Daily Ireland folds…

The Daily Ireland, Andersonstown News Group’s attempt to shake up Irish daily newsmarket has folded. It comes as little surprise to Slugger regulars since the most recent figures indicated zero growth, whilst its main rival for reader’s (and advertisers) was the only UK newspaper to actually grow its figures. Staff were told first thing this morning and are currently in a meeting with the management.

  • The Devil

    This was Millars baby,

    If it Satan forbid had become a success story there would have been no hiding place anywhere on this island safe from the cheshire cat grin of the new Audi driving Marty.
    But the ill concieved poorly managed non entity stocked bore failed, and failed miserably, surley questions must be asked of the senior managers who squandered millions on this moronic venture, millions that could have been used to much better effect elsewhere.

    could have bought Irish lessons for Gerry Adams

    voice training for Marty Millar

    a personality for Barbra Brown

    a gestapo uniform for Mitchell McLoughlin

    a flak jacket for Martin McGuiness

    fake tan for Gerry Kelly

    and finally beauty treatment for Danny Morrison… err, em.. well maybe they didn’t waste that much.

  • Mick Fealty

    Red card Peking!

  • Nic

    Jaysis lads. 110 comments on this rubbish.

    I wish I had the time and energy to sift through for the comment on a previous topic from one of our posters that said (and I paraphrase, obviously):

    “there has always been a moderate majority in Ireland, that looks for the middle road. As a patriotic Irishman, I feel that if the price of Irish Unity is Sinn Fein in government, I’d rather wait a while longer.”

    If ever a sentence could encapsulate proud Irish nationalism, dat be it.

    In that context, the direland flop can be encapsulated by Joe Pesci’s “Uncle Vinny” in the film “Cousin Vinny” –

    “That’s a f***ing surprise….”

    A great day for Ireland. Cheers, Nic.

  • The Plumber

    Hey radiator woman I love you very much

    can i hold your BTU’s

    rads are like beds doubles are better than singles

  • Cahal

    TAFKABO
    “How typically Irish republican to be completely unable to accept responsibility for ones own failings, instead of always blaming others. ”

    Did this add anything constructive at all to the debate?
    Did it help or hinder the point you were trying to make?
    Is it a fact, or simply a broad sweeping statement attempting to characterize hundreds of thousands of people in a negative manner?

    Nobody should be out celebrating the demise of a newspaper. If the Newsletter folded next week, would there be shouts of joy from nationalist on here – I don’t think so, perhaps I’m wrong.

    A free press makes a liberal society possible. A diverse press makes it interesting.

  • TAFKABO

    Did this add anything constructive at all to the debate?
    Did it help or hinder the point you were trying to make?

    Well I made my point, so yes, it did.

    Is it a fact, or simply a broad sweeping statement attempting to characterize hundreds of thousands of people in a negative manner?

    In that case, the spirit of the Daily Ireland lives on.

    Nobody should be out celebrating the demise of a newspaper.

    Why not?

    Where is this written?

    Were the Daily Ireland a normal newspaper and not just a hate rag with little other purpose than to instill a hatred of my community in it’s readership, I might agree. But as we know, that’s not the case. The demise of this rag, rather than be a bad thing, sends out a positive message that the completely negative vision of Irish republicanism it promoted has been rejected by it’s target audience.

    Ireland is a much better place now that the Daily Ireland has failed. Let’s hope the next attempt at a staunchly Irish republican newspaper will have learned some lessons.

  • Sammy

    Many posters have referred to the DI as a hate rag. Could TAFKABO or others please provide some examples of how it was “just a hate rag with little other purpose than to instill a hatred of my community in it’s readership” I bought it on many occassions and I neve recall reading any stories along the lines “all prods are twats” or “please start hating prods”
    This thread has been very disappointing indeed and most of the comment infantile.

  • Jazz

    Blaming the government for not allowing Daily Ireland to tender for government advertising is just typical republican rhetoric. If it don’t work blame the brits. If the circulation figures had been of the standard required by the National Audit Commission then the DI would have been able to tender for government advertising.
    Thank heavens this Daily Rag is going out of circulation.

  • Rory

    It was a totally editorially biased newspaper and it made no attempt to disguise the fact that it was anything else – says TKMaxx.

    Well of course it was. As indeed are all newspapers. The editorial is the piece in any newspaper where the editor’s opinion, his bias is writ plain. That many editors adopt a lofty tone of hauteur and academic objectivity does not change that fact, it merely attempts to make it more palatable to the more timid liberal hearts of the middle classes who must always be allowed the comfort of thinking well of themselves.

    The more blunt red-top press do not require this subterfuge as they speak directly to the working classes who are not impressed by a pretence of moral agonising. So it was for example that the famous (or infamous if you like) headline in The Sun on the sinking of the Belgrano
    “GOTCHA!” reflected also its stark editorial position on the morality of the sinking.

    Daily Ireland had a lot wrong with it and certainly needed a vigourous shake-up if it were to survive. Perhaps additional revenue from government advertising might have allowed the breathing space to do just that, but then again if it did not then it probably would have folded anyway as lots of comments on its content and style reflected by other contributors here are, I am afraid, true.

    The British Communist Party daily the Morning Star survived only because of a massive subvention from the Soviet Union disguised as forward sales to the USSR (and thus creating the only litter problem at Moscow airport ) and had a much less attractive presentation and much duller content than Daily Ireland.

