Harrington: Blaming Saudis for 9/11 like blaming Ireland for not stopping IRA

Ronan MacNamara

Padraig Harrington wedges close and makes birdie on the 15th (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Pádraig Harrington says blaming Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 attacks is akin to how the Irish Government and the people of this country were looked down upon because of the IRA during the troubles.

Harrington already dipped his toe into hot water by stating that Ireland ‘locked up unmarried mothers as late as 1996’ when attempting to explain the PGA TOUR, DP World Tour and LIV Golf bombshell merger.

The topic of 9/11 has been a reoccurring subplot to LIV Golf and now the merger with a group representing relatives of the victims of the Twin Tower attacks in New York lambasting the PGA TOUR saying they should ‘be ashamed of their hypocrisy and greed’ for getting into bed with the Saudis.


Amazingly three-time major winner Harrington appeared on Joe Duffy’s Liveline on RTE Radio One where he said Saudi Arabia can’t be forced to adhere to human rights, they must be let do it on their own terms.

“If I had a magic wand and I could go in and say hey, look we want you to adhere to the norms of human rights, that we all consider to be completely normal, I’d wave that wand, but forcing them to do it would make them backtrack, they have to do it on their own terms,” Harrington told Joe Duffy.

“We’d all love it to happen today but if somebody said in 25 years, like we look back on the Mother and Baby homes, if somebody said in 25 years, hey God look at Saudi Arabia, look what it was like and look at it now. I don’t know if that is acceptable to people that it would take 25 years for women to get proper rights. We just can’t wave a magic wand right now.”

In reaffirming his statement, Harrington cited how the British media portrayed Ireland in a shocking light as a nation during the IRA atrocities.

“Jimmy Dunne who did this deal, he lost two floors in the twin towers. He lost his friends and the workforce in 9/11,” said Harrington.

“Now I don’t know enough about this, he has come out and said that terrorists blew up the Twin Towers. So he should know.

“Now, I really have a problem with this because I was in England in the early 90s, and continuously, the gutter press in Britain intermingled Ireland, the Irish government, Irish people and the IRA to blame on the atrocities.

“They made it feel like the Irish people were to blame for the IRA bombings in the UK.

“Now, I know about Ireland – I don’t know enough about Saudi Arabia – I can only take Jimmy Dunne’s position because he should know.

“But blaming Saudi Arabia and their government seems very much like blaming Ireland for not doing enough to stop the IRA.

“Maybe Saudi Arabia took their eye off the ball. They could never have foreseen what was going to happen.

“If Jimmy Dunne is saying that he doesn’t believe the Saudi Arabian government had anything to do with that and that it was Osama Bin Laden and his cohort from Saudi Arabia, that just like how the IRA were Irish people but didn’t have the support from the Irish government or Irish people.”

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