Rough blogging from Louth…

One blogger who is likely to ruffle some feathers in his home town is the one known as Dermot Ahern, who has begun to roughly chronicle aspects of Louth’s underworld (dundalkescorts.com for instance). Could do with more links – for instance the reference to the British press’s nickname for Dundalk as El Paso.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    http://dundalk.blogdrive.com/archive/12.html

    I wonder how accurate his list of local terrorists is?

  • Alice

    I roared laughing at the post bout the fat lady who worked in the pub. Hilarious. Sweaty Betty!!

    West Belfast needs a blog like this, and then we could have great fun.

  • cg

    An absolute disgrace
    I know a few of those people mentioned and it’s a very cowardly act to accuse some one of something without having the balls to put your name to it. It’s similar to when Paisley used parliamentary privilege.

  • irishman

    Spot on cg

    Mick, you should have known better than to put up a thread for that site. Are we to assume that such unfounded speculation and rumour is fair game on slugger henceforward?

    If so, I have many stories I could tell about unionist links with loyalists, extra-marital activities of leading loyalist lights et al….

  • Mick Fealty

    Irishman,

    You raise a fair point.

    You are right that I did link to the site. But I would not want Slugger to play host the kind of naming game that’s going on on the Dundalk blog. Unlike the Dundalk blogger, there is no secrecy over who owns and runs Slugger: I’d rather not end up in court over a libel action.

    However, not to have linked to it, given that from its beginnings Slugger has assumed a watching brief on new Irish blogs, would have been as just as questionable as putting the link in.

    I have no idea who Mr Dermot Ahern is, or indeed what his motives are. But the site is interesting not purely for the anti IRA thread, so much as its focus on local activism. Note the accusations it makes against the local Vodafone call centre, for instance.

    A few years back, this kind of para political activism would have taken some serious expertise – and one would have to have raised the immediate suspicion that someone in the black ops department of one or other of the security establishments were behind it.

    That could be the case here. But given anyone can quickly set up a blog and start writing – it could have been anyone with an axe to grind – and this guy seems to have plenty of them!

    Given that this blog seems to have launched on St Stephen’s Day, with very few outputs it has made the eight o’clock news on RTE this morning. The webmaster was last night claiming over a thousand hits to the site yesterday alone.

    Leaving aside the question of accuracy or decency, that’s an impressive result. Whether this kind of approach is effective in the longer term is open to question.

  • Davros

    It’s covered in the Irish News today. Arthur Morgan TD has contacted the server and asked for the site to be taken down.

  • Davros

    cg and irishman- I don’t approve of the site. However I don’t see the difference between that and the dirty tricks department of the RM – Graffiti on walls making allegations and spreading rumours such as the one that Jean McConville had abandoned her children to run away with a Brit.

  • unionist_observer

    Makes me glad I am not on vodafone!!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    From today’s Irish News:

    Website rocks border town

    EXCLUSIVE

    By Catherine Morrison

    A website falsely claiming to represent Dermot Ahern, the Republic’s minister for foreign affairs, lists dozens of alleged IRA members in his home town of Dundalk.

    The bogus site also names a man said to be a former garda who passed information to the IRA leading to the murders of RUC officers Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan in 1989.

    ‘Dermot Ahern’s Dundalk Blog Page’ has received hundreds of hits since it went live on St Stephen’s Day.

    The site offers readers salacious allegations on the “rough underworld” of Co Louth’s capital.

    The weblog – a type of online diary – asks the town’s residents to post their views on a range of subjects from the mundane, like bin collections, to the controversial, such as drug dealing.

    The site promises that no messages will be censored “simply because of a difference of opinion”.

    Readers are being asked to “name and shame” drug dealers and nearly 20 people have already supplied names and addresses of alleged dealers in Dundalk.

    One anonymous message reads: “If you did this in America, first you would be killed and second, you would be sued for libel.”

    The blog’s author has also asked readers to post comments on the town’s solicitors.

    But the largest response has been to a request to post the names and addresses of “terrorists in your community”.

    Throughout the Troubles Dundalk was considered a safe haven for IRA men on the run from the security forces north of the border.

    Some correspondents to the site have listed dozens of names and details of alleged paramilitary activities.

    It was unclear last night whether legal action would be taken to close down the site.

    A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the minister had “absolutely nothing to do” with the site. She refused to comment further.

    Gardai were also tight-lipped over the issue, saying they had “no comment” about the unusual web postings.

    Sinn Fein Louth TD Arthur Morgan, whose name is featured on the blog, last night said he wanted the website shut down.

    “I am aware of the website and I have written to the web-server asking them to take off this particular site, which according to their own terms and conditions states that it shouldn’t be there under rules of defamation and such like,” he said.

    “My initial instinct was that this was done by someone with too much time on their hands.”

  • peteb

    Perhaps it would be better to leave the conspiracy theories to the usual suspects, Mick 😉

    On the site itself.. there’s little doubt the blogger concerned is treading a thin line and it’s not a course of action I’d condone here or on any other site..

    However, there is a quote from Arthur Morgan in the Irish News worth commenting on, IMO, “My initial instinct was that this was done by someone with too much time on their hands” says the Sinn Féin TD for Louth.. sheesh.. why not just add that he probably blogs in his pyjamas, Arthur?

  • cg

    That site is a disgrace Mick and has none of the integrity that slugger does. Blogging isn’t about placing peoples lives in danger.

  • peteb

    We’ve heard what Arthur had to say already, cg.

  • cg

    I was just commenting on what I think and I am more than entitled to peteb.

  • peteb

    Entitled, yes, not more than entitled.

  • Fraggle

    I can understand blogging the link to the Dundalk blog but why link to an escort agency without warning? People can get into trouble opening sites like that on university or work computers.

  • Mick Fealty

    Noted fraggle!

  • Alice

    I don’t suppose it matters much what a few of us say, if they are recieving over 1000 hits per day. That is some going.

    For what it is worth I enjoyed the thread on sweaty Betty, and the thread on prostitution, wow 130 euro an hour. The vodaphone thread got better after the threat from vodaphone which appeared on cryptome. All the fuss is about the anti-IRA thread, which I did not find to be the best thread there.

    Well for what it is worth I enjoyed it anyway.

  • mickhall

    I think Mick was correct to mention this on slugger, after all if it has been on RTE it would be ridiculous for slugger to ignore it. One does not have to point out the dangers of such a site, but their are also benefits, take the post on vodaphone. Anyone who has every worked in this type of industry will be aware that much of what was posted was true. Especially credit card numbers becoming common currency. This company has a record of acting in a very unprofessional manner.(I will give you details Mick if you wish)

    As to those named as Armed republicans/Terrorists, I do not agree with it, but were there really any surprises amongst those names, was anyone named unjustly. These are the question we should be asking. The same is true for drug dealers as far as I have been told, although why anyone would believe a drug dealer causes any more physical harm to those who take their products, than those who sell alcohol is a mystery to me.… Having said this I do not believe people should be named like this as the dangers are obvious. As to the major criminal activity of certain individuals that is detrimental to the wider community, one does not have to name individuals, but instead name organisations and the outlets they run to have much the same effect.

    Myself I like the idea of corrupt politicians and local council officials or police officers being named. The problem you have in some places in Ireland and elsewhere, is the rule of law just does not function as it should, people are afraid, or are intimidated into putting up with things they should not have to. In any case to be truthful, I think I would rather be slandered on this web site than in one of the major media outlets. As being a man with very little financial resources behind him, I would have no hope of forcing a retraction nor would I have the cash to be able to sue. At least I could post a denial on this web site. Thus in my opinion the net will increasingly be used in this manner to give people a voice and perhaps it will prompt those with power to get their act together. what’s the bet that a certain mobile phone company will be putting its house in order.

    To conclude I can see a real value in most towns having a web site similar to this, but without the brutal sensationalist element.

  • The Devil

    Mick,

    To be fair to Mick I would normally slate him for censorship, but all I can do on this issue is to praise him glowingly.

    You may love the Dundalk site or despise it like I do, but you cannot not be serious in your blaming of the Fealty fellow for keeping Slugger topical and lively, it is the most talked about blog in Ireland at present and has made front page news today and probably bigger news tomorrow.

    AND SOME OF YOU CLOWNS WANT FEALTY TO STICK HIS HEAD IN THE SAND AND PRETEND IT DOES NOT EXIST.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Vodafone threatens Dundalk blog: http://cryptome.org/blog-threat.htm

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    This might lead to Gardai involvement and the person responsible might not feel so comfortable once identified and asked to stand over their site.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Depends where the server is. The Gardai might not be able to even get near the information to ID the blogger.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The server is in Huntington Beach, California, and the blog is violating its terms of service.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    IRA post has now been taken down.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    The fact does remain that while sites of this type are abused they can provide a useful outlet for some communities.

  • Davros

    I read the Crucible 30 odd years ago at school. This sort of site and that sort of attitude is dangerous.
    An outlet for all sorts of vendettas and petty grudges.

  • mickhall

    “Davros wrote,
    I read the Crucible 30 odd years ago at school. This sort of site and that sort of attitude is dangerous.
    An outlet for all sorts of vendettas and petty grudges.

    Davros,

    Of course what you say above could happen, but if the issues up for debate are clearly put; and the site is moderated firmly, then I agree with Pat on this.

    All the best,

  • Davros

    the site is moderated firmly

    Who moderates moderators ? ( Quis custodiee etc etc Mick ). All sorts of problems. The problem is the doggy sites, good ones will be OK. How do people tell which ones are the good ones ? And what happens when things go wrong, when a decent site allows something in Good Faith – some nerk posts that J O’Bloggs is a tout or Jimmy Hun at 17 XYZ street is a paedophile out on probation and a mob goes round ?

  • Davros

    Blooming ‘eck, sorry about the mistakes. Exercise IS bad for you, I’ll light a ciggie and normal mediocre spelling and grammar will be resumed.

  • Mark McGregor

    Mick,

    ‘A few years back, this kind of para political activism would have taken some serious expertise – and one would have to have raised the immediate suspicion that someone in the black ops department of one or other of the security establishments were behind it.

    Similar accusations could be levelled against Slugger’s though. How better for ‘black ops’ to get internal political gossip than having it presented on a plate?

    Your masters must be so disappointed you only got Unionism to air internal laundry, Major Mick ‘the type’ Fealty. 🙂

  • unionist_observer

    “As we saw on 9/11 the TERRORIST is a very serious threat to our existance and
    should have no hiding place in our community, details should be passed on to law
    enforcement. This post is back by very popular demand “

    It seems the IRA post is back on, I just got an e-mail from the website* containing this message.

    *I signed up to the mailings from the site just out of interest!

  • Davros

    It looks as if it’s history.

    “Sorry, this page has been disabled.”

  • unionist_observer

    one of the other e-mails from the site also promised that there would be even more provocative posts coming soon – He’s covered prostitutes, terrorists, vodafone, is there much else dodgy about Dundalk?!?!

  • Mick Fealty

    Mark, if you’re ever tempted – the pay’s crap!

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Now Newry gets the ‘name and shame’ blog treatment.

    I think a pattern may be developing…

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Oops – here’s the URL:

    http://newry.blogdrive.com/

  • Davros

    Rather a different tone from the original gonzo 🙂

  • mickhall

    Im beginning to wonder if this site is not a State agency fishing expedition, I note they asked for more names of armed republicans along with photos, saying they intended setting up a new site which would cover just this subject. To date no site has materialised, but I bet many names have been sent in. Surly any blog should be up and running before they ask for info.

    regards

  • tsunami

    Has anyone any idea whos names were mentioned as being members of the IRA??. By the time i found out about this site the section regarding the alleged IRA men had been removed.

    Cheers, Shay

  • ShayPaul

    Information – Disinformation
    Fact – Fiction
    Propagation – Propaganda

    Can we consider these sites are the as cyber-cafes for informants ?

    Remember informants have multiple motivations and variable veracity.

  • ShayPaul

    Sorry re-post :

    Information – Disinformation
    Fact – Fiction
    Propagation – Propaganda

    Can we consider that these sites are “cyber-cafes for informants ?”

    Remember informants have multiple motivations and variable veracity.

  • Davros

    Remember informants have multiple motivations and variable veracity.

    Fair comment.

  • Davros

    Liam Clarke Anti-republican website pulled

    The site hijacked the name of Dermot Ahern, the Irish foreign minister and a TD for the town, but he has no connection whatsoever with it.

    Instead it is thought to be the work of Kevin Fulton and Sam Rosenfeld, two former British military intelligence informants who are fighting for a pension after their cover was blown and they say they were cut adrift.

  • Davros


    http://cryptome.org/dermot-balk.htm“>Cryptome offered Dermot Ahern use of their facilities …

    Still activity at the original site – now registration and recommending serious bloggers visit the el paso times, Link
    and at the spin-off site link