Conversations with paedophiles

Sean Moncrieff had a remarkable interview with a paedophile today on Newstalk.

Now, if you know me at all, you’ll be aware that my views on kiddie fiddlers are to the right of Hitler.  I’d feed the fuckers feet first into the gearbox of a fast-running John Deere tractor, and yet, Moncrieff’s show gave me pause.

He spoke to a man who identified himself as a paedophile, which immediately got me bristling, but then it turned out that this person was not a child abuser. This man said he was sexually attracted to children but that he had never acted on his urges and never would.

I find that difficult as a parent and as a human being. When my children were small, I would probably have wanted to kill anyone who harboured such urges, even if they had never acted upon them, but on the other hand, the angry urges of a protective father are not a rational basis on which to establish a civilised society, because angry protective fathers would kill almost anything that looks crooked at their beloved children.   It’s a man thing. It’s a hard-wired thing.

What bothered me about the Moncrieff interview was the notion that paedophiles might be hard-wired.

Where do we go with this?

I don’t know, and I’m not advocating any position on it. I’m certainly not defending paedophiles, but if it turns out that one per cent of the population has this tendency, as suggested during the interview, what are we to do with  the one in a hundred who find themselves sexually aroused by our children?

Emotionally, I want to kill them all right now, but we can’t frame law based on my emotions and anyway, we don’t execute  people in a civilised country, so where is this going? Should laws be based on my emotions as a father? Should laws be based on what a person feels, even if they never act on those feelings? Should we imprison people simply for being what they are, even if they never do any harm, and if so, should we stop there? Should we start to jail people for being potential thieves or Nazis?

I don’t know.

This isn’t one of those prescriptive articles where I tell you what I think.

Moncrieff asked a very hard question that deserves a reflective response by thinking people.

So what do you think?


Hurling Soccer

Beautiful Weather in Limerick With Sport, Food, Drink and Stuff

I had a pint in the company of John Aldridge at lunchtime, and that’s not something you can say every day of the week.  That’s right.  John Aldridge, former Liverpool and Ireland striker, who turns out to be a damn nice guy.   Self-effacing, modest, witty, funny and friendly.  All the things, in short, that any of us would like to be, apart from those of us who are complete tools and wish to be none of these things.

Here, for proof is a picture of John Aldridge outside Bourkes Bar in Limerick, and while I could show you the one of us together, I would then have to dispatch my henchmen to kill you.

We don’t want that, so just take my word that John and I are sitting together at the same table discussing things like Liverpool’s disastrous season, the management skills of Jack Charlton and whether Kenny Dalglish should have been sacked.

John is looking fit.  Far fitter than I am, although he bears a disturbing resemblance to Baal from Stargate.  Yes, Baal is an evil fictional galactic warlord and John Aldridge is just a guy with a lot of football talent, but in fairness to him, Aldridge and Baal have the same engaging characteristic: neither of them believes he’s a god.


You’re joking, I hear you say.

No I am not, I reply to you.

How the hell did that happen?  Well, I blundered up town from the Milk Market, devouring a delicious chicken Madras when I noticed the huge Newstalk signs outside Bourkes Bar.  This is the delicious meal I had for my breakfast.  Isn’t it nice?


Oh Yummy.

The proprietor grabbed me by the elbow.  Come in.   We have all sorts of stuff going on today.

Good, I say.   Let’s have a pint.


What do I know about soccer?  Little or nothing, as any regular reader of this site will know, and yet I well remember John Aldridge as a deadly striker.  As it happens, he’s also a damn nice guy.  Did I mention that?

It wasn’t that I pursued him.  Newstalk were doing a live broadcast from Bourkes and I happened to be there because I wanted to hear Keith Wood and Alan Quinlan talking about rugby.   It was interesting to hear their story and I wanted to ask them things that occurred to me but that wasn’t possible in the end.  It got a bit crowded for me so I slid outside with an ice-cold beer to enjoy the extraordinarily hot weather and listen to the show on the speakers.

What sort of questions did I want to ask?  Well, for example, I’d have liked to ask Alan Quinlan if he thought his Tipperary hurling background influenced his direct, no-nonsense approach on the rugby field.  And I might have liked to ask Keith Wood what he  thinks  about the physical toll professional rugby takes on the human body, including the extraordinary outbreak of baldness we’ve witnessed in recent years.


It was all good.  No complaints.  I’m sitting in the sun, enjoying an ice-cold beer when I realise that the friendly guy opposite me is the great John Aldridge, and this is a great relief.  Why?  Because I know he was supposed to be on the panel, and I’d already shaken my head disapprovingly at a fat bastard with a gold necklace.  Look at the state of Aldridge.   Jesus he really let himself go.

Well thank you, non-existent God.  Thanks for keeping Aldridge in good nick.  He’s not even drinking a pint: just a nice cup of tea.  And he’s signing t-shirts.  What a nice guy.

How cool is that?  A football legend, sunshine, delicious grub and ice-cool beer.