    Nevertheless it is a shame that the paper has folded. It was a brave attempt to establish a voice outside the mainstream that yet reflected the voice of the most dynamic political thinking in Ireland. A pity that that dynamism could not be effectively translated into newsprint that was sufficiently attractive to ensure its survival.

  • Ziznivy

    hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

  • Mick Fealty

    Bias was not the problem, just the narrowness of its scope. It began with the promise of drawing in a variety of viewpoints, whilst at the same time keeping its centre of gravity firmly Republican.

    There are a lot of reasons why that didn’t happen. But one thing that strikes me is the fact that they did not appoint a single editor and give them a reasonable term in which to lunch and socialise with groups of people outside their normal circle.

    Austin Hunter (who I know is admired by Mairtin for the way he turned the fortunes of the Newsletter on a tiny budget) is reputed to have been in way earlier than his staff and stayed later, and found time almost every day to take a wide range of people out lunch. Partly, I presume, to find out what was happening elsewhere, to work up or test new projects, but also to get a measure of how people think outside your own particular box (we’ve all got them). That’s where your new readers come from after all.

    It’s very easy to sit and pontificate on how one might have done things better when it’s not you in the hotseat. But I’d might have worked on getting the enthusiasm of a new youthful news team up and into some scopes (no matter where they came from).

    AS na has said they had a half decent comment team when they started (though IN has scooped most of the higher end talent), so news would have been the place to make your mark. Tough, independent, and Republican – in that order – would have won them more friends, and more readers.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    the one good thing arising out of DI’s closure is that the hateful sniping at the paper, its journalists, its founders, will come to an end if for no other reason that the snipers will have to move on to a new target.

    It was no hate sheet. It was a quality newspaper, starved of resources, no worse than any of the newspapers that pass for same in the north. The problem was it wasn’t significantly better to compel people to change their buying habits from the Irish News and its death notices.

    The grave dancers on this blog have surpassed themselves with their bile and vitriol against good people who made an effort and failed. I think it’s a poor look out for Slugger that the type of ad hominem commentary by the grave dancers is allowed in threads associated with Daily Ireland.

    Mick Hall: I don’t regard you as a grave dancer but you should remember that Jim Gibney works with the Irish News – not with Daily Ireland – and that doesn’t make it a SF sheet anymore than Danny Morrison’s contributions made one out of Daily Ireland.

  • Padraig Óg

    “I think it’s a poor look out for Slugger that the type of ad hominem commentary by the grave dancers is allowed in threads associated with Daily Ireland.”

    Well said!

    The hysterical and deeply bitter attitude displayed on this thread has been simply embarrasing.

    Having to wade through 5 pages of forumesque type comments…well I don’t think it does Slugger many favours

  • nmc

    Is it a fact, or simply a broad sweeping statement attempting to characterize hundreds of thousands of people in a negative manner?

    In that case, the spirit of the Daily Ireland lives on.

    So in effect, you are the spirit of the daily Ireland, as you behave in the same way, in your own mind. I also read it a few times, and don’t recall anti Loyalist sentiment.

  • The day this provo hate-rag shut down will be a day long remembered in the legitimate majority community of Ulster. One less provo fawning, Jew hating/pally scum sympathising publication in circulation can only be a good thing.

    The only thing I’m sad about is the fact that all its jounalists weren’t charged with incitement to hatred and being associated with know subversive groups!!

  • nmc

    Some people really do hate freedom of speech. Why? What is it that you fear?

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The only thing I’m sad about is the fact that all its jounalists weren’t charged with incitement to hatred

    Davd Vance, the apologist for Israeli and British state terror, must have had an irony bypass – or else he never possessed the capacity for irony.

    in moments of darkness and doubt, one need only look at who’s lined up against us to figure out who’s in the right and why it’s right to carry on the fight.

    David, many thanks for the reminder. It’s a real morale boost when it’s needed.

  • Oilibhear

    you can equally judge a movement by the company it keeps.

    How’re Hamas today?

  • DK

    I read it a few times and most of the articles were rather dull news, but if there was any opportunity to blame the brits or have a go at unionists it was always there. I don’t remember anything constructive, and sometimes they had to stretch the point a bit to try and get the dig in. And the quotes from politicians were always Sinn Fein politicians, and never in a bad light. So it came over to me as a pro Sinn Fein newsletter with a few other stories/sport to bulk it up a bit. Not pro-Republican, just pro-Sinn Fein. The featured articles were often cringeworthy and have often been in slugger posted as examples of extremism.

    To correct Rory – Daily Ireland wasn’t progressive, it was reactionary. It was the voice of the little irelander green van man and aimed itself at perpetuating and reinforcing sterotypes and the status quo.

  • POL

    I have not been an avid fan of DI, not because of its content but because i was simply used to buying another(habit)newspaper.However when i did read it on occasion,i never once witnessed a sectarian comment.Maybe some of the bloggers on here could enlighten me,but it seems to me that the knockers are simply offended by the fact that it has Republican leanings and that they challenged the british govt,unionism and loyalism by showing them up for what they are and what they are about.This is supposed to be a democracy,(mind you without the justice and equality trappings)people are entitled to choice and the only sectarianism i`ve witnessed of late has been the drivel spewed on this thread. I dont support the rantings of the newsletter so i dont buy it,nor do many nationalists does this phohibit it from government advertising,NO. It seems to me that many of the knockers on this thread have obviously read it more than i have,maybe they should have done the old Sunday World thing and threatened shops who sold it,or maybe they did.Heres to freedom of the press LOL.

