MEP needs a little help with her research

We now know that Lindy McDowell depends on Slugger when abroad, it’s just a pity that others don’t use Slugger to broaden their minds. I see Mary Lou McDonald has contributed a piece to Daily Ireland (I know, I know), on the subject of our recent period of festivities. I can understand that she needs to take a party line, and join in the condemnation, but her article displays a real lack of insight, knowledge and factual information. There is nothing compromising about what she has written, and no positive noises for reducing tyres on bonfires or anything else being done in a constructive manner. It’s a bitter little piece of writing, and perhaps the main point she is making is about the funding reduction for Féile.
‘one of the largest community festivals in western Europe, was recently denied funding. This community success story, which has the principle of inclusiveness at its core, has worked hard to bring people together, rather than preach the politics of separation

If you don’t live in Northern Ireland, the least you can do is try to inform yourself fully and accurately as to the totality of the subject you are preaching upon. I would suggest a good read of Slugger for Ms McDonald.

  • Pete Baker

    Indeed, Miss Fitz, the funding issue had an update missed by Mary Lou, but noted here

  • Chris Donnelly

    On the topic of research, Miss Fitz, Mary Lou is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and not an MP.

  • maura

    Mary Lou is an MEP.
    And what is the Daily Ireland ( I know I know) about?

  • Miss Fitz

    Chris
    I dont think I called her an MP?

  • Pete Baker

    Missing the point somewhat, Chris and maura, the NIO put out a statement on the funding of Féile.. and Mary Lou doesn’t seem to have noticed.

    Perhaps her article was written well in advance of the publication of that statement, i.e. before the 10th July?

    And not revised in advance of the Daily Ireland issue date..

  • maura

    Your title MissFitz says MP.

  • Miss Fitz

    OOOPs, thanks guys, silly slip, cheers and corrected

  • maura

    I read Mary Lou’s piece earlier on and thought I had read differently about the funding issue here on slugger.
    Yes Pete, I agree with what you say.

  • Pete Baker

    Well, maura, in fairness, the editorial staff at Daily Ireland are under severe pressure..

    That doesn’t however, excuse SF from allowing the high profile, and reportedly senior member, from making an ass of herself.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Miss Fitz
    See headline for story.

    Pete
    Not missing the point at all. The thread partially pointed to a research oversight on behalf of the MEP. I merely highlighted the irony for Miss Fitz’s benefit.

    I’d agree that it looks like the article was written before the 10th July and has obviously not been revised.

    Not the first time I’ve seen that in a newspaper.

    Miss Fitz is also being somewhat harsh in her assessment of the piece. It is clearly a summative piece, and in that contains the summary views of how the broad swathe of nationalism continues to view the 11th Night and 12th of July.

  • Pete Baker

    Chris

    The Daily Ireland article appears to have been published on the 14th July.

  • maura

    Chris’ Miss Fitz is also being somewhat harsh in her assessment of the piece. It is clearly a summative piece, and in that contains the summary views of how the broad swathe of nationalism continues to view the 11th Night and 12th of July. ‘

    That and the Daily Ireland ( I Know I Know) well, what’s that about MissFitz?

  • Miss Fitz

    Chris
    I didnt need to research to know that Mary Lou is an MEP. I made a typo, and apologised.

    What the article reflects is a knee-jerk, give ’em what they want to hear piece of writing. And sorry, I think its a bit rich for a Dublin based MEP to make such a harsh and inaccurate assessment of the situation in the North.

    I have no doubt she is trying to raise her profile, but it would behove her to do so in a better judged fashion, Maybe I am being a bit harsh, but I didnt think this article did her any justice

  • Pete Baker

    maura

    Mary Lou’s opinion piece was written, clearly, before the 10th July.. it was a summation of her opinion of the 11th and 12th July.. and was printed on the 14th July without being revised.

  • Miss Fitz

    Maura
    The DI isn’t exactly known for its balanced reportage, and the ‘I know’ it was a reference to my expectation of posters asking me what else I expected from this paper.

  • maura

    MissFitz:
    ‘The DI isn’t exactly known for its balanced reportage, and the ‘I know’ it was a reference to my expectation of posters asking me what else I expected from this paper.’

