Are there really two Mick Halls?

I’m not quite sure what’s going on here. Daily Ireland has just published an article which comes close to claiming that only Protestants harbour sectarian hatred. Nothing too out of the ordinary about that. But it’s the byline that’s peculiar. It’s attributed to regular contributor to The Blanket website Mick Hall. He has recently contributed two geniune articles to DI, however Hall has told Slugger he did not write this piece. When he enquired at Daily Ireland he was told that there is now another Mick Hall working for DI. Hmmm… curiouser and curiouser… Mystery solved: This Michael Hall, we are informed, edits the The Irish Democrat. The one better known to Slugger readers has only recently written a couple of freelance pieces for DI. For the sake of not muddying the waters any further, I’m closing this thread to further comment.

  • Jacko

    Yes Mick, I noticed the same article and was struck by the overt anti-Protestant sentiment.
    I was surprised not by the sentiment but by how overt it actually is – DI is usually a little more cunning in its demonisation of Protestants.
    The writing is woeful, by the way.

    I do not think this is the same Mick Hall as contributes to here and to The Blanket.
    I don’t agree with all (or even most) of what “our” Mick Hall writes but I have never detected any sectarianism in his writings.

  • baldrick

    Funny argument that – Prod’s are hateful sectarian bigots out to slaughter us, we were just defending ourselves / our rights / our communities.

    Reverse it and it’s the same sh*te loyalists have been spouting for years.

    And to give just one example, if the nationalist community was so free of bigotry can someone explain what happened that of the IRA funerals when the the two Brit corporals were dragged from their car by that mob, beaten and visciously murdered by the peace loving and totally non-discriminatory people of West Belfast.

    This is not a general invite to “whataboutery” but to illustrate that sectarian hatred was (and almost certainly still is) alive and well in both communities.

    Recognising it and seeking to resolve it takes balls. Denying that its there is just talking balls.

    My 2c worth.

  • Pete Baker

    The point here shouldn’t, necessarily, be the content of the article.. although others may disagree on that given the actual content.. “Nothing too out of the ordinary about that”.. given the source..

    But, if the DI explanation of the byline is accurate, then they should have been aware that by their failure to make a distinction between the two separate writers –

    a) that, although the Blanket’s Mick Hall does not condone such bigoted views,

    b) their readers may have been led to believe that it was written by the Blanket’s Mick Hall, who, as is pointed out, they had previously published articles by.

    That’s if the DI version is accurate.

    Perhaps Oilbhar can help out with this..?

  • Fenian Bastard


    Given what had happened three days previously I think the attack on two plain clothes armed individuals in belfast by a mob was completely understandble. They were hardly beaten because people thought they were protestant.

    I’m sure there are examples of sectarian targeting by republicans that make a more valid comparsion, the attack by the crowd on the corporals is not one.

  • Mick Fealty

    The sectarian bent of the article is one thing, but getting to the bottom of the identity thing would seem the more important issue. I can’t imagine they would go out on a limb over something like this.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    I disagree that it comes close to stating that only protestants harbour sectarian hatred. Though it does highlight the almost patholgical hatred of Catholics that does reside with elements of the unionist community.

    The point over two Mick Halls seems a bit lame to me and a fuller explanation is required by the paper.

  • Dee

    I can see where Mick Hall is coming from with this one, I’ve seen at first hand the intensity of sectarian hatred in certain parts of the Unionist community, although I would not generalise that to the whole Protestant community.

    For example I’ve heard jokes about wiping taigs off your shoe and much worse. One I heard recently was “3 masked men pin down a taig they produce a dice and tell him if u roll a 1,2,3,4 or a 5 your f**king dead. the taig looks at 1 of them funny and the masked man asked him what the f**k hes looking at so the taig replies what happens if I roll a 6? Well then u get another go.”

    The fact is that behaviour and attitudes like this are more likely to be reinforced within the Unionist community – particularly the band community – than the Nationalist/Republican community.

    Of course there is sectarianism in the Nationalist community but it does not go to the same extent as within Unionism. Anybody who thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

  • Jacko

    “Though it does highlight the almost patholgical hatred of Catholics that does reside with elements of the unionist community”.

    Not one to miss a chance to repeat the same charge are you, Pat.

    I presume by “unionist community” you actually mean Protestant community.
    I further presume that your non-capitalisation of the “p” in Protestants wasn’t deliberate as that would be something of a sectarian statement in itself.

    As a matter of interest, do you believe that there an “almost patholgical hatred” of Protestants resides within some sections of the Catholic community?
    Or do you believe it to be a community wholly free from sectarianism?

  • Animus

    You are kind enough to grant some Protestants aren’t rampant sectarian bigots, but on the whole, Unionism is far more sectarian than Nationalism? Give us some evidence, other than some crap jokes. If you think that proves anything, you’re kidding yourself.

  • Dee
    I think your post is the most level-headed here.
    The nationalist arguement was/is and always will be with the British presence/forces.
    Speaking as a nationalist, the protestant irish are our lost family, how could we hate our own.

