Daniel Cassidy was a user. He used everybody around him. It didn’t matter whether there was any value in what he was doing or whether he was entitled to do it. As far as he was concerned, the world was his oyster and to hell with anyone who opposed him.
One thing which has often puzzled me about the publication of Cassidy’s book is the fact that it was to have been published by the University of Limerick. Then a couple of weeks before it was to be published, they received a review from an academic saying that they should not go ahead with publishing it. We do not know what reasons were given but Cassidy was furious at the “faceless revisionist Irish academic” who had rejected his work of genius. (Another thing I don’t get – Cassidy was the revisionist!) That’s how it came to be published by Cassidy’s friend, Alexander Cockburn. Cassidy could always rely on his mates to get him out of a hole.
Now, while I have no doubt that Limerick is a fine university, it isn’t the first place you might think of in Ireland. Trinity College, UCD, QUB, Cork. All of them are likely to be higher up the list than Limerick. Unless you know someone in Limerick University.
Recently I noticed that one of the names on the Irish Crossroads Festival list for 2004 was Mícheál Ó hAodha, a poet and academic at the University of Limerick, who also has an interest in old photos of the Irish circus. I can just imagine the poor man thrown into the middle of some crazy Irish-American circus, with Cassidy in the chair ranting about eddymalagy and singing ridiculous fake Oirish versions of cowboy songs. The subject of the event, apparently, was An Gaeilge Sa Mheiriceá. (Yes, you couldn’t make it up! It should be An Ghaeilge i Meiriceá, of course!)
Anyway, my guess would be that a few years later, Ó hAodha presumably got a call from the nasty little con-man in California. “Hey, long time no see, hey I’m tinkin’ of bringin’ out a book. It’s great, howdya like to publish it. Idd’ll be great for Limrick … blah, blah, blah, yadayadayada.” And I’m sure Ó hAodha is a polite and courteous man, so perhaps he agreed to try, then sent it to an impartial academic reviewer (which is what people do in real universities), who fell about laughing and said “You must be joking!” So, Limerick University committed the unforgiveable crime of saying no to Daniel Cassidy.
I would like to think they informed him of their decision in an appropriate Limerick form (though I am sure they didn’t!) Something like this, perhaps:
We think your book is a jest,
Your logic is not of the best,
Your proofs are all fake,
You’re a crook on the make,
So fuck off, you’ve failed the test!