Libel Update

As you may know, the use of the libel laws in NI politics has been a subject in which I have been taking an interest. I have been attempting to clarify the position in relation to some of the stories which may have slipped through the cracks. Many thanks to the SF press office and Alex Maskey MLA who have taken the time to update me on the McDonnell libel action:

Writs has been served on A mc Donnell and the SDLP press officer for publishing defamatory comments directed at myself and I did notify the media of this. I have seen reported comments from an SDLP source suggesting this is merely a “temporary gagging” order. I can assure you this is not the case. Alex Maskey

No word from the SDLP as yet. Full text below the fold:

Jimmy a chara,

I received your email regarding the query on Alex Maskey. Please find below the press release which was issued by our Press Office on the 4th April in connection with the issue. Also below please find a response from Alex to your email.

Comment from Alex: Writs has been served on A mc Donnell and the SDLP press officer for publishing defamatory comments directed at myself and I did notify the media of this. I have seen reported comments from an SDLP source suggesting this is merely a “temporary gagging” order. I can assure you this is not the case. Alex Maskey
Jimmy I hope that this is an adequate response to your email. If you require any further information please contact me or our Press Office @ 028 90 223000/00353 1 8726932

Go raibh maith agat.
Is Mise
Olive Sloan
Director of Sinn Féin National Administration
Sinn Féin Ard Oifig
Tel 00353 1 8726932/8726100

Sinn Fein Press Office

53 Falls Road

Belfast

Tel 90223002

Fax 90223001

E mail sfpress@utvinternet.com

Web www.sinnfein.ie

For Immediate Release: 04/04/05

SDLP False Allegations Around McCartney Murder Challenged

Sinn Féin Assembly member for South Belfast Alex Maskey has accused the SDLP of ‘manipulating the murder of Robert McCartney in a despicable pre-election campaign’. Mr Maskey has also revealed that he has served writs on the SDLP Deputy Leader Alistair McDonnell and the SDLP after they issued statements and a bulletin accusing him of being personally involved in a cover-up.

Mr Maskey said:

” The Sinn Féin position surrounding the murder of Robert McCartney is very clear. Sinn Féin support and continue to support the McCartney family in their campaign for truth and justice. However others, and in particular the SDLP, have sought to manipulate the murder of Robert McCartney in what can only be described as a despicable pre-election campaign.

” In a series of statements and local bulletins the SDLP have accused me of being personally involved in a cover-up. This is untrue and the SDLP know this to be untrue. I am no longer prepared to stand back and allow what is a genuine campaign for truth and justice to be hijacked or distracted by a desire on the part of the SDLP to score political points through lies and innuendo.

” The false allegations which the SDLP have repeatedly made against myself are unacceptable. I have therefore issued writs to both the SDLP party and Alaistar McDonnell personally and a number of weeks on my lawyers are still awaiting a response. I have also instructed my lawyers to continue to monitor closely other media outlets repeating these scurrilous allegations and if so taking the appropriate legal action.” ENDS

  • peteb

    Probably worthwhile linking to the original post on Slugger on this topic, Jimmy.

    Sinn Féin suing SDLP over McCartney murder claims?

    done -js

  • J Kelly

    Who would want to gag Alaisdair?

  • PaddyCanuck

    Jimmy, did you ever hear back from Daily Ireland, about their libel case?

  • Jimmy_Sands

    PC,

    Not a word.

  • sean west

    Bet the lawyers are disappointed.Having mage so much out of bloody sunday and every other enquiry.

  • John O’Connell

    Alex Maskey must be feeling the heat in S Belfast. He wouldn’t be doing this if he was winning.

  • fair_deal

    J O’C

    What I am picking up is that it is a case of standing still for Sinn Fein in south Belfast rather than a step back.

  • middle-class taig

    If SF stand still at Assembly level (13%), Alasdair is toast. If it’s at 2001 Westminster levels (8%), he’s in the hunt!! He needs to get out the broad black brimmer.

  • PatMcLarnon

    ‘If SF stand still at Assembly level (13%), Alasdair is toast. If it’s at 2001 Westminster levels (8%), he’s in the hunt!! He needs to get out the broad black brimmer.’

    His particularly stupid stunt in inviting Mc Dowell will ensure that tactical voting is dead in the water.

  • barney

    Obviously I fell asleep some thime ago and this thread is all a dream. How else to explain the strange disappearances of so many entries and the hallucinogenic ramblings of so many others. Don’t wake me up, I want it to last forever…..

  • Mick

    Looks like I wiped out two or three I hadn’t intended. I’ve just removed 32 entries. Some made sense, most were decidedly man playing.