  • TL

    Having two Mick Halls the Daily Ireland really should insist on the use of a middle initial or some such thing.
    I’ve had my identy hijacked before and it is a terrible feeling!


  • lib2016

    What is the problem here? The phenomenon of ‘political Protestantism’ has been written about and commented on for years, and of course there is a similar phenomenon on the Catholic side.

    That’s why the established churches, in particular the CoI, have been in full retreat from the Orange Order for years and why there is huge anti-clericalism in the South together with a real fear of Opus Dei and all it’s works.

    Does everything really have to become a point-scoring exercise? Even the Bushies have become ecumenical to the point of filling the Supreme Court with rightwing teagues and we’re still messing about with this tit for tat nonsense. When are we going to have some real politics, FFS!

    From: lib2016

  • lib2016

    ’12’ was posted by ‘lib2016’ (sighs heavily)

  • Jacko

    Would Mick Hall please let us know if he contributed the aforementioned piece to Daily Ireland.

  • TL

    He told Slugger he didn’t.

  • I read Daily Ireland most days, along with about five or six other papers. The DI Mick Hall has been writing for them for six months or so. Why should he have to explain that he isn’t the Blanket Mick Hall. One writes for a daily newspaper, the other posts on websites.

    Mick, I think you’re guilty of making the Blanket Mick Hall out to be a bigger star than he is. Outside of local websites he’s an unknown, and I say that with the greatest respect. Is the Blanket Mick Hall a member of the nuj? I’d be interested to know. Insisting on someone who writes for a newspaper describing that they are not someone else is stupid.

    What happens the next time the Irish League player Paul McCartney scores a goal – does the commentator insist on telling everyone he’s not in the Beatles.

  • ingrammartin


    There is two Mick Hall`s the blanket one and the Daily Ireland one. I am hoping to have a one to one interview with the latter one next month at his request.


  • TL

    It is the responsibility of the paper to be certain that bylines aren’t misleading. Using the same name for two people is misleading. If one is lesser known then throw in his middle initial or some other way to distinguish him from the regular. It is good journalism.

  • Pat Mc Larnon


    ‘Not one to miss a chance to repeat the same charge are you, Pat.’

    Are you seriously stating that there is not a pathological hatred for Catholics among elements of the unionist community?

    ‘As a matter of interest, do you believe that there an “almost patholgical hatred” of Protestants resides within some sections of the Catholic community?
    Or do you believe it to be a community wholly free from sectarianism?’

    This thread stands on it’s own merit, you need not indulge in whataboutery at this stage.

  • Leonard

    “Loyalist violence, although serving a specific counter- insurgency purpose during the conflict, was largely motivated by an intense, frightening sectarian hatred within a section of the loyalist/unionist community.
    This communal hatred was largely absent from within the nationalist communities — something the BBC has never admitted.
    Indeed, on occasions when this has been publicly stated, fierce reaction has caused a speedy retraction.” – DI

    “the Blanket’s Mick Hall does not condone such bigoted views” – Pete Baker

    “The sectarian bent of the article is one thing…” – Mick Fealty

    You haven’t shown that DI’s article is factually incorrect. You’ve merely had a knee-jerk reaction to a simple truth and decided to play the man not the ball by branding the author ‘a sectarian bigot.’ (Albeit by attributing human characteristics to an article, so as to allow yourself the deceitful ‘out’ that you played the latter and not the former).

    There isn’t equality of sectarianism in this. One side (protestants) do have a pathological hatred of the other; and demonstrated this truth by running a protestant parliament for a protestant people, gerrymandering the electoral system to exclude Catholics, exclusively murdering Catholics in their sustained campaign of terrorist violence, and by electing as the largest political party in the north, a man who is infamous as one of the worst anti-catholic sectarian bigots in Europe, Ian Paisley.

    One the other side, while the leader of the largest unionist party can run an official anti-catholic hate site and still be deemed by unionists as a legitimate political leader, no nationalist politician would ever feel the need to stoop to the level of the protestant community in giving their overwhelming support to a leader who is overtly sectarian.

    Catholics – even those who are unionist (but don’t admit it) – should not pretend that sectarianism isn’t at epidemic levels among protestants, when the evidence is overwhemingly in support of the oppostive view.

  • Jacko0, you are assuming that the Blanket Mick Hall is known. Outside of these boards he isn’t. Who has he written for? I’m quite prepared to be corrected but I haven’t seen his work anywhere else. I am keen to know if the Blanket Mick Hall is an NUJ member,

  • Animus

    Paul Panther – read Mick (Fealty)’s blog – the Blanket’s Mick Hall has contributed pieces to the Daily Ireland, so it would be easy to confuse a new Mick Hall with the one who has contributed pieces in the past, as well as writes for the Blanket. It is customary for writers to acknowledge if names are similar or the same what the relationship is. Like TL says, it’s just good practice.