  • southbelfastnewsman

    OC said,

    “It was no hate sheet.” DI certainly hated the SDLP and made no bones about it.

    “It was a quality newspaper, starved of resources” starved by whom? the ATN Group or the brits? Didn’t those who set it up, and told us all they had a wonderful response from US investors, figure out a business model in advance? was it entirely dependent on Government ad spend, or more sales?

    “No worse than any of the newspapers that pass for same in the north.” yes it was worse. ot had np blopdy news! opinion piece after opinion piece is not news. It had no significant sport section; no pull out at the weekend (until it pulled out of the weekend market); no expanded sports secttion on a Monday.

    “The problem was it wasn’t significantly better to compel people to change their buying habits” True.

    “from the Irish News and its death notices.” – now who is all bitter and twised? at least have the grace to admit the IN is a quality paper.

    “and that doesn’t make it a SF sheet anymore than Danny Morrison’s contributions made one out of Daily Ireland.” True, but when danny Morrison is joined weekly by Jude Collins, Lawrence McKeown, Mairtin, Robin Livingstone, and occassionally by Mary Lou and Barbra de Brun – that means it sails fairly close to the wind.

    overall though one main thing sunk DI – it was a poor product.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    Pakman, ask them yourself. They’re a democratically elected party in Lebanon and have offices and no doubt will be pleased to talk with you.

    They might point out to you that while they mainly killed Israeli soldiers as they defended their territory against the Israeli invasion, the invading forces indiscriminately bombed civiians, killing thousands. They also left behind them 100k + cluster bomblets, designed to murder civilians, so please feel free to point out to them how they would be unfit company.

    They may accept an apology from you regarding the Israeli terror machine and it’s unjustified invasion of their country.

    You are, after all, an apologist?

  • Lorenzo

    The pretty amatuerish nature of DI was examplified by the fact that they couldn’t get a copy to RTE’s Morning Ireland for its ‘It says in the papers’ slot at 8.15 this morning, on their last day of publication.

    I never bought it but the few times I had cause to read articles from it on the web I was singularly unsurprised at the content. If you can glance at a headline of an article to determine the subject and find yourself already knowing exactly what viewpoint the editorial or columnist will take, why bother reading it?

    They are by no means alone in this. I can pretty much do the exact same thing with any Eddie Holt, Vincent Browne or Charles Krauthammer article in the Irish Times or Robert Fisk in the Indo. That is why writers like Kevin Myers or John Waters (if not writing on gender issues) or Gene Kerrigan are worth their weight in gold. They have the capacity to surprise the reader. I may often disagree with them but I don’t know in advance what they will say.

  • Oilibhear

    School boy error- you’re getting your Hezbollah confused with your Hamas. Perhaps you should pay more attention to Gerry Adams’s travelogue.

  • Oilibhear Chromaill

    The pretty amatuerish nature of DI was examplified by the fact that they couldn’t get a copy to RTE’s Morning Ireland for its ‘It says in the papers’ slot at 8.15 this morning, on their last day of publication.
    No doubt you’re confused Lorenzo but DI wasn’t published today, a fact which was made clear yesterday.
    Fair point regarding writers and headlines though I don’t agree with your view of Kevin Myers – he is an entirely predictable and tiresome writer in my opinion. Gene Kerrigan is good, better than John Waters.

    Good on you Pakman, glad you’re awake. You’re still not right about the general point. Hamas are an elected government and they do have to endure unlawful Israeli incursions into their territory, many of them with fatal consequences for the Palestinians.

  • conor

    “”What’s wrong with Daily Ireland, Conor? It’s not that it is pro-republican; or even pro Sinn Fein, to a degree. It is the arrogant, obnoxious, ########, petty minded, holier-than-thou, precious, swarmy, egotistical, devious, lying, self-pitying, money-grubbing demeanour of the management behind it, a demeanour that permeates the papers they produce. In a nutshell.

    It is not, as they like to pretend, that unionists can’t stand ‘uppity fenians’ – for it is not unionists alone that dislike that shower at Teach Basil. Bottom line: people don’t like the product they produce, because it is a shoddy product. Why is it a shoddy product? See the nutshell above.””

    So by that logic how have the sun and the star survived?

    And TAKBO, you moron, don’t patronise me. “You are the reason DI failed and you’ll probably never know why”. You are a bigot, you dont, or didnt, like the paper because it was republican. Full Stop. You feel more comfortable when republicans are blowing things up etc. How dare they start a paper. By any standards you are a narrow minded bigot.

  • Mick Fealty

    A couple of things strike me about this thread.

    One, some of the comment is rough on DI. Outside the obviously ad hominem, (which people should either step around and look for the substantial criticisms, or if it is bad enough email me with), it is probably commensurate for a paper that never believed in pulling its punches.

    Two, to avoid that (too familiarly) airy sense of leaving the ground on the hot air of rhetorical ‘reasoning’, it helps if people can ‘ground’ their comments, with references or evidence that what they assert is actually true. Otherwise Any one can make any claim they like, whilst the rest of us have no means with which to judge your judgement.

    So references guys, or links which are even better. Otherwise you run risk of turning enlightened discussion into yet another Internet sump for the terminally splenetic.