    Not anymore or less balanced than the Newsletter, or any paper, both National or International. Most papers have a slant, depending on ideology.
    I read Daily Ireland, daily. It has little to do with forming my opinions, some things I agree with others not.
    But I don’t apologise for reading it.

  • Chris Donnelly

    “The DI isn’t exactly known for its balanced reportage, and the ‘I know’ it was a reference to my expectation of posters asking me what else I expected from this paper.”

    Miss Fitz
    Can you point me to a local paper with a great reputation for ‘balanced reportage?’ The Irish News, in spite of a couple of unionist columnists, remains a nationalist-minded paper (of a clear SDLP hue, which is naturally their right.) Daily Ireland is clearly a nationalist-minded paper with an editorial line supporting Sinn Fein.

    The Tele and Newsletter make little bones about their unionist credentials, whilst the tabloids- well, don’t even go there…

    You’re problem here initially was with a factual error attributed to MEP Mary Lou McDonald, which will happen from time to time (as none of us are perfect.)

    The detractors of the Daily Ireland on this site are quite openly ideologically motivated. They find it difficult to tolerate a republican voice in the media, particularly as the paper has proven quite successful in punching well above its weight and delivering stories which have shaped the news agenda.

    The Daily Ireland may have its problems, but for the past two days it led the news agenda with the breaking stories about loyalists mocking the killing of Michael McIlveen at bonfires and through the morbid and quite sickening phone video.

    I would be interested in your definition of balanced reportage, Miss Fitz, as I think you’d find me correct when I say the Daily Ireland isn’t alone in deserving a black mark against its title for this.

  • Pete Baker

    Just in case you missed it, Chris

    Mary Lou’s opinion piece was written, clearly, before the 10th July.. it was a summation of her opinion of the 11th and 12th July.. and was printed on the 14th July without being revised.

    Your defense of the DI is admirable.. but perhaps you should should try to focus on issues that they do have control over?

  • John Maynard

    I don’t think a couple of lazy plugs on Talkback constitutes “leading the news agenda”.
    The news agenda over the past few days has centred around how this society should react to an unusually peaceful twelfth.
    Daily Ireland has merely ‘lead’ itself down a blind alley by reacting with seeming outrage to the possibility that the twelfth might be turned around. What Radio Ulster’s excuse is I can’t imagine.

  • TAFKABO

    The detractors of the Daily Ireland on this site are quite openly ideologically motivated. They find it difficult to tolerate a republican voice in the media, particularly as the paper has proven quite successful in punching well above its weight and delivering stories which have shaped the news agenda.

    On the contrary, I’d love to have a strong intelligent republican voice in the media, I just don’t think that the Daily Ireland is up to the job.
    Compare and contrast the standard of article and commentator in the Blanket with Daily Ireland.

    The Blanket deserves to be a daily publication, the Daily Ireland deserves to be a vanity website.

  • Kenny

    Miss Fitz

    I’m not a particular fan of the DI myself.

    I would prefer the Irish News which, although it is a nationalist paper, does have unionist columnists.

    I also think that the Belfast Telegraph, while a unionist paper, is generally pretty balanced (certainly a lot better than it was 10 years ago).

    However, I would guess that a lot of the posters who are having a pop at the DI would read the News Letter.

    This “paper” is no more than Unionist/DUP/OO propaganda. Very little (if any) comment on anti-Catholic attacks and when they do comment, there’s usually some sort of moral equivalence.

    I can understand people criticising the DI if, like me, they would prefer a more balanced approach. However, anyone who attacks the DI and reads the News Letter, clearly just wants to read the propaganda from their side.

  • missfitz

    Notwithstanding Lindy McDowell’s interpretation, this is looking a bit like woman not ball.

    The issue I was highlighting was the inaccuracy in the report and the ‘laziness’ of the depiction.

    If indeed the article was written before July10th, when the funding announcement was made, what has happened is actually worse.

    Mary Lou didnt wait to see what kind of a 12th we’d had, what improvements were made, what efforts were being made by those who care to make it better.

    She trotted out a load of old mopery about inequality in funding and the shock horror of the 12th.

    I have no intrinsic problem with DI, I accept it for what it is. Every sinlge paper we have up here is biased in some way, there is no hope for a ‘down the middle’ line on any story.