  • I think we need clarification on this. As far as I am aware the only Mick Hall to have written for DI is the Mick Hall who penned the artcile on the UVF murders. Like I said, my understanding through reading the paper is he has been there a number of months. I have never known of the Blanket Mick Hall writing for Daily Ireland. Perhaps the Blanket Mick Hall could let us know if he has written for the publication

  • ingrammartin


    Quote”Catholics – even those who are unionist (but don’t admit it) – should not pretend that sectarianism isn’t at epidemic levels among protestants, when the evidence is overwhemingly in support of the oppostive view.”Unquote

    I accept the premise of this argument but there exists a sectarian element within Republicanism also , the ethnic cleansing of the border areas of the last thirty years is testimony to this fact.

    What I would say though is the Protestant community is more prone to this attitude than the Nationalist community.


  • Jacko

    “This thread stands on it’s own merit, you need not indulge in whataboutery at this stage”.

    Far from indulging in whataboutry just for the sake of it, if you are going to charge that sections of the Protestant community – for that is who you are talking about – have a pathological hatred of Catholics, then it is perfectly legitimate to ask if you believe the same to be true of the Catholic community.
    I take it from your refusal to give an answer that you genuinely believe the Catholic community to be entirely free from sectarianism.
    If you do you are a fool.
    If you don’t then you were merely engaged in sectarian pointscoring by repeating the same claims as Mick Hall without qualifying them by acknowledging that community relations here have been poisioned by sectarianism on BOTH sides.

  • Jacko

    It is so noticeable that those most at pains to accuse Protestants of having a pathological hatred of Catholics, always insist on using a small “p” for Protestants and capital “c” for Catholics.
    Betraying their own inherent sectarianism.

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m really sorry about our own name confusion (people in glass houses and all that). Hope to get it sorted this evening.

  • Animus

    Paul – go to the top of this piece and re-read it. According to Mick
    “It’s attributed to regular contributor to The Blanket website Mick Hall. He has recently contributed two geniune articles to DI, however Hall has told Slugger he did not write this piece.”

    Is that the clarification you were seeking?

  • Animus, I am not aware of DI publishing anything recently by the Blanket’s Mick Hall. Do youy have dates when the articles appeared. I could try digging them out on the website.

  • observer

    catholics have murdered, tortured, mutilated protestants both north and south of the border

    the inherent antiprotestantism that runs through catholics was on display for all to see in dublin

    the catholics in the IRA went about their daily buisness killing as many innocent protestants as it could out of pure sectartianism – nothin less


    My own observations of the nationalist community lead me to believe there exists within it a rampant paranoia in regards to their neighbours that simply does not exist within the unionst community.

    Trying to disprove someone else’s paranoid fantasies as a difficult thing to do. We’ll not get out of this mess until nationalists, and by extension catholics, wise up ,catch themselves on, and let go of all that comforting oppressed feeling.

    You’ve no idea how hard it was to refrain from using the “M” word

  • I think we could better spend our time sorting out who is posting what here.

    I just cannot be sure, for example, when Marty, Martin or Mike are posting on ingrammartin, and when Ingram is doing what on Jacko5. And then there is BB and Kathy C, and their comings and goings. Etc., ad nauseam.

    In sum, cannot posters just adopt one name, stick to it, and use only one e-mail address? If followed, we would then have much more time to sort out the Mick Hall mysteries.

  • TL

    The important thing there is that Mick knows who is who b/c of our IP address. If he wants to make changes or “out” anyone he can.

  • Mark

    The Daily Ireland Mick Hall is the current editor of the Irish Democrat in London, established by the Irish Republican Congress in the 1930s. He has written for other publications I know of. I think he wrote for the Irish Post too.

    Why should he have to make the distinction between himself and Mick Hall of The Blanket? I’ve never seen Mick Hall of the Blanket in Daily Ireland.

    As for the personal abuse, to attempt to demonise him as a sectarian bigot is wrong. This personalised attack on the journalist demeans the Slugger forum.

    The piece stands on its own.

  • Jacko

    “The piece stands on its own”.

    More like, the piece speaks for itself – sectarian rubbish.

    By the real Jacko

  • TL

    If the Daily Ireland are publishing by authors with the same name they should find a way to distinguish between them. I’m not saying he should have to do it all the time. Just in that publication. Why would he want the confusion? Unless of course it is in his best interest to be confused with someone else.

  • Mick Fealty

    Mark. I’m closing this thread for now. I’ll inspect it for the personal abuse you mention. There’s been way too much of that kind stuff trying to pass itself off as genuine discourse here of late.

  • Oilbhéar Chromaill

    I think this is the worst example of playing the man I’ve seen on Slugger and I’m pretty disgusted at Mick Fealty’s role in the matter.

    I’m pretty sure that no-one at Daily Ireland would want to deceive or confuse any readers into believing their Mick Hall was actually another Mick Hall who posts on obscure websites.

    I’m not so sure that some of this righteous anger hasn’t been whipped up to start another ‘let’s get Daily Ireland’ riot.

    All who’ve done this should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

    To be quite honest, I’m so disgusted at the mob behaviour on this site that I’m considering not contributing again.

    I think an apology to Daily Ireland and to Daily Ireland’s Mick Hall is in order.

  • TL

    I certainly did not mean to engage in “mob behavior”… I simply think that if you use two guys with the same name you point that out.
    I meant no offense to anyone.