February 17

P P McGuinness [1928 – 2008]

The noted writer and editor, Padraic Pearse "Paddy" McGuinness AO (27 October 1938 – 26 January 2008) was an Australian journalist, editor of the Australian Financial Review and of Quadrant and commentator.

He was a republican long before it became fashionable. This was perhaps destined; he was named after the rebel Padraig Pearse, one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916 during World War 1. Declared "President of the Provisional Government" of the Irish Republic, Pearse was tried and executed. 

Notwithstanding his republicanism, Paddy immediately saw the flaws in the 1999 model. His belief in effective checks and balances prevailed over the republicanism ingrained in him almost from birth. Nor he did not allow his republicanism to override his editorial duties.

Not long ago he refused to publish an article in Quadrant correcting an erroneous reference to King Edward VIII. “You b….. monarchists are all obsessed,” he shouted down the line to the author. But he relented.

Perhaps he remembered Milton on truth: “Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to worse in a free and open encounter.” He was not only prepared to open Quadrant to such encounters; he welcomed them. 

He never once operated as a conservative censor. He was always open to different views. His only condition was that they should be put eloquently and with intelligence. 

A fuller obituary, Paddy 'UNREPENTANT' McGuinness, was posted to On LINE OPINION, 12 February 2008.

 


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