“A dignified conversation with protests”

Irish peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy was recently released from prison. She’s 79, she has cancer and arthritis (from a broken neck!), and one would think someone in that condition would be more than happy to take to her rocker and never mind the wicked old world at all anymore. But one would be wrong. She’s more engaged with the world than ever, and if you want to know what it’s like when someone just up and tells death to go to hell, well…listen to her. She takes on everything from the CIA and its torture flights (out of Shannon Airport, which is why she was arrested), to gender discrimination and the crappy situation of the Mountjoy women’s prison. And she even finds time to give the interviewer a hand-knit teddy bear for his child. Dignity? She’s got it in spades, and she doesn’t give a good goddamn for what she’s supposed to do, or how she’s supposed to sound. Martyrdom? Look elsewhere. She’s got no time for it. As soon as her health is looked after, I predict we’ll be seeing her right back out on the runway at Shannon again. Probably knitting another teddy bear, and having tea with the ladies, and making fools of the airport’s security team, as she did the last time.

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