‘Fantasy’ and ‘serious’: ‘The Irish Times’ interview with Irish politician who was arrested in Paris
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In this interview with The Irish Tribune, the Irish parliamentarian, Sinn Féin TD Seán O’Callaghan, discusses his new book, ‘The Myth of Irish Independence: Ireland in the 21st Century’.
The Irish Examiner’s Michael Haggarty also participated in the interview.
Listen to the full podcast on The Irish Irish Times podcast player or download the audio from the player below: Seán Dállaghuala: Thank you for having me.
I appreciate it.
Michael Hargarty: So what was your first memory of the Paris attacks?
Seán: I was in the Dail, and I saw the journalists who were there with me, I saw them running to their cars, I heard them screaming.
I didn’t see any police, I was just thinking about it.
I was very scared.
I had a feeling that something terrible had happened.
Michael: What did you do when the police showed up?
SeAN: The first thing I did was to go out to the house.
I went to the front door, and then I went out in the yard.
I looked back, I thought ‘what the fuck has happened?’
And then I heard a scream.
And I thought, ‘what’s happening here?’
Michael: How long were you in the house?
SeÚ: About five minutes.
I don’t remember much about it, but I think that was when I heard the scream.
I heard another scream, and a bit later I heard an explosion.
The next thing I remember is running outside.
I could see the police were there.
They had their guns out, and they were coming.
I just ran out and got on the balcony and ran towards the front.
The police came and said ‘no one’s in the apartment’.
I said ‘oh, okay’.
The police didn’t even look.
They didn’t stop the police, they just said ‘we’re not going to go inside’.
It was like a dream.
I never saw anyone.
The moment they put their gun to my head, I just screamed.
And then they arrested me.
Seán : They said I had to be released.
They were looking for the terrorist.
Michael : You were told you had to tell them who the terrorist was.
SeAN : I told them that I had no idea.
I couldn’t tell them what they were doing.
I said they didn’t know I was here.
And they said ‘what do you know about it?’
They said, ‘well, you’re an MEP’.
And I said I didn- I said that I was a member of the European Parliament, and it was very important that I tell them.
I remember they were telling me about it to the police and the Gardaí and then they told me that I couldn`t tell them anything about the terrorist because I didn`t know who the terrorists were.
So I just said I don`t care, I didn´t know.
And the police didn` t do anything, they didn`ve done nothing, I never heard anything.
MichaelHargarty : But how much time did you spend with the terrorists?
SeAn: It was very short, about five minutes, and after that I went home.
Michael- How long did you have to stay?
SeA: Well, I went back home to Cork, I left for Dublin, I arrived in Dublin.
I spent two days in Dublin, and two days out of Dublin.
And after that, I stayed in the hotel and then went to my parents home.
I stayed there for three days, then I flew back to Dublin.
Michael – So did you stay with them, or were you out in France?
SeN: I stayed with them for three or four days, but they were in France, so I didn�t stay with any of them.
I wasn`t even with the people I was supposed to be with, I wasn�t with any- but the family of the person I was talking to, they were staying in a hotel in Paris.
MichaelHeG: Did you go to the concert?
I flew to Dublin, then flew to Cork.
Michael HeG: What was the reaction in Dublin?
SeBN: It wasn� t really anything like that.
The receptionists there didn`T really talk to me, they kept on telling me what was going on in Paris, I would go back to my apartment and say ‘look, they`re here, theyre here’.
But they never did anything.
They just kept on saying ‘they are coming’.
I went into my bedroom and went to bed.
I woke up a few hours later and I was sitting at the foot of my bed and I heard ‘they`re in Paris’.
It just seemed like that was the end of it.
So, I said to myself, I don�t know what’s going
In this interview with The Irish Tribune, the Irish parliamentarian, Sinn Féin TD Seán O’Callaghan, discusses his new book, ‘The…
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