  • Chris Gaskin

    It can’t be a dream Barney because I remember it

  • Mick

    Right, can we now pick up where Pat left off?

  • Davros

    “Obviously I fell asleep some thime ago and this thread is all a dream. How else to explain the strange disappearances of so many entries and the hallucinogenic ramblings of so many others. Don’t wake me up, I want it to last forever…..”

    Has Bobby come out of the Shower* then ? 😉
    I go away for a couple of hours exercise and miss all the fun! Typical.

    *Note for younger readers : famous stunt in TV series “Dallas”

  • barney

    Mick!
    What have you done? 32 is a mystical number heavily laden with the strange seductive powers of the Dark Side. All its victims become obsessed with the number 6!

  • barney

    Chris,

    get out of my dream, I’m running away but my feet won’t move. It’s coming, the beast is coming… It’s…it’s… you! You are the beast!!!

  • Chris Gaskin

    For Alasdair to win SB he has to take the vast majority of Alex’s votes

    He has now done this irreparable harm by bringing in someone like McDowell who for many Republicans is just below Thatcher is the hate department.

  • Chris Gaskin

    “Chris,

    get out of my dream, I’m running away but my feet won’t move. It’s coming, the beast is coming… It’s…it’s… you! You are the beast!!!”

    ROFL

    Stop it Barney!!

  • John O’Connell

    Mick

    I was enjoying that even if it started with a little slagging in my direction.

  • barney

    For a libel action to be successfull the plaintif must establish that his reputation, amongst his peer group, was damaged. As nobody of any importance took Alasdair seriously, won’t it be a bit tricky to demonstrate that any damage was done?
    I bet it never goes to court.

  • crat

    Barney,

    Do not joke about these matters. Thirty-two is six sixes. In the mystical alphabet six is the letter F which is also a part of the antichrist Adams’ support organisation’s acronym.

  • Gonzo

    There’s also a ’32’ at the end of the Sinn Fein press office number, and it’s also the number of counties in Ireland. A united Ireland.

    I think we may have stumbled onto something…

  • barney

    That’s the point! People who go over to the Dark Side and start believing in the superiority of a 32 county Ireland become obsessed with the 6 counties. It’s sicks, sicks, sicks all over again.

  • barney

    Hey Crat,

    what the hell are you on about? Do the sums again. Six sixes make 36, not 32. So much for that theory.

  • barney

    “Looks like I wiped out two or three I hadn’t intended. I’ve just removed 32 entries.”

    Note the chilling phrase “two or three”. It’s common knowledge that 2 times 3 make 6. We’re back in business boys. Mick is planning to wipe out the six counties.
    Has anybody read the Da Vinci code? It’s all true.

  • Davros

    I think we may have stumbled onto something…

    Ahhhh – so a certain SF man let the cat out of the bag when he talked of a 36 county Republic ?

    That’s Ireland for you!
    Issue Date Mon, Nov 17 03
    Things you never knew (nor dared ask) about out dear little nation.
    A few years ago, during an Easter remembrance speech, Sinn Fein’s Francie Molloy told the crowd: “We will not stop short of a 36-county Irish Republic. We will settle for nothing less!”

  • crat

    Sorry, false alarm. Still we are only four away from proving the theory.

  • crat

    If Francie’s name equals 666 on John’s devil chart we have a new antichrist.

  • Chris Gaskin

    It does make 36 Davros

    When you include Cuba, North Korea, China and Palestine 😉

  • Davros

    Ian O’Doherty in the SBP wrote:

    Presumably, he was implying that having secured a unified Ireland, they were then going to go on and try to annex Kilburn, Harlesden, Boston and NewYork

    and to add some balance-

    he continued :

    Obviously, intemperate language is not the sole preserve of nationalists.The section that concentrates on Ian Paisley’s colourful attempts at bridging the religious and cultural divide has such inclusive and encouraging statements as: “[The Roman Catholic Church] is seed of the serpent . . . her clothes reek of the brimstone of the pit. Her words and opinions label her the parrot of Beelzebub, her father.”

    The not-in-the-least-bit mad-as-a-bucket Paisley also had a unique analysis of the paramilitary situation: “O Father, we can see the great pan-nationalist conspiracy, with the Pope at its head, sending his secret messages to the IRA.”

    p.s. – is it me overdoing the irish Rope ( v strong and legal baccie ) or does MD look a bit like Emperor Titan from Stingray ? The beard obviously belongs to another SDLP politician whose name I can never remember, the one standing in the sticks.

  • Comrade Stalin

    “what the hell are you on about? Do the sums again. Six sixes make 36, not 32. So much for that theory.”

    It can only mean one thing – there are in fact 36 counties. The Bible must be right, it is after all the word of God.