MacGill Summer School


Sir, – Susan McKay is one of our finest journalists and you are lucky to have her writing for your newspaper. Her criticism on June 21st of the MacGill Summer School’s agenda this year is fair enough (“MacGill Summer School ridiculously out of tune”, Opinion & Analysis). The agenda does not reflect adequately the central role women played in this momentous year for women’s rights.

However, anyone who came away from Susan’s article with the impression that MacGill’s director, Joe Mulholland, was a misogynist hasn’t ever worked with him. I did for many years, and not only did he support female presenters at a time when few others did, he encouraged women reporters, producers and directors as well, and he ensured that issues about women’s rights were covered. He was one of the best editors I ever worked for.

I have had to put up with a lot of misogynists in my time in journalism. I can smell ’em a mile off. Joe Mulholland wasn’t one of them. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.

Sir, – As a mere male and onetime denizen of the RTÉ newsroom, let me record that some of the leading female presenters of the substantial output on news and current affairs owe their start to Joe Mulholland.

He was a positive discriminator in favour of women, many of whom cannot publicly defend his record, because of “impartiality” rules.

It seems to be entirely in the order of revolutions that he is now being traduced for what was probably oversight. Homer nods, etc. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – Susan McKay is very angry at the unfortunate Joe Mulholland for not incorporating more of the feminist agenda into the programme for the MacGill Summer School. She goes somewhat overboard with her comments about “men, men, men”; “pale, stale, male”; “jackets and ties that signal masculinity”, and so on.

She lives in a building built by men, drives on roads built by men; when she turns on the water tap or switches on the light the result is put there by men.

The technology that underpins our civilisation is mostly male generated.

The food she eats is largely grown by men.

I think we do a reasonably good job of supporting Susan McKay and we should get some credit.

We are not the enemy. – Yours, etc,



Co Kildare.

Sir, – Louis O’Flaherty (June 22nd) accuses Susan McKay of sexism for pointing out the extraordinary array of “respectable”, be-suited masculinity in the MacGill Summer School.

This is what structural inequality is all about, and it seems we still have a long way to go. – Yours, etc,