    Once more, this is not a pop at DI, (on this occasion). It was an attempt to point out that Dublin based politicians should take a little more time before making pronouncements on the issues that affect us deeply here. This is no game, and there is no room to play the situation solely for self advancement

  • missfitz

    Chris
    Just to be clear, I did not make a reporting error. I know the difference between an MP and an MEP, believe it or not.

    It was called a typographical error, a slip, and you need to let it go

  • memorystick

    I wonder just how inclusive Féile an Phobail actually is, I know last year they did a political debate in St Louisa’s which for those of us who braved travelling up the Falls road was frankly terrifying, a very packed out hall and a very hostile atmosphere – before it started, most of the unionists were outside chain smoking!!

    However my point is that the Orange has some way to go in terms of image and inclusivity but the West Belfast festival is by no means a beacon of inclusivity and peace to aspire to. Furthermore the OO actually used to be more inclusive, I can remember going to watch parades in Comber with my catholic neighbours and that isn’t even that long ago. Parades didn’t always cause disharmony.

    In any case, what exactly would Mary-Lou know about parades and 11th night bonfires? She is a Dublin native, I would be surprised if she has ever attended either of the above.

  • mickhall

    Your title MissFitz says MP.

    Miss Fitz,

    Just one of the webs little joys, when you make a silly mistake, the web community are never going to let you get away with it, I feel for you.

    Although not your comments on DI which I felt were a nod and wink to the in crowd. [so to speak] To hell with balanced reporting, I can see why a state broadcasting organization should attempt this, although in a democracy they always fail and more often than not end up as the BBC has today after the Kelly scandal, i e all over the place with management attempting to crush any free spirits.

    I cannot think of a single case when my journalistic heros attempted to balance their work. whether they be on the right or left politically, the finest writers are usually raging about something close to their heart.

    I worry about this so called balance, take the BBC current coverage of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon. You have Beeb jornos reporting whilst they stand next to heavy artillery firing shells on downtown Sidon or Beruit, often without a mention or in some cases a thought that the shells being fired will land on some innocent persons head.

    I wonder if the technology were available during WW2 would not the US TV companies prior to the US entering the war on the side of the allies have reported the german army blitzkrieg across Europe as embedded reporters. Which is the last place they should be if the wished to find out more than their military minders allowed them to see.

    My point is there should be balance in society as a whole not necessary in individual papers, for example the DI is pro the PRM whereas the Independent group is totally against. I am disappointed that DI is not a more inclusive paper, by which I mean it gives space to the myriad of ideas within the communities it serves. Although I should not be surprised about this, as sadly that is how Mr Adams and co operated. Still I feel we are better for having DI.

  • memorystick

    “The detractors of the Daily Ireland on this site are quite openly ideologically motivated. They find it difficult to tolerate a republican voice in the media, particularly as the paper has proven quite successful in punching well above its weight and delivering stories which have shaped the news agenda”

    Not quite Chris, my main problem with Daily Ireland is some of the utter tripe it publishes – just one example is about the watch towers in South Armagh, by all means object to them because they are “a symbol of occupation” or “a tool of spying”. But when a daily paper starts talking about how equipment in watch towers harms cattle and causes cancer without any scientific evidence apart from some Farmer Daithi standing with folded arms in his field looking angry, it does somewhat harm how seriously a person will take the newspaper.

    Trying to make this scepticism about Daily Ireland into somethng sectarian is monotonously mopish. I don’t think any unionists would disagree that the Irish News is probably the best daily paper in Northern Ireland in terms of the quality of reporting and the news stories. Daily Ireland is a long, long way from this despite the huge sums of money it has been handed in funding.

  • Nevin

    Miss Fitz, perhaps the fragrant Mary Lou wasn’t informed that the Athboy strategy is currently in reverse gear.

    The Auld Alliance of Sinners, clerics and Dublin’s Iveagh House that was operating in the 1990s appears to have been put into abeyance.

    Perhaps it doesn’t currently suit Dublin to further sanitise the fundamentally fascist and mafiaist Sinner movement?

    A year ago Philip McGuigan MLA was still operating the Athboy strategy; last August he was at sixs and sevens over the Republican parade in Ballymena and this year he was condemning sectarianism. It’s ironical that McGuigan failed to note that the Athboy straegy was, er, sectarian.

