Business editor fired for printing ‘inconvenient truth’…

This is a new one on me. Yesterday Damien broke the news that Sunday Tribune dispensed with the services of Richard Delevan after he revealed that the house of property market auctioneer Ken McDonald has been on the market for 13 months, just three days after McDonald had told the Independent the market was vibrant:

“Just come in to our reception area at the moment. It’s like Heuston Station. People are buying properties for the same price as they were 18 months previously and with Dublin rents going up in double digits, there’s real confidence out there.”

See also; A Random Walk; Dossing Times.


  • Wilde Rover

    It would seem he has developed a reputation for investigative journalism and seeking out the truth to the point that it renders him unemployable in his chosen profession.

  • Wilde Rover

    I think you said it well.

  • A.N.Other

    It’s ok the independent was printing the real truth!

    And with shares in the Irish Banks already down somewhere between 60 and 70 per cent this year, there really is nowhere to hide for the irish economy revisionists……………….

  • The Dubliner

    “It’s ok the independent was printing the real truth!” – A.N.Other

    The Independent sells stories, not truth.


    “WE ARE now in a full-blown property crash…” insists The Independent. Oh dear, does this mean house prices have collapsed 60 or maybe 70 percent in a few months and are now worth less than the bricks used to build them? Err, no it doesn’t actually. Apparently a “crash” is a minor correction in market values of 4% over an 11-month period.

    Wait, you say, isn’t that hyperbole? Oh, The Independent can do better: “the property market, which has been the life blood of our booming economy, has not just hit the rocks but is sinking fast.” The property market is a sinking ship, so you should all sell now, causing the crash that The Independent is diligently warning us about rather than attempting to create.

    “Since the slowdown began, politicians have dithered as the market became gripped by uncertainty and bereft of confidence.”

    Ah right, so The Independent blames the politicians for the adjustment that has dramatically “gripped” the market and left it filled with “uncertainty and bereft of confidence.” It’s the politicians who create the “uncertainty” and lack of “confidence” rather than the sensational tripe published in rags such as The Independent where a mere scratch on the bow has the paper singing about “Property Titanic Hits Iceberg: Investors Feared Lost.”

    The market is oversupplied and the market is correcting values accordingly. For an example of a property crash see the London property market late 80s. For an example of a soft landing see the Dublin market right now. As it happens, Irish property prices are on a par with the property prices of other European countries, excluding Eastern Europe. They look cheap, however, compared to comparable property prices in the UK.

  • snakebrain


    In fairness, the wider view of the market suggests that larger corrections than that are to be expected. These kinds of indices typically lag behind actual economic activity by some time, and may not paint a full picture of what is happening.

    Once prices start to slide, they could well go very quickly. The more relevant statistic is in volume of sales. Fewer houses are being bought and sold right now, as people hold their breaths and wait to see what happens. So we could well be in the calm before a fairly major storm and seeing the earliest signs of the impending correction.

    I’d think a 10-15% correction is not unrealistic, and that would have an enormous knock-on effect in Ireland, as so much other credit relies on equity growth.

    If, as we’re seeing, credit generally becomes scarcer, and house prices fall even a little, freezing the equity locked up in bricks and mortar, a huge amount of financial difficulty could be faced by the middle class in Ireland.

  • Nevin

    Mick, you should link to Richard’s sicNotes where he has updated his employment status – without comment.

  • j’Lay

    Now he will be outside the detached bijou tent P*ssing in rather than inside the detached bijou tent P*ssing out.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Anywhere between a 20% and 50% drop is quite realistic. There won’t be a problem with unemployment, if anything the economy will do better as a result of all this.

    What’s happened simply is that huge financiers realised they were funding riskier mortgages than they intended to fund. They have all know learnt their mistake, and this cannot be unlearnt.

    The economy did well over the last decade despite this flawed knowledge, so surely new better information is a good thing. We had 30% of our economy in building a glut of houses, so even if only half of those wasted workers are converted to useful work we will be more productive.

    We now have a more informed financial system, plenty of property in which to live and work (all those empty houses will be let out by gamblers who are having trouble paying off their debts [i.e. mortgages]), and an effectively-increased workforce. The economy will be fine as long as interest rates keep inflation under control.

    Even if you didn’t understand or care for most of what I’ve just written, the main point is that no amount of intervention or stamp duty “reform” can prop this property pyramid scheme. And nor should we want to prop it up.

  • teach,

    this house price crash is coming and there is no stopping it.

    to be canned over reporting like this reminds one that you can not take the reporting of the media or governments etc… at face value.

    house prices are falling in the south – but estate agents don’t want you to know that and will do anything to “talk up the market.”

    i am buoycotting the Sunday Tribune (not that i can get it here in Scotland) – the Sunday Business post has been letting David McWilliams muse over the housing bubble for some time now.

    Belfast Telegraph’s Helen Carson is in now way likely to lose her job over too accurate reporting even though the market here is dead and prices are dropping.

    My advice to any one thinking of buying property – don’t!