What a farce - Minister Dempsey appropiated the Proclamation of 1916, Shackelton the explorer, JFK, Oscar Wilde et al to support his treatise that the sons of destiny are visionaries!
He managed to waffle his way talking about the past instead of 'managing the future' as the MacGill Summer School is titled.
The Joe Mulholland, the chair, allowed him to frantically scribble notes while numerous people posed their questions - then the Minister just waffled a few replies and kept harking back to 1916 - as if the people in 1916 would have sold out the West!
Various speakers from Rossport posed questions which he didn't answer and the local Donegal people were disgusted at him talking about the gret economy we have when there is so much unemployment in Donegal and heckling ensued - at which point the chair was going to put an end to the proceedings - then Pearse Doherty pointed out that there are exploration licenses pending Donegal which should be rethought in the face
of oppositon to the Shell operation in Mayo -
Dempsey buried his head most of the time and kept his legs and arms folded, rocking in agitation at being questioned at all - the golden boy paled a few degrees.
The last word was left to Paul Durkan (yes the poet) who pointed out that most of the men and women of 1916 were poets and as a poet himself he asked that out 'sacred hills' be not draped in wind farms....
A much livlier and informative meeting took place in the Community Centre later in the evening and was well supported by the Greens, Sinn Fein and local environmental groups.