  • DK

    Conor: “So by that logic how have the sun and the star survived?”

    Because, much as many despise them, they are a quality product and deliver what the market wants. Daily Ireland delivered what it thought the market should want – it tried to bend the market to its will, but did not have the quality to succeed in this rather abitious project. If you read the newsletter you will see that it has a pro-unionist slant, but it is quite prepared to report on things that show unionists in a bad light, or get quotes from nationalists for their point of view. Daily Ireland was not prepared to do this either through lack of resources or, more likely, as it would upset the project.

    Idealism defeated by reality.

  • Ziznivy

    “At first I thought a lizard or a cicada had made its way up the leg of my shorts, so when it turned out that it was the silently vibrating mobile I was relieved.
    Relieved even though I was on holiday and the text was from work, which normally is not good news. I pressed the button and read.
    “Truth now. Wed night. Ulster v England. Who r u cheering on?”
    To be honest, I was surprised and a little disappointed. Surprised that the sender of the text would be in any doubt about where I stand on the matter in hand, and disappointed that the the bottomless pit of enmity and the cavernous morass of malice that I bear towards Our Wee Pravince has not by this time articulated itself to everyone who knows me. The thumb fairly flew over the keys.
    “Three lions on the shirt fella.”
    I’ve mentioned before in this column that the dread words ‘Northern Ireland’ never pass my lips. Not only that, but I physically wince every time I hear them. Indeed, when the plane bringing me back from holiday landed at Belfast and the flight attendant with a Ballymena accent said that on behalf of the entire flight crew she’d like to welcome everybody on board to Northern Ireland, I looked up from my book and fired off a dirty look, but she didn’t catch my eye and the gesture went fizzing past her averted head like a badly-aimed RPG.
    So it should come as no surprise if I tell you that come Wednesday night, I will be cheering not only for an England win, but an emphatic England win; a trouncing, a rout, a spanking, a tanking, an embarrassment (but not a national embarrassment, of course).
    Some people say politics has no place in sport, but then some people say Jackie Fullerton’s a good commentator; some people say Lawrie Sanchez knows what he’s doing; and some people say the IFA have kicked sectarianism out of Windsor Park. I’ve been there a few times and I have to say I’d feel more at home in the cheap seats at a Balkan derby. It’s like the eleventh night but without a bonfire for entertainment.
    And although this is not a prime reason for me opposing the statelet of my birth, let’s face it, Lawrie’s green and blue army aren’t very good, are they? The sheepskin-coated clichés, that elsewhere help us towards a concise understanding of the game and the players, are used by the local BBC as a way of avoiding having to state the obvious:
    • He’d die for the badge (And let’s hope he does fairly soon);
    • He’s a good reader of the game (A bottle of milk would turn quicker);
    • He’s currently out of favour at Clacton Rovers (Even though the team has only ten players);
    • He always gives 110 per cent (what of we’re not entirely certain).”

    Hate-filled bile. Good riddance.

  • truth seeker

    “Mick Hall: I don’t regard you as a grave dancer but you should remember that Jim Gibney works with the Irish News – not with Daily Ireland – and that doesn’t make it a SF sheet anymore than Danny Morrison’s contributions made one out of Daily Ireland.”

    hahahahaha. ha.
    Oliver, take that KFC drumstick out of your gob for a sec and wise up. DI also had as regular columnists Laurence McKeown, Baribre De Brun and Mary Lou McDonald! As well as Danny Morrison.
    It was as one dimensional as it was poisonous and sectarian. Any thinking person was insulted by that, regardless of their politics. Hardly anyone wanted to buy the thing, the figures were PITIFUL because the product was WOEFUL.

  • truth seeker

    “However when i did read it on occasion,i never once witnessed a sectarian comment.”

    Yawn. This is the same tiresome republican logic which claims the Provo campaign was never sectarian, despite its main target being Prods.
    McDowell was exactly rightr when he called is a fascist rag. All true democrats across Ireland are rejoicing at the message its timely death sends.

  • mickhall

    Rory

    Whilst you are correct in that the USSR took up much of the Morning Stars slack, that was in the past, it still publishes today which is a small wonder in itself, although it is not much of a read.

    I was involved years ago in trying to turn the Star into, shall I say a better paper. We came up against the very thing that doomed DI, i e who paid the piper called the tune. The Party, or rather a faction within it, [despite the complex ownership of the Star] called the tune. In those days it was the faction which controlled the Moscow gold.

    It was a real missed opportunity in my view as the Star had considerable resources, not least its workforce that could have played a part in building a modestly successful progressive Daily. [just as DI workforce was its main asset] The downside was those who controlled the paper simply would not let go, believing what was needed was a turgid party paper in their own image. What we had in mind was a newspaper version of Marxism Today which was then a great success. [early 1980s]

    Under the editorship of Martin Jacques it had ceased turning out the boring speeches of party and TU leaders, congratulating some Stalinist satrap on their birthday and historical analyses of 1917, but had opened up the pages to all progressive forces and it has to be said some pretty reactionary writers as well.

    Some of us at times thought Martin had gone just a tad to far, but he made the magazine controversial amongst both communists and others. A lot of work was done on the layout as well, it also was amongst the first political magazines to concentrate on popular culture. After the party pulled the plug on MT, its only success story, many of its staff went on to help found the Independent.

    Oilibhear Chromaill

    I was not critiquing Jim or Mr Morrison, simply pointing out they came with a great deal of baggage and were bound to make DI a no no for some people. I agree the hate poured out here for what was after all just a newspaper is sad and I do wonder if most of those who are expressing it ever brought the paper let alone read it. What these posts show is the depth of bigotry and hatred within middle class unionism. We are used to these people looking down their noses at their working class fellow unionists, claiming that they are the root of the para militaries and b i g o t r y, but in truth the rot at the heart of the northern statelet is revealed in all its wretchedness in these posts.

    DI had a real opportunity when the dreadful McCartney business exploded onto the news, but throughout it followed the party line. The same has been true with informers. It never analyzed this at all beyond crying securocrats, when due to it being a republican publication, it was in a prime position to do so. Again it followed the party line, giving a clean bill of health to those who had been anointed as such by the leadership and leaving the rest to sink or swim.

    I mentioned Marxism Today above, one of the reasons it was successful under Martin Jacques was because it was controversial with both Communists and others. The problem with DI is it was so conservative with a small c. It really did reflect Gerry Adams staid and conservative outlook, say what you like about Gerry, but controversy is something he fears above all else.

    DI also, although to read some comments here you would not believe it, worried far to much about the Unionist communities opinions of it. For example it could have carried a host of interviews with former Republican soldiers and indeed loyalist para-military’s which would have been of great interest, Brendan Hughes springs to mind. but no as this might have provoked the Unionists, etc.

  • garibaldy

    Mick Hall,

    Interesting stuff. Enjoyed it a lot. The Morning Star and especially attempts to halt its decline clearly displayed profound mismanagement, but looking at where Jacques and his ilk stand today, I’m not entirely sure that he and his like should be looked at as examples to follow. No political principles whatsover, and I’d say less influence. Having been used to attack socialism, they’ve now been entirely sidelined. Interesting parallels with some in Ireland.

    I think that the DI could have been a much better paper had it had a wider agenda and range of comment. Whatever the ATN’s many faults, it has for some time tried to include more than one viewpoint in its stories, if not in its columnists and editorials, to ensure as wide an audience as possible. Something the DI did not.

    What’s also interesting is what this may or may not say about a disconnect between PSF and its voters. It seems that people perfectly happy to vote (often more than once) for PSF don’t want an agenda completely dominated by it when it comes to news. This may have further implications for things like community groups should the attitude spread. Equally it could just be that the DI wasn’t very good.

  • my god

    For anyone in denial about the rabid sectarianism of Squinter, please cast your eye over the following. Imagine if you will the reaction if a unionist ‘satirist’ (I use the term in its loosest sense) gleefully talked of ‘the last time a prod was in *insert name of a nationalist village here* it was to case up a Shinner councillor for a head shot or a bar for a spray job*.
    And then went onto express mock horror at the garishness of the local chapel.
    He’s quite clearly utterly mentally ill.

    “Not the place you’d expect to find a Falls Road Fenian

    Ah yes, that Ballyeaston thing. Thought that would give you pause for thought. Not the place you’d expect to find a Falls Road Fenian on a Monday afternoon with an early autumn wind playfully rustling the trees and hedges and the total silence broken only by the occasional bleat of a sheep on the rich green slopes overlooking the Six Mile Water.
    What business Squinter had here in the loyal heart of Ulster shall not detain us here except to say that it involved a distant relative, a photograph and a 1958 Ford Anglia.
    It’s time to come clean here and admit that as a first-generation Taig Squinter feels considerably more at home in the true-blue rural hamlets and villages of Co Antrim than he does in the teeming estates of Catholic West Belfast. He can’t help it – it must be the Proddy DNA or something. Sadly, that cross-community affinity was not reciprocated in Ballyeaston where the presence of this tall, good-looking stranger provoked only suspicious sideways glances from the elderly villagers watering the hanging baskets and sweeping the pavement.
    Granted, Ballyeaston is not the Kennedy Centre and the last time a Chuck went for a walk through that village he was probably sizing it up for a screamer or casing a UDR major’s house. Could be the old folks are wary of burglars, but Squinter was wearing a business suit and brogues, not a shellsuit and big white gutties. Perhaps the village is experiencing a rustling epidemic, but Squinter didn’t have a trailer hooked up to the back of his family saloon.
    Strange thing is that any time Squinter’s up the country – and he’s up there quite often, not least on rambles with his old pal Dulra – the people are as nice as ninepence. So what is it about Ballyeaston that makes the residents so leery about strangers? As Squinter continued down the hill, past the tidy, huddled cottages and the flower-laden handcart, he looked to his right and there, towering over the village like the nuclear power station over Springfield, was a forbidding Masonic-style building of such jaw-droppingly incongruous self-importance that it stopped Squinter dead in his tracks. Was this the new headquarters of the Moonies in Ireland? Had Scientology finally arrived in East Antrim? Did local people file up those steep steps in the gathering gloom of an evening to partake in bizarre rituals of which they could never speak and to which outsiders must never be privy?
    Well, no. This was Ballyeaston First Presbyterian Church, which serves a village which the 2001 census says has a population of 90 people. Doubtless the congregation is bolstered by people wandering in from outlying farms and bungalows, but even then you gotta think the folks are spread out a bit on Sunday mornings. Amazingly, just a few yards away is Second Ballyeaston Presbyterian Church, which is presumably there to accommodate the large overspill from Numero Uno.
    This one is notable not for its size, but rather for the bronze cupola atop the otherwise typically Spartan façade. For Presbyterians, who traditionally shun both interior and exterior architectural adornment, putting a St Peter’s Square-type bowl on top of a church is a bit like putting a statue of the Virgin Mary on the pulpit. Why they did it in Ballyeaston is anyone’s guess. Maybe the people there are just eccentric.
    Squinter’s due back in Ballyeaston next week, and while it’s true that this article is likely to ruffle a few feathers, he’s not too worried. The Andytown News isn’t thought to be a big seller locally.”

