particular part struck me. It was when Cathal was reading a clever haiku to his Nepalese boys, most of whom had only halting English. Despite the language gap, they were so eager to please Cathal that they laughed at any old shit he read to them and I had an idea. What a nice thing it would be, I thought, if I wrote a haiku of my own. A poem especially for Cathal!

Sorry now. I’ve never written a haiku before, so I might be doing it wrong, but here we go anyway:-

The village boys laugh

too hard at Cathal’s haiku.

Shamed, I turn away.

_____________________________

Previously:

Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s Statement

Cathal O Searcaigh

_____________________________

Elsewhere:

Bonhom.ie

Most Sincerely, Folks

Disillusioned Lefty

JC Skinner

Categories
Sexuality

Cathal Ó Searcaigh’s Statement

UPDATE: A Poem For Cathal

________________________________

When I first wrote about this, I thought Cathal Ó Searcaigh was almost a peripheral figure. I was more interested in the reaction of the artistic community, which reminded me of the Catholic Church’s denials and attacks on its critics.

I was going to say no more about Cathal Ó Searcaigh until I read his statement today, and I have to confess that I’m staggered by its monumental irrelevancy, manipulative intent and self-pitying tone.

Here.

Read for yourself what he says:

It is with a heavy heart that I have read and listened to the media comment about the documentary Fairytale of Katmandu.

I opened my life and work in Nepal to someone I considered a friend. Someone who had made a film of me and my adopted son and family in Nepal less than a year earlier and who never raised any concerns to me at that time.

I believe the filmmakers never had any intentions of showing the work I have being doing in Nepal for some 13 years now. I have undertaken projects to provide water, housing, education and business opportunities for the people of Nepal.

I have made many friends, both male and female and I have taken great pleasure in seeing my small efforts change their lives for the better. The well being of the Nepalese people is of primary concern to me.

If my gay lifestyle and relationships in Nepal has offended anyone, I am sorry. But to suggest that I in any way coerced or preyed upon these young men is untrue and distasteful. My relationships in Nepal have always been open and loving and above board.

I have considered deeply the opinions put forward by my critics and I can see how my actions could have been misinterpreted. It hurts me to think that I would be seen in this light.

However, as my efforts to support and nurture the people of Nepal are more important to me than the privacy of my relationships, I have decided to establish a trust to administer whatever funds I am capable of providing in the future.

The trust will consist of Prem, my adopted son, Sunita his wife and my daughter-in-law, a Nepalese solicitor and accountant. I will distance myself completely from the distribution of funding for chosen projects. This will allow the work I have started in Nepal to continue and afford me the privilege of regaining some semblance of a private life.

I would finally like to say that the vast bulk of the money I used to help my friends in Nepal was my own income. Although I lived there for three months of the year, I support the educational and other projects all year round.

Is teann an taca an trócaire.

Remember: nobody criticised his sexual orientation. Nobody cares if he’s gay or straight. The only question asked was whether he had possibly exploited young people through his financial strength and their poverty.

Having read it carefully, I think this statement is an attempt by Cathal to divert the debate away from the real question. I think he’s trying to present the whole thing as the persecution of a harmless gay man, and I think his efforts to do so are both clumsy and transparent.

Let’s examine this statement in detail, paragraph by paragraph, and see if we can determine what it’s about. This is only my judgement of his motivation, but it seems to me that his statement is deeply manipulative and devoid of empathy.

Paragraph
Motivation
It is with a heavy heart that I have read and listened to the media comment about the documentary Fairytale of Katmandu.
Self-pityIrrelevant
I opened my life and work in Nepal to someone I considered a friend. Someone who had made a film of me and my adopted son and family in Nepal less than a year earlier and who never raised any concerns to me at that time. Guilt tripIrrelevant
I believe the filmmakers never had any intentions of showing the work I have being doing in Nepal for some 13 years now. I have undertaken projects to provide water, housing, education and business opportunities for the people of Nepal.
Guilt-trip
Self-pity
MartyrdomIrrelevant
If my gay lifestyle and relationships in Nepal has offended anyone, I am sorry. But to suggest that I in any way coerced or preyed upon these young men is untrue and distasteful. My relationships in Nepal have always been open and loving and above board.
Guilt-trip
Self-pity
Avoidance
MartyrdomTangential
I have considered deeply the opinions put forward by my critics and I can see how my actions could have been misinterpreted. It hurts me to think that I would be seen in this light Self-pityIrrelevant
However, as my efforts to support and nurture the people of Nepal are more important to me than the privacy of my relationships, I have decided to establish a trust to administer whatever funds I am capable of providing in the future. AvoidanceIrrelevant
The trust will consist of Prem, my adopted son, Sunita his wife and my daughter-in-law, a Nepalese solicitor and accountant. I will distance myself completely from the distribution of funding for chosen projects. This will allow the work I have started in Nepal to continue and afford me the privilege of regaining some semblance of a private life. Avoidance
Self-pity
Guilt-trip
MartyrdomIrrelevant
I would finally like to say that the vast bulk of the money I used to help my friends in Nepal was my own income. Although I lived there for three months of the year, I support the educational and other projects all year round. Avoidance
Self-pity
Guilt-trip
MartyrdomIrrelevant
Is teann an taca an trócaire. (My translation: Mercy is a slender support) Self-pity
Guilt-trip
MartyrdomIrrelevant

