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Michael McDowell leaves the RDS count centre in Dublin after conceding his seat in the 2007 General election. Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images
Ireland's Greatest

Bono and Robinson shouldn't be in Ireland's Greatest- McDowell

Former Minister for Justice says poll is full of “flavour of the month” choices.

FORMER PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS leader Michael McDowell has lambasted the choices made by the public in the RTE poll to find Ireland’s greatest person.

The poll is being conducted as part of an RTE television series. modelled on a similar BBC series from four years ago.

“It is a bit of an oddity that they [Robinson and Bono] are included” said the former Minister for Justice in today’s Sunday Tribune, “There was a British show along the same lines and each of those who were debated on were dead. Unusually, there are two in this list who are still alive and it is strange to be nominating them for Ireland’s greatest when the sum of their life still has not been established.”

The poll has been whittled down to five candidates from an original shortlist of forty- Michael Collins, John Hume, Bono, James Connolly and Mary Robinson. McDowell says that the original top forty was full of “flavour of the month” choices.

Speaking in today’s Sunday Independent, McDowell states: “I share the view that the Top 40 was cluttered with ‘flavour of the month’ celebrities instead of figures of real importance like Daniel O’Connell and de Valera.”

McDowell will appear on the RTE show to champion the cause of Michael Collins this Monday.  ”This is our Republic and we have Michael Collins to thank for that” he says in the programme.

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