  • Hidden Gem

    mickhall – You didn’t need to read the DI twice to realise that “It really did reflect Gerry Adams staid and conservative outlook…” The fact that it was SO one sided made it such a poor read. It was seen by everyone simply as “Gerry’s paper.” It’s loathing of the SDLP meant it held nothing for moderate Nationalism and it’s overloaded opinion type content meant it frequently lacked news items as well as content to attract readers from the broader Republican family. It was, in short, a propaganda rag. That’s why, IMO, it is wrong to simply dismiss it by saying “…the hate poured out here for what was after all just a newspaper is sad…” The DI was no stranger to “as argumentum ad nauseam” and this played a large part in it’s failure.

  • kensei

    “What’s also interesting is what this may or may not say about a disconnect between PSF and its voters. It seems that people perfectly happy to vote (often more than once) for PSF don’t want an agenda completely dominated by it when it comes to news. This may have further implications for things like community groups should the attitude spread. Equally it could just be that the DI wasn’t very good.”

    Part of it is that people like a mix of views, even if it is views within your own spectrum of opinion, and DI didn’t have the commentators. Part of it is that the Irish News is very good, and has loyalty stretching back a greta number of years. Part of it is that the DI was atrociously laid out, and the website even more so.

    I think there is some room there, but DI wasn’t it.

  • Rory

    Mick Hall,

    I largely agree with your take on the Morning Star. The ownership via the PPP printing society was complicated and it was a faction within the Party (fondly known as “the tankies” and not because of their style of pullover) who were able to assert control of the PPP. The editor of the paper, Mary Rosser, once asked how long she thought the paper could continue haemorraging money and survive replied ” How long is a piece of string?”, which legend was then transcribed in four-foot letters along the railway wall in Farringdon Road and there remained until the Star offices were sold by the putsch group to the pornographer David O’Sullivan as the HQ for his smut empire.

    On one infamous occasion the chief accountant, a venerable party loyalist of impeccable integrity, went to a meeting of the managerial committee with a finance report that did not include income from Moscow of £1m received within the previous month. The poor man did not know. This small fact had been witheld from him on the editor’s instructions.

    P.s. More sycnchronosity – the submit word for this post – “soviet19”.

  • mickhall

    Rory,

    About an hour ago I pulled into a Sainsbury supermarket to get some petrol and brought a copy of the Morning Star, it was the first time I have come across it for some time, and if I was younger I might just have got a bit paranoid after mentioning the paper here. It cost 60p and is not as grim as I remember it being. If any ex DI journos are interested there is a job advertised for a sub editor, although it is only paying 16K. which as it is based in London is not much of a wage.

  • TAFKABO

    Many posters have referred to the DI as a hate rag. Could TAFKABO or others please provide some examples of how it was “just a hate rag with little other purpose than to instill a hatred of my community in it’s readership

    Off the top of my head….

    They ran with a totally unsubstantiated story about people being attacked at Michael McIlveens funeral. They also went out of their way to create a story about some no mark DUP councilor’s religious views. Their comment pieces regularly compared unionists to Nazis, or worse, if possible. On more than one occasion they ran with a story about the British National Front or the BNP trying to set up stall in one Unionist location or another (these stories have never once been susbstatiated, yet get repeated at regular intervals).

    Were one single columnist in a percieved unionist paper ever to write something remotely similar in tone and content to the Daily Ireland columns, but replacing Unionists with Republicans, there’s be an outcry from the very same people here defending the DI.

    The hypocrisy is laughable. All this criticsm is immediately sectarian if it is against the Daily Ireland, and yet when it was the Daily Ireland playing by the same rules, it was fair comment.

    What’s the difference between the Daily Ireland and Slugger?

    Well, for one thing, people read Slugger.

    And for another, it has a range of opinions.

  • TAFKABO

    And TAKBO, you moron, don’t patronise me. “You are the reason DI failed and you’ll probably never know why”. You are a #####, you dont, or didnt, like the paper because it was republican. Full Stop. You feel more comfortable when republicans are blowing things up etc. How dare they start a paper. By any standards you are a narrow minded #####.
    Posted by conor on Sep 08, 2006 @ 12:47 PM

    You should have at least taken the time to read all the posts I have made on this thread, especially the one where I said there was a need for a staunchly pro republican voice in the media.
    I’ll stop patronising when it starts to be difficult. And finally, if you’re going to insult me, at least do me the courtesy of getting my name right.

  • Rory

    Mick Hall,

    Yes, I pick up a copy from my local corner shop every now and then and I agree it has improved its style and presentation somewhat. It is now, since the PPP divorced from the CPGB and since the expulsion/resignation of those opposed to the “Eurocommunist”/Martin Jacques direction of the Party, become the organ of the New Communist Party, some of whom are very sweet, highly principled old idealists of great integrity and some of whom were careerist wannabe apparatchniks who simply backed the wrong horse (though I suppose since both horses fell in this two horse race that is by-the-by). But then that is the sad story of so much of the history of great hearts of progress abd idealism.

