By Alison Weir
I’ve just learned devastating news: Irish investigative journalist Maidhc Ó Cathail is dead.
I met Maidhc (prounounced “Mike”) for the first and only time in 2014. He had traveled from Japan, where he was then living, to Washington, D.C. for our National Summit on the US-Israel “Special Relationship.” I had previously read some excellent articles about Israel-Palestine by Maidhc and had occasionally corresponded with him, so I was looking forward to talking with him in person.
During a few long, relaxed conversations, I found him engaging, principled, and intelligent. He had a bright smile, gentle sense of humor, and seemed to me a truly decent and compassionate human being – and a brave one, as he sought after facts and connections many wish undiscovered.
I never saw him again, but we occasionally corresponded. We didn’t always share the same view of ongoing happenings, but I found him continually seeking to understand the full context of current events no matter where this took him. Such work receives little financial compensation.
Awhile ago Maidhc contacted me about a book of his writings that he hoped to get published. I was immensely impressed by his work and told him that if he couldn’t find a publisher, perhaps If Americans Knew could publish it. He seemed excited about this prospect. Since we have a tiny staff and a multitude of projects, I explained that it would take awhile for us to get to this. I envisioned publishing a book of his strongest articles and hoped to bring it out this year. I fervently wish I had published this book sooner.
Maidhc was an honest seeker, painstaking researcher, and talented writer. He cared deeply about those who are oppressed and victimized and worked to expose and end injustice. I wish the world valued and supported such people. We badly need them. He exposed information about Israel, Palestine, and related subjects that is of profound importance.
Maidhc deserves to be remembered and honored. While luminaries ignored him and are unlikely to mention his passing, the rest of us can and must share his work.
Thank you, Maidhc. I’m so sad you’re gone. May you Rest in Peace and Justice.