An Open Letter to Students, Faculty and Staff at Trinity College (Dublin)



If one’s olfactory organ comes under assault from the foul stench of official corruption, then what’s to be done: cover one’s nose or clear the air?


I’ve opted for the latter civic course of action.


On 14 July 2018, I was informed by Sorcha Ryder, President of the Trinity University Philosophical Society (Dublin), that I was “chosen to receive the Honorary Patronage of the University Philosophical Society” and that I had “topped the lists of elected Patrons voted on by Fellows, Staff and Students of the College.” 


However, just as I prepared to finalize a date for my Honorary Patron’s Day, Ms. Ryder went into self-imposed deep seclusion. 


My emails to her went unanswered for months on end.  


In early January I started making inquiries among the Trinity College community.


Word got back to Ms. Ryder and she miraculously resurfaced among the living.


Where had she been?


Ms. Ryder first alleged that my emails had gone to her spam folder.


She then alleged that she had taken off Christmas break.


These were shameless lies, as Ms. Ryder effectively conceded.


Last week Ms. Ryder informed me that the award ceremony had been deferred until next year because the Phil was financially strapped. 


That too proved to be an easily demonstrable lie.


It is now clear that Ms. Ryder has unilaterally rescinded the award.  


The Phil’s constituency has not been informed of her decision.


Why did Ms. Ryder cancel the award?


A president of the Phil often sees this office as a stepping-stone to a career in politics.


Did Ms. Ryder decide (or was she persuaded) that it would be imprudent to host an unabashed defender of Palestinian rights and bane of the UK’s organized Jewish community?


Still, it might be wondered if any of this matters.


The editor of the school paper, Niamh Lynch, thinks it’s just a teapot tempest.  She informed me that the paper would not report the story as it was of “no interest to students.”  (Her coeditors agreed.)


I beg to differ.


When the elected officer of a venerable student organization rules by fiat and mocks her constituency in order to promote her career, and then lies, and lies, and lies some more to cover her tracks, it certainly ought to be of concern to students as well as faculty and staff.


One hopes that at least some members of the Trinity community will be outraged by Ms. Ryder’s cynical highhandedness and Ms. Lynch’s smug condescension.


A draft of this Open Letter was sent in advance to Sorcha Ryder and Niamh Lynch. Neither of them disputed the facts contained therein.