    Srill we must soldier on. There’s always tomorrow.

  • Mal One

    The DI reeked of hyprocrisy.

    Example; Front colour spread stating that the UDR were responsible for a litany of named murders – all based on rumour and innuendo and no evidence but all stated as fact by the DI.

    Some weeks before Jude heavily criticised those who dared suggest that Gerry was more than acquainted with the IRA and their murderous activities and that the IRA did the NB job. He may even have said “put up or shut up”.

    Apparently those fine sentiments did not apply to the UDR.

    Jude is a very good writer, if a little bit on the “provo groupie” side. He surely must regret giving his weekly IN platform to an idiot.

  • Professor Maynard

    I must respectfully disagree. From the moment he came out of Brian Feeney’s shadow, it was obvious that Jude Collins had no substance as a commentator. He can write of course – but what use is that when all he writes is bollocks?
    Funny you should mention the Northern Bank job, for their respective reactions to that told the difference. Feeney went on Newsnight and said “Of course the provos did it.” When asked why many nationalists were denying it, he said “Sectarian solidarity. They’re lying.”

    Meanwhile, Jude Collins has kept on peddling the nonsense that it was a securocrat put-up job to this very day. Well hey Jude, anyone can string words together into an order that suits some pre-conceived agenda. But where’s the thought, the originality and above all, where’s the honesty?

    Without that, it’s all just garbage. Collins descended into a parody of a middle-class useful idiot apologist and now he’s out of print without so much as by-your-leave from the people who used him to put some polish on their political turd. Serves him right – and good riddance.

  • mickhall

    posted by Prof Maynard
    “Well hey Jude, anyone can string words together into an order that suits some pre-conceived agenda. But where’s the thought, the originality and above all, where’s the honesty?”

    hiya
    The above sums up my attitude to not only some of the DI columnists, but the majority of todays UK/RoI press. Some columnist write beautifully, but they say very little beyond acting as front men/women for the political and economic elites.

    I do not believe this is entirely one of political bias to the left or right as we have crap columnists from both. Being a lefty myself I would prefer to read an innovative right wing columnists than a party line provo. Only the most unthinking moron wants their views/prejudices continuously re-enforced, most of us what to be stretched a bit, disagree with what we read and hopefully occasionally learn something new.

    It would have been fine for the DI to stick with SF editorially, but the fact that all of its columnists bar Tommy also wrote in this way was silly. Its stance on the bank robbery was taking the piss out of its readers, if any thing it would have been better for the paper to ignore the thing than allow its columnists to come out with such toffee..

    Regards

  • cynic

    Whoops.

    What a bile-filled, often ill-tempered, harraging list of contributions on this thread.

    Actually, reminds me a bit of DI – so perhaps a fitting memorial then!

  • pete

    Cynic,

    harraging?????

    clearly you should stick to the Sun you illiterate buffoon!!

  • cynic

    Thanks Pete ….my skill levels in typing and proof reading are obviously far below yours in reasoned argument and invective ….but, still, you help prove the point!

    Now, take two tablets and have a wee lie down before you do yourself an injury.

    You’re as excitable as a Northern Ireland football supporter.

  • Levitas

    So the vultures are out crowing over the death of a newspaper that they did not like.So they did’nt like its contents…so what? Its as if some posters here were affronted that the paper even existed. It followed an editorial line that was pro-Republican, in that the paper was unique, but permit me to add that all newspapers reflect a particular political viewpoint…So whats new in that? DI failed because it misjudged the strength of the Irish News -which is an acceptable read to most nationalists-there was not sufficient dissatisfaction with that product to entice over enough readers.Also they never really cracked the Irish News much deeper penetration of the market in terms of personal ads and death notices.The jublilation expressed by some contributors here says more about their own insecurities than anything else…The effrontery of the Fenians having their own daily paper….how dare they…etc etc. Well its gone now,and you wont have to get worked up when you obsessively peeked at its contents in the supermarket anymore…Sad sad people.

  • garibaldy

    Seeing as no-one else has posted this joke, I may as well:

    How long does a Provo take to fold a newspaper? 20 months

  • mickhall

    The country should have a Daily Republicanish paper, it desperately needs a paper that fights for and portrays fairly the underdogs and those who have not benefited as some have from the ‘tiger’. Perhaps at some time the two groups could come together and have another go at producing a daily, perhaps next time based in the south.

    I hope so.

  • southbelfastnewsman

    Jude’s clomuns are very very sad. he is one of those comfortable, liberal provo lovers who revel in the comfort of their armchairs. The BBC should stop giving him so much work as well for two main reasons – he is avowedly sectarian; he is an awful bore.

  • free at last

    Hear, hear on those last two.
    Can I just point out that a bottle of fine champagne was popped at a party I attended last night(it had been on ice for this inevitable occasion) and a toast made to DI’s timely death.
    There is hope for us all. Chin-chin!

  • Rory

    Levitas, to my mind makes a most important comment not only on the collapse of Daily Ireland but on the totally philistine attitudes towards its demise.

