Earlier this year, some of you may remember how Michael McDowell managed to cause something of a stir with this speech. Although something of a tour d’horizon, much attention was focused on his decision to compare Ireland’s newest daily newspaper, the Daily Ireland, with a German nationalist publication of an earlier era. What veterans of the latter publication made of the comparison is not recorded, but it certainly led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth in Poleglass. So it was, some six weeks later, that three of DI’s directors caused it to be known that they had, having apparently failed to secure a retraction, instructed solicitors to issue a writ against the Minister.
I was immediately reminded of a series of articles in Slate by Jack Shafer concerning threats made by Richard Perle, a prominent US neo-conservative politician, to seek satisfaction from the veteran correspondent Seymour Hersh who had, he felt, similarly maligned him. Schafer dared Perle to make good on his threat and indeed continued to do so until finally the limitation period expired.
Of course it amy well be that the DI’s directors were entirely serious, but in that case, where is the writ?