Make an End?

I have done my work in, friends: O, make an end// Of what I have begun

Ciarán MacAirt, Alban Maginness and Conall McDevitt at the Stormont launch of the book, The McGurk's Bar Bombing
From left: Ciarán MacAirt, Alban Maginness and Conall McDevitt at the Stormont launch of the book, The McGurk’s Bar Bombing

Marc Antony had just fallen on his own sword when he said these words (1). It was just as dramatic and moving to watch Conall McDevitt  fall on his.

The man made an abject mistake and was man enough to take responsibility for that error.

There are those who will be shocked but willing to forgive; and those who will decry his fallibility whilst reveling in his fall.

Even within his own party, there will be many a Decretas (2) who will be jostling for position and currying favour at his expense.

But I will be very sorry to see Conall leave public life and for this to be the end of his political career. I considered him one of our finest politicians and activists. I still do.

It was not only that he is very supportive of our families’ campaign and stood shoulder to shoulder with us at many an event.

On a personal level too, he made time for me even though his schedule was hectic. Usually, my request for consultation would come at very short notice too. His intelligent and incisive advice was always welcome and greatly appreciated.

His resignation will leave a certain lacuna in the political landscape if he is not tempted back once more unto the breach. He made a mistake but I hope he is.

In the meantime, I wish him all the best with his future plans which I am sure will succeed.



(1) Act IV, Scene XIV, lines 126-7, Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare

(2) Decretas snaffled Marc Antony’s sword in the hope of gaining favour with Caesar: “Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers fly.// This sword but shown to Caesar, with this tidings,// Shall enter me with him.”

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