    I am old enough to remember when the major morning dailies in the north of Ireland were the conservative unionist Northern Whig and the conservative nationalist Irish News. The Belfast Telegraph was the only evening paper, as today, and on Saturdays (in those pre-tv days)produced a “Pink” with the latest sports results which was eagerly awaited and instantly gobbled up.

    Then the unionist Newsletter, modern, readable, light (or lite as we would now say) arrived and the Northern Whig folded.

    So what? No big loss maybe? Oh no, a very big loss indeed. The Northern Whig was the oldest daily newspaper in these islands and, whatever one’s opinion of its editorial position, commanded a reverence for that and the singularity of its own integrity.

    Strangely the only people I heard mourn its demise were progressive writers and artists, trade unionists, communists and republicans – the very people who were invariably the main target of its wrath.

    When a man has his enemies gather in respect at his funeral it says a lot about the quality of the man. But it also says a hell of a lot more of the quality of his enemies.

  • irish democrat

    Keep telling yourself that, kid.
    The day DI died was a great day for reconcilation on this island. Another one in the eye for the facsists. Cheers!

  • irish democrat

    PS Philistine you say?
    Beautiful. The West Belfast fascists’ vanity project lost. That was the real defeat for philistinism. We can all sleep easier as a result. And forgive the true democrats amongst us enjoying the demise of this disgusting hate rag, just as DI gloried in basesectarianism, the glorification of sectarian slaughter and pathetic, failed, nationalist-socialist spite.
    A great week. Again: cheers!

  • Professor Maynard

    Rory, you’re pretty old if you remember the News Letter coming along… in 1737. It was and remains the oldest newspaper in Ireland and the oldest English-language newspaper still in print in the world. The Northern Whig was founded in 1791.

  • Rory

    It seems Professor M, that at least I am sufficeintly old for my memory to be playing me tricks. I suspect I was confusing a relaunch of the Newsletter in a new format back in the days. The typeface and layout of the Whig seemed as though it had remained unchanged since the eighteenth century but I was happily ignorant of the date of the Newsletter’s foundation.

    Thank you for giving me the true story which I will now no doubt instantly forget.

  • brendan,belfast

    While you are on memory lane Rory, ‘the Pink’ was published well into the 1980’s or perhaps even beyond. certainly long after the arrival of TV.

  • Rory

    I’m not surprised, Brendan, it was incredibly popular. In the days before TV when the pubs shit at 9.30pm, the barbers’ shops stayed open until 11pm on Saturaday nights and were a great meeting point for men to talk football, boxing and of course horse racing and the Pink was eagerly awaited to provide a focus for rivalries, predictions, whoops and curses.

    The last “pink” in Britain, I believe, published its last edition just a few months ago in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. There were a few nice tributes on radio and telly at the time.

  • Keith M

    It’s not often that The Blanket and I are in full agreement, but can I say I said it first?

    http://lark.phoblacht.net/GA10090618g.html

  • The Devil

    Is Geraldine Adams Gerrys sister, I reckon Gerry will be sending one Christmas card less this year.

  • thank god

    And so ends a weekend of partying at the ‘expense’ of the death of this hate sheet. Onwards and upwards.
    Cheers!

  • Harry

    Unionist’s vitriol and glee at the demise of the Daily reland seems to be down to – as usual – their fear; fear that an influential organ of thought might succeed in bringing some unity of political spirit between the north and the south. Such a spectre of all-island republican unity made them crap themselves and so hence all the popping of champagne corks now that the threat seems to have passed.
    Quite similar to the way they crapped themselves and have been complaining ever since about the ‘pan-nationalist front’, which they considered to be a grave and present danger.
    Similar in fact to every sign of nationalist stregth or unity, such as the GAA, which as recent discussions have shown they feel entitled to hate because apparently its not unionist or british enough.
    They feel the need not simply to ignore irishness or allow it simply to be – no, they have to hate it, pour scorn on it and let rip with their own unself-reflective, morally self-righteous bile and spleen.

    Because they’re afraid.

    On the other score, Daily Ireland seems to have folded because those who ran it seemed to be peering out from their bunkers in west belfast, incapable of truly comprehending ireland in an all-Ireland way. Perhaps if they wanted to have an all-Ireland paper they should have based it in Dublin. The whole thing seems to show that despite efforts to feel and act to the contrary, there is a fundamental difference in the colour and tenor of people’s lives in the north than the lives of those in the south and 80 years of partition has had its effect. Even those who wished to overcome it couldn’t. Or at least can’t yet.

  • mickhall

    Perhaps if they wanted to have an all-Ireland paper they should have based it in Dublin. The whole thing seems to show that despite efforts to feel and act to the contrary, there is a fundamental difference in the colour and tenor of people’s lives in the north than the lives of those in the south and 80 years of partition has had its effect. Even those who wished to overcome it couldn’t. Or at least can’t yet.

    Posted by Harry

    Harry,

    There would have been no British State handouts if DI had been based in Dublin, other wise I agree with your post.

    Regards

  • moochin photoman

    I only looked at the DI a couple of times and was unimpressed with it and haven’t seen or looked at it for a long time.
    I will share this quip with you all from a party i was at on sat night.

    When mentioned that DI was folding the comment was

    “Must have run out of Northern Bank notes”
    Everybody laughed and the conversation moved on as we should do so.

  • Words can’t describe how disappointed I was to be out of the country when this happened.

  • Professor Maynard

    Indeed – you missed several parties.