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Arguably the most colourful character among Dáil Éireann’s new breed of TDs, Mick Wallace has been a property developer, a football coach, a Robert Plant lookalike, an outspoken opponent of US foreign policy, a father of four... and a poll-topper in the recent General Election. Olaf Tyaransen meets the new Deputy for Wexford.
Olaf Tyaransen, 06 Apr 2011
Do you speak Spanish?
I learned to speak it at the time, but it died inside me since. I saw at first hand what the Americans were doing down there, they were literally raping the place.
Salvador and Nicaragua?
Yeah, I was in South America in ‘73 when they organised the coup in Chile, when Allende was shot, I witnessed a lot of atrocities; there was a miners’ strike in Bolivia when I was there and the American Rangers who were a military group based in Panama and usually used as fire fighters against trouble, whenever America had investments at all. The American Rangers were sent down to break up the strike and they just shot and killed all the main leaders and protesters. But it never even made the press at home at the time, it was crazy. But there was hundreds killed and it was just the way they did things, they were prepared to kill anybody in order to protect their financial interests. But obviously just about everything that America does, they tell us that it’s in the interest of democracy but in actual fact it’s all about protecting their financial interests.
What are your thoughts on 9/11?
9/11? Well, obviously it was very sad for all the people that were killed in it. And there was what? Approximately 3,000 people killed in it? But they reckon that America’s foreign policy is responsible for the deaths of around 3,000 people every day on this planet.
How about conspiracy theories that say that the Americans were behind the Twin Towers attack?
Well, no, I don’t buy into that conspiracy theory now. I don’t. But listen, it was very sad but then America doesn’t take very well either to harm being inflicted on them. They’re much better at inflicting it on others.
Back to that story about the priest and the mass.
Well, when I came back from South America, I obviously had become very politicised. I had started reading a lot of stuff about how the system worked, and about how society was organised, and how unfair it was, and how unfair the financial system operated. I suppose I started to question a lot of what the Church stood for, and I was still going to mass because my parents would have wanted me to go. But I started going back into the sacristy at the back of the church to argue with the priest. And I told the priest, “Whether you like it or not, I’m actually one of the few people that are actually listening to you out there. Most of them are not even listening – they’re just hoping you won’t take too long and that you get it over with. They believe they should come here but they don’t actually, they think it’s important for them to go because they think it’s a ritual, but they’re not really listening to you.”