Daily Ireland court action runs into the ground…

According to Mairtin, the former Minister of Justice is the one which got away… Just remember, repeating a libel is no defence in court…

  • joeCanuck

    Despite having googled it, I’m still not 100% clear as to what the “Pinochet Defence” is.
    Is it that “a head of state is not subject to civil or criminal process and cannot be sued or prosecuted for criminal acts committed while “acting in his public capacity“?
    If so, is that widely accepted by national or international courts?

  • Isn’t it great how an attack on the free press by McDowell gains cheerleaders on Slugger O’Toole? It makes me feel all warm that all those principles are held so steadfastly – except when there’s an opportunity to get a jackboot into a newspaper from ‘the wrong side of the tracks’.

  • Mick Fealty

    Oilibhear,

    What are you saying exactly? You’d rather we just ignored it?

  • Cromwell

    There was nothing “free” about the Daily Ireland, the society that let it publish such one sided sh*te was though.

  • The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.

    Whether it was shite or not is one thing. The thing about McDowell’s attack on DI was that it actually came before the newspaper was published at all. Pure prejudice.

    I have no doubt we will have more of the same from the ‘friends of the free press’ on this thread. Just remember, you’re on the same side as McDowell, Pinochet and co.

  • More hysterical shrieking. Who would have thunk it?

    Preconceptions about the Daily Ireland were soon proved to be correct as I recall.

  • The Penguin

    I found the “… we will continue to speak truth to power …” line hilarious.

    Sure you will, Marty, sure you will.

    Haven’t noticed you speaking truth too often to, or about, the overbearing, major power in the nationalist areas you claim to serve.

    Must have missed that one!

  • darth rumsfeld

    hmmm

    McDowell wins court case by using legitimate and well known legal defence… and it’s his fault that he won…
    what’s he supposed to do- instruct his lawyers not to rely on an available defence so’s Marty’s briefs can get stuck in?

  • Frank Sinistra
  • Cromwell

    OIL,

    “The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    By f*cking Christ I’ve read it all now!

    “worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    Youre obviously not thinking too hard then are you?

  • You don’t have to think too hard, Cromwell, when the level of debate is such as I’ve seen in the past ten posts. No substantive point has been made by the Daily Ireland knockers. Not one.

    Anyone care to tell me why it was right of McDowell to brand Daily Ireland as a ‘nazi rag’ BEFORE it was published. Did that particular accusation stand up – not likely. It had its faults as a newspaper, sure enough, but being a ‘cheerleader’ for any particular party wasn’t one of them.

    If one want’s to read a party sheet these days, all you have to do is pick up the Newsletter which is to the DUP what the Völkischer Beobachter was to the …..

  • “The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    A Free Press is one thing, but what about free thought?

    Just because some arsehole has the right to espouse utter bullshit doesn’t mean everyone has to agree with it, or that someone else doesn’t have the right to point out that it is, indeed, bullshit.

    A truly free press is not one that goes unquestioned.

  • lib2016

    What McDowell said was the political equivalent of book-burning. Same goes for those who support him.

  • An Lochlannach

    Are ‘Cromwell’ and ‘Oilibhear Cromail’ related?

  • Mike

    OILibhear

    “The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    Worse than murdering people because of their political belief? (You know, people like Edgar Graham, Robert Bradford, Ian Gow).

    Worse than trying to achieve your political goals through violence, including mass murder?

    Worse than a political party allied to a campaign of violence, having declared that its ‘movement’ would use both the political process and violence in its quest for power?

  • The Penguin

    Daily Ireland was free to publish, McDowell was free to give his view of it, a view shared by many, many other people.

    Get over it!

  • Mike’s contribution is typical of the one eyