New Face

The Irish news has lost Jude Collins, an excellent and fair writer and “gained” Jim Gibney.
First column today – MOPEry, whingefest and in a piece entirely about the Short Strand not a mention of the McCartney murder, merely praise for the IRA. Same tired old nonsense as usual from Sinn Féin.
Not Impressed Noel.

“Employment for thousands of protestant men and women. But not for the Catholic men and women, of the Short Strand rearing their families.
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By the time the British army arrived at dawn the young men and women with the rifles, had grown in stature. With their weapons, they disappeared into the two-up-two-down houses and found refuge. They reemerged as IRA heroes. The modern IRA was born.
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And while the storm of accusation continues unabated about the IRA and Sinn Fein and what their real status is, the people of the Short Strand – like their equivalents all over the country – are proud of the republicans that their district produced since 1969.”

  • groucho

    Heard he jumped ship to the Daily Ireland.

  • Fraggle

    what is this thread about? this is the sort of thing which is making me lose interest in slugger.

    Fraggle, this is classified under ‘media’. There’s an interesting battle between the Irish News (SDLP’ish) and Today Ireland (SF’ish) and it’s fascinating to see the changes in the Irish News’ content as it faces upto competition. I have been an Irish News regular for years and may change to Daily Ireland if the Irish News lurches from pale green to dark green. Do those changes in the Irish News mirror what is happening in the SDLP ? I think questions like that make this worthy of inclusion on the site. A.U.

  • groucho

    It’s about discussing columnists in the local media, Fraggle. As Barry Norman would say “and why not?”

  • Mick Fealty

    Bit tough on Jim not to give us a sample to let the rest of us draw our own conclusions!

    Site overloaded, just finished scanning article Mick, proceding to update A.U.

  • slug9987

    “While the storm of accusation continues unabated about the IRA and Sinn Fein and what their real status is, the people of the Short Strand – like their equivalents all over the country – are proud of the republicans that their district produced since 1969”

    I thought they were upset with republicans because of the McCartney murder?

  • Henry94

    Ambrose

    MOPEry, whingefest

    Offensive terminology like that is unacceptable. It makes you look narrow-minded and puts nationalists off this board.

    I’m sorry if you are offended Henry. I think they are appropriate for a column approaching 1400 words that fails to mention something that has been carried around the world. How would you describe the tone of the piece ? A.U.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    It is his first column and he should be expected to try and establish his republican credentials at this juncture. It is not as if the Irish News has been fertile ground for an alternative opinion to the SDLP.
    But then again many posters to this site misread Brian Feeney for years. Although he now seems to be popular among the converts.

    Gibney is a politician and the Irish News should be congratulated for offering a platform to what could only be desribed as a political opponent.

    Something had to be done to counter balance the dross that Tom Kelly offered on Tuesday.

  • mickhall

    The shinners are now the largest nationalist Party, so they should be represented by a columnist in the Irish News, Myself I like Jim Gibneys writing and will be interested in what he has to say. I feel it does SF good to have wider access to the press, not least so they cannot continue to portray themselves as the only kid on the block to be bullied.

  • Davros

    It is his first column and he should be expected to try and establish his republican credentials at this juncture.

    His “republican credentials” are established for those who don’t recognise the name by the Bio carried above the column Pat – mentions his status in SF and his Internment, his year on remand and that he served 6 years of a 12 year Jail sentence before being released in 1988 🙂

  • Billy Pilgrim

    I must admit, I was very impressed with Gibney’s opening gambit. It’s a terrific piece of writing and, rather than being a particularly argumentative piece, he tells a story. I found it very effective – I mean, how often does our local media give a platform to pieces like this? Not often enough, I’d say.

    Ambrose

    Your reaction to this column was, well, reactionary. Your description of the column read like an allergic reaction. I’d suggest your accusations of MOPEry was an involuntary and automatic reaction to a republican pointing out that the IRA didn’t just appear from the ether. I’d suggest you, and everyone else, would do better by trying to approach what Gibney is saying empathetically.

    (You’re living in a small street. Armed gangs come to burn you, your family and your community out of your homes. If you’re lucky you won’t be one of those to die. Then some of your friends and neighbours arm themselves and mount a successful defence of the area. Doesn’t matter about the macro-picture, or whether you’re unionist or nationalist, Catholic or Protestant – you’d be cheering from the rooftops and those defenders would be your heroes. Unionism has far more military heroes than nationalism does, so surely you can understand where he’s coming from?)

    This is the truth, from the perspective of a Short Strand republican (which frankly is one of life’s tougher gigs.) I thought it was a genuinely fresh contribution to our tired local media. You said it was the “same tired old nonsense” – with respect, I don’t doubt that you have encountered similar stories before but I do doubt that you have ever given any of them a second thought.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Incidentally, I’ve been away for a couple of weeks and, it seems to me, the resident bloggers have become far more politicised even in that very short space of time. It’s a very worrying development – Slugger isn’t just another polemical rant sheet, it’s of an altogether different stature. Though Mick is clearly pro-union, he did manage to fashion a forum that was not an identifiably “unionist” website. As a nationalist, I have never felt uncomfortable here. Until today that is.

    Opening posts like the one above serve only to upset the rare ambience of this site and to diminish the great Slugger.

  • Davros

    I don’t doubt that you have encountered similar stories

    anybody who has read Leon Uris Billy has read similar tales 😉

    Short Strand is reverberating around the world … and not a mention of the Murder. Adding insult to injury it ends with “the people of the Short Strand – like their equivalents all over the country – are proud of the republicans that their district produced since 1969.”

    In normal circumstances this would have been par for the course SF writing – not that different from Gerry Adams’ writings of his childhood….
    BUT locals are now describing IRA men as psycopaths. This piece reminded me of ATN group running a story on water quality so as to ignore Jean McConville’s body being found and buried and SF’s hypocrisy about treating lone parents with dignity.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    I meant credentials in the context of the input to the column.
    Good to see that Daily Ireland has at last shook them up a bit.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    ‘Short Strand is reverberating around the world.’

    Take it easy hyperbole at this stage looks ridiculous.

    ‘BUT locals are now describing IRA men as psycopaths.’

    The family are, as the families of those killed down the decades have referred to the IRA. It is nothing new.

    Get a grip of yourself Davros.

  • Davros

    It’s an interesting development pat. DI and IN seem to be converging to a medium green. What’s different is that SF now have a weekly column in the IN. Have the UUP, DUP or SDLP ? Brian Feeney WAS SDLP. In the past SF have written some cracking articles and letters for the IN. But Gibney’s column to me read like something from AP/RN. It was entirely self-serving in a party political sense and not directed at the broad range of people who read the Irish News. The omission of the McCartney murder was
    insulting, the same air brush was used as we saw in the past in the McConville case.

  • Davros

    ‘Short Strand is reverberating around the world.’

    Take it easy hyperbole at this stage looks ridiculous.

    It’s been reported in the USA, the Middle East and Australasia Pat.

  • slug9987

    “the rare ambience of this site”

    An ambience of party political partisanship, tribal defensiveness, and narrow self-serving point scoring.

    The only think that is rare is the patience and magnanimity of its owner.

  • mickhall

    Can anyone post up the Gibney column in full.

  • IJP

    Again, it is a whingefest. That’s a fact.

    It may be, of course, that the whingefest is justified – that would be a matter of opinion.

    My opinion is that whingefests are not appropriate for such a column. The column should provide real insight with a view to solutions.

  • JC47

    To equate the IRA defenders of Short Strand in 1969 with the psycopaths terrorising the area today is a travesty and a gross insult. I’m surprised that Jim Gibney, who was one of Sinn feins main peace strategists, writing such self-serving drivel. The cancer of criminality in Sinn Fein runs deep.

  • Davros

    Mick – I’ll e mail you copy.

  • Davros
  • Davros

    Lindy McDowell’s take on the column:

    “In his defence of the IRA, he recalled his own childhood, and his arrival as a small boy in Short Strand along with the rest of his family, on his father’s coal lorry.
    Professor Liam Kennedy coined the acronym MOPE – Most Oppressed People Ever – to sum up the republican sense of victimhood. And in telling his story, Jim does not disappoint. Mississippi Burning gets the inevitable mention.”
    In Jim’s telling it’s the old sectarian story where the Prods are, as ever, the baddies who get all the rights, the privileges, the jobs, the flag waving opportunities….
    What Jim does not explain, and what the republican version of history never can explain is, how come, if Prods had all these enormous advantages, some of them were living, as Jim admits, in the same mixed street as himself?
    If Prods ate all the economic pies so to speak, how come so very, very many of us grew up in the very same conditions as our supposedly oppressed neighbours?
    (For the record, Jim, where I come from, anybody whose da had a coal lorry was definitely middle class.)

  • Alan

    Ambrose,

    I think, along with others who have commented, that your language in the intro to this thread is out of order. Mere opinion like that were better kept for personal blogs.

    I also have a problem with you commenting on other people’s comments by editing their comment to include your own. It feels like you are abusing your position. You can achieve the same result by commenting regularly without being so intrusive.

    As regards Gibney’s column, I think it’s another case of the elephant in the room that’s being ignored. The problem with these elephants is that they grow bigger with neglect.

    Can you point out where I have editted inappropriately ? Failing that please contact Mick. Those given blogging rights are expected to police their blogs and I shall remove unsuitable, offensive or potentially actionable comments. Thank you for your feedback on my intro. A.U.

  • Alan

    Ambrose,

    You step beyond the appropriate by editing posts to add your own comments. If there were any matter of fact or questionable comment, then it might be appropriate to edit. In the absence of such, editing serves only to censor or interfere with the right of the poster to make their point. It also implies that your comments are editorially sanctioned. It is therefore offensive.

    Please remove your innapropriate comments from my post.You can if you wish append your comments to the list of comments – which would be appropriate.

    I will complain to Mick on this, as it seems, by your innappropriate response, that you are being deliberately antagonistic and ignorant.

    Mick . . . .