Irish Fishermen and Russians, a David-Goliath Story
I have watched the progress of a group of Irish fishermen planning a peaceful disruption of the Russian vessel threatening to invade their traditional fishing waters and wage real war games. I am writing this a few days before the trawlers set off to fish for shrimp.
Last I heard Patrick Murphy, head of the Irish South & West Fishing Organisation, met with the Russian Ambassador to Ireland and the outcome was favorable to the fishermen. When Murphy announced that the Russians had blinked and promised to conduct their military exercises away from Irish fishing waters, it was no surprise that the Russians denied such a deal. However, no matter what they say, the fishermen will not back down. This is a case of David confronting Goliath.
The justified outrage expressed by the fishermen is indicative of their strength of character, their sense of valor and their utter intolerance of a hostile vessel off the South West Cork coast. Last August the sighting of the Yantar spy ship off the coast of Donegal caused anxiety but no obvious action. Apparently, the ship was equipped with submersibles that did two things: they broke the undersea cables or attached listening devices to them when transmitting information between Europe and North America. It’s a great way for Putin to gather information, but it’s not exactly ethical or legal. Ethics and legality tend to go out the window when it comes to matters relating to espionage and perhaps war preparation.
Some readers will know what I’m talking about. Others will have no idea. I belong to the latter if I hadn’t come across a video of Irish trawlers determined to drive the Russian vessel out of their fishing waters. I focused on the situation in Ukraine and I wonder if war is brewing. Now that we’re officially out of Afghanistan, it’s time to get involved in another conflict. I have to keep the military-industrial complex well-oiled and operational. Thanks for the warning, Ike, but war is a way of life for us. Forget that democracy here is collapsing. It’s just a bump in the road. He has been threatened before and survived. In 1933, the late Marine Major General Smedley Butler would not agree to a proposed coup to oust FDR. The “Business Plot” was a flop.
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I wish members of Congress were as brave as a handful of Irish fishermen. It was not seasoned government officials who met the diplomatically gifted Russian ambassador. It’s Murphy and another fisherman who make a living fishing – not for lobbyists lining their pockets – but for real shrimp for customers’ plates. Can you imagine how different our senators and congressmen would be if they worked for us instead of lobbyists? Compare the courage of fishermen to that of Ivy League-educated politicians who tremble at the thought of confronting a former president. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind. What happens to yours?
I guess when most people think of fishermen they see uneducated men, easily intimidated and shaky in their boots. This is not the image of the men who faced Russia. They accepted the Russian Ambassador’s invitation and discussed a solution to the invasion of their waters. By the time you read this, we’ll know if they’ve succeeded. Wouldn’t it be amazing if these Irish fishermen set an example for diplomatic solutions instead of going to another war?
— To contact Sharon Kennedy, email her at [email protected] Kennedy’s latest book, “The SideRoad Kids: Tales from Chippewa County,” is available from her, Amazon, or Audible.