Limerick Fine Gael Councillor Olivia O’Sullivan has found herself in the firing line over an offensive tweet she posted some time back.
The tweet broadcast her husband’s view that perhaps the country was in need of “superheroes” who might deploy their super powers to, quote, “go around killing knackers”, unquote.
The obvious inference to be made is of course that he was referring to members of the travelling community, the K word being rightly considered to be deeply offensive to that community, and rightly beyond the pale in terms of public discourse or even basic good manners.
It is my surmise, however, that he was not referring to Travellers at all, at all. Rather, as anyone familiar with the argot of certain classes of people in Ireland will be aware the K word is also used as a depiction of other classes of people, also known as scobes, howyas and so on. This is how the privileged describe members of the working class, as they define people by various signifiers including accent, address, maybe even dress sense.
Of course, I am only guessing. Neither he not she is likely to come forward and excuse themselves by stating that “Actually, I wasn’t referring to travellers, but to people from O’Malley Park or Moyross.”
Not least for electoral reasons, if that indeed was the case and I have no idea if it was. It does, however, point to a certain blind spot on the part of some of her accusers who possibly have not even considered the alternative use of the K word in this instance.
O’Sullivan otherwise would have had the world believe that she is full of the joys of Diversity and such like. This might seem to conflict with her lack of hesitancy to tweet out her husband’s low view of other members of our society.
However, neither she nor indeed any of us is immune from such cognitive dissonance, if you will. No more indeed than some of those who have used her Tweets to attack her as some sort of monster.
There are many who spend their days virtue signalling about human rights who seem to actively dislike real human beings, especially those who disagree with them. They show no compunction when hunting down real men and women with divergent views on lockdowns, or gender ideology or immigration or any other hot-button issue.
Many of those who claim to be superior human beings when it comes to holding the right (on) attitudes can still harbour nasty prejudices against the only people whom it is still acceptable to sneer at: those with less money or those with unpopular views.
This won’t be the last troublesome tweet to emerge.