  • missfitz

    Mick
    I take your points, and they make a lot of sense. There is probably no ‘pure’ balance, just as there will never be one ‘pure’ version of the truth.

    On the other hand, I think that what I am referring to is the automatic,reflexive responses to issues. In this case, it appears that either the story about the 12th was written in advance of it or it was written without too much regard for fact.

    If written in advance, it’s quite telling, as I have been trying to point out here. It demonstrates that minds are made up in advance, and it doesnt matter what else happens, but we’ve got our perspective thank you, and we cant let the facts get in the way of our prejudice.

    If written post-12th, well its just factually wrong, and mopish. Look, when I used to chair AOIFE meetings years ago, I was really struck in the beginning with the fascinating story of how these festivals had operated during thirty years of opression.

    After months of hearing the same story, and having each meeting held interminably up at the beginning, I eventually had to ask if we could take it as read that there had been 30 years of opression, and that we were all privileged to be in the company of such courageous people. We needed to skip the re-telling of the story to get on with the work.

    And so it is now. Mary Lou is telling the same story, without apparent regard to whether or not it is factually correct.

  • Nevin

    FYI: Northern Ireland Events company, incorporating the Community Festivals Fund.

  • mickhall

    “If written in advance, it’s quite telling, as I have been trying to point out here. It demonstrates that minds are made up in advance, and it doesnt matter what else happens, but we’ve got our perspective thank you, and we cant let the facts get in the way of our prejudice.”

    Miss Fitz
    I think the above is a good point, one of the sad facts of political activity is this bunker mentality, as you are aware it is especially prevalent in the north of Ireland and in some cases for understandable reasons.

    I find it interesting that when people are removed from the political pressure cooker, wether due to a change of the environment or perhaps retirement, they seem perfectly able to see the others point of view or become open to new or different ideas.

    I suppose it is the certainty of the past which makes everyone so comfortable with it. “All changed, changed utterly”, not in the north east it seems.

    Take care.

  • maura

    MissFitz:” have no intrinsic problem with DI, I accept it for what it is. Every sinlge paper we have up here is biased in some way, there is no hope for a ‘down the middle’ line on any story.

    Once more, this is not a pop at DI, (on this occasion). It was an attempt to point out that Dublin based politicians should take a little more time before making pronouncements on the issues that affect us deeply here. This is no game, and there is no room to play the situation solely for self advancement ”

    Missfitz, I know the title thing was a typo, no big deal.
    But your Daily Ireland (I Know I Know) is very curious to say the least.
    You appear to be acknowledging that most papers have a slant , so shall we expect an (I Know I Know) after every newspaper title you use.
    I am not sure why you would feel the need to ‘apologise’ for reading Daily Ireland ( or anything else for that matter). I am hoping this does not indicate a prejudice toward the publication?

  • slug

    Its ok to be opposed to poor quality.

  • TAFKABO

    Great point Slug.

    The great surprise isn’t that so many Republicans don’t like the Daily Ireland, it’s that so many Republicans do. It’s pish, plain and simple. Surely Republicans think they deserve better than the Daily Ireland?

  • TAFKABO

    That first line should read so man non-Republicans…

  • TAFKABO
    “The Blanket deserves to be a daily publication, the Daily Ireland deserves to be a vanity website.”
    I was reading an article today from The Blanket entitled “It is only the intellectually lost who ever argue”I’m sure it’s been discussed here before.

    But to get to the point What has happened to liquorice bomb
    Surely it deserves to a daily publication too.And I’ll finish off as Lindy McDowell has recently with the word DISCUSS… 🙂

  • TAFKABO

    Sorry.

    I’ve been too busy to update my own little vanity website, it shall be udpated today, with pictures.

  • With easy to read pictures for the like of me? 🙂

  • TAFKABO

    OK, it’s done.

  • Glen Taisie

    And we were told Mary Lou was leadership material!!!!

    Can’t wait for her first Paxman interview.

  • Miss Fitz wrote on Jul 16, 2006 @ 01:35 AM “… And sorry, I think its a bit rich for a Dublin based MEP to make such a harsh and inaccurate assessment of the situation in the North… “

    Please explain as to why ‘so rich’ for an Kildare St politician to comment on NI as the ROI has a say in the governing of the statelet since the Anglo Irish Agree and the GFA? I’d be interested to hear your possible exclusionary views on elected member of the Dail. Do you think that MLMcD mightn’t be familiar enough with the situation?