What do you reckon?

___________________

Previously: Cathal Ó Searcaigh

Elsewhere: Conan Drumm

Categories
Favourites Sexuality

Cathal Ó Searcaigh

UPDATE
Cathal Ó Searcaigh: Shifting The Blame
A poem for Cathal

Cathal issued a public statement. Reaction HERE.

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I hate tolerance.

Tolerance means putting up with people even if you don’t like what they are. It’s sniffy. It’s worthy. It’s right-on condescending.

Me?

I don’t give a shit what you are. I don’t care if you’re black, or gay, or Catholic, or a Traveller or anything else. I genuinely don’t give a flying fuck what your race is, or what your sexual orientation is or what your religion is, unless you try and force me to believe the same nonsense as you.

I don’t care what you are. I only care what you do.

I don’t give a shit if you fuck badgers, as long as you don’t fuck my badger without asking me first.

Now, I don’t know if there’s a word for that kind of attitude, but it’s not as forgiving as tolerance. For example, I don’t give a rat’s arse if you’re a tinker. I’ll stand my round as quick as you and I’m happy to work with you. But if you’re the kind of tinker who burns huge piles of cable or leaves a heap of shit behind you when you move on, then I have a big problem with you.

Likewise, if you’re the kind of religious person who thinks we’re all going to hell, or if you want to impose Sharia law in my country, then you can fuck off as well.

And even more likewise, I couldn’t give the green end of a goose’s shit whether you’re gay or straight. In fact, that would be irrelevant at all times.

Now, intolerance is a different matter entirely. In my view, the very first thing we should refuse to tolerate is intolerance. We should refuse to put up with arrogant fucks like Bishops and Archbishops and Cardinals who elevate themselves above the rest of us and who believe their judgement is superior to ours by virtue of their exalted position. I’m glad to say that this caste of people is now coming under increasing pressure, and the Irish people are no longer so credulous or passive that they’re prepared to accept the huffing and the puffing of Churchmen. After all, we now realise that these are simply men detached from the common run of humanity and deluded by the flattery of their toadies.

Little did I realise until this week that there was another secret and parallel Hierarchy ready to spring forth fully formed like Flann O Brien’s middle-aged Spaniard with a knowledge of physics extending to Boyle’s Law and the Parallelogram of Forces. Oh, and with the ability to read a gas meter.

But fuck me sideways, if I wasn’t listening to Joe Duffy during the week. All right. I know. I know. Duffy the Gobshite. I know. The only excuse I can offer is that I was in the car and there was nothing else on.

Duffy is a cynic, prepared to drum up any kind of spurious controversy if it will contribute to raising his profile. I know this. I’m not a fool. But Duffy had latched onto a story about Cathal Ó Searcaigh going to Nepal, and on the face of it, there were grounds for concern. Cathal O Searcaigh? I know nothing whatever about the man, except that he’s a poet and a member of Aosdana. Apart from that I know nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. He could be a fine fellow. He could be a monster. I don’t know. I have no information about him or his activities.

However, there were suggestions that Cathal Ó Searcaigh had used his position of relative wealth to manipulate vulnerable Nepalese boys into engaging in some kind of sexual act with him. It all emerged in the course of a documentary that was being made about him, and there’s a piece where Ó Searcaigh confirms having sex with some of these boys.

Now I don’t know about any of that. Some say the boys were all over 16. Others say they were economically vulnerable and desperate. More say that Nepalese teenagers would be very naive about such things. I don’t know, and I won’t know until the full facts emerge.

What I do know is that every painter, sculptor, novelist, self-styled poet, actor, busker and graffiti artist in Ireland came on the radio to dismiss any suggestions of impropriety by Cathal Ó Searcaigh. Some were more imperious than others, but all carried the same message:

This man is one of us, and we know best. How dare you question him?

And I thought to myself, Oops! Here we go again!

_________________

Update:

Statement by Cathal Ó Searcaigh