    “It was an attempt to point out that Dublin based politicians should take a little more time before making pronouncements on the issues that affect us deeply here. This is no game, and there is no room to play the situation solely for self advancement” Why single out Dublin politicos? The ones in Belfast and Westminster can’t be held up as shining examples of democ (see D. Hogg in London)

  • Miss Fitz

    Anonymous
    I thought this was pretty clear by now. Ms McDonald wrote an article for Daily Ireland and it was inaccurate.

    From my perspective, I saw the article as a poor effort, and I really had much higher hopes for this politician. I would have expected something insightful and thoughtful. I was really disappointed to find it was neither.

    I dunno, I guess I was a bit offended that an SF rep in Dublin couldnt be arsed to either get her facts straight, or wait until the 13th and see what happened here. I may be a blow in too, but at least I went and evaluated a bonfire and 12th parades for myself and have developed the beginnings of an understanding for the culture of Orangeism. If Mary Lou is familiar, as you seem to suggest, she is a skillful actress, cos she betrayed not the slightest hint of understanding

    Your other point about who else said what… well, I wasnt doing a critical analysis, and I despise what about ery.

  • Miss Fitz

    One more thing.

    Nothing in my post or subsequent comments indicate that I feel that ROI politicians shouldnt have an opinion or voice their feeings about Northern Ireland.

    What they SHOULD do is try to do the subject justice, research impeccably and be as open as possible. I was making the connection with people who read sites like this one in an attempt to either keep up with the pulse or find out more about what makes us tick. If Mary Lou cant/wont come to a bonfire/12th parade, she would do well to read how an entire community feels pride in those occasions, and try to understand their perspective.

  • Occasional Commentator

    Chris Donnelly: The detractors of the Daily Ireland on this site are quite openly ideologically motivated. They find it difficult to tolerate a republican voice in the media.

    Chris, what about the republicans who don’t like the Daily Ireland? How do you explain them?

    We need a republican paper that’s comfortable with Orangeism and indeed is prepared to show it’s good side and even celebrate it. Irish Republicanism and Orangeism share a lot, such a desire for freedom of religion and also keeping the Roman Catholic Church out of government. But Daily Ireland is incapable of this, and is pandering to those who want to ethnically cleanse Protestants and/or Protestantism. As such, it’s probably as much an enemy of republicanism as anything else.

    Republicans who buy the Daily Ireland should ditch it and call for a new better paper to take the lead in reaching out to all Irish people, no matter what their religion or culture, and which is not afraid to tackle so-called republicans who spout nonsense.

  • mickhall

    If Mary Lou cant/wont come to a bonfire/12th parade, she would do well to read how an entire community feels pride in those occasions, and try to understand their perspective.

    Posted by Miss Fitz on Jul 18, 2006 @ 12:26 AM

    Miss Fitz,

    Do you really believe this is what is happening, or is it just a tradition, say like Guy Fawkes night used to be for working class communities in England. Im sure it was great fun, but few thought much about poor old Guido when he was on the rack, nor how he found himself to be there. I am not being offensive here to those who celebrate the 12th, it is a genuine question

    Mick

  • Miss Fitz

    Mick
    I’m far from an expert on bonfires, although I have now been to a Lundy burning in Derry and the bonfire last week. The Lundy one scared me badly, but the context was different, so thats not a guide.

    I find your question interesting, and although I am somewhat constrained in what I can say, I’d like to try and answer.

    The construct of everyone coming together for a common celebration is obviously what lies behind bonfire night. In all cultures and communities, you will find events such as these. However, as times and patterns change, certain customs have to be altered to more closely reflect the feeling among the participants.

    My sense of this is that there is a need for an annual festivity, but that it could be enhanced and improved to a point where it was more inclusive.

    Now, please stay with me as I want to make a really important point.

    When I say inclusive, I dont mean to the local catholics. I think that the practice of bonfires are becoming less acceptable even within the communities they occur, and there is a slow but growing recognition that further alienation and disintegration of the locals will occur if something isnt done now. I think that the beacons could probably work, if there was an effort to make it a real celebration/party.

    We used to have block parties when I was growing up in the States, and I got a little of that sense from the Bonfire night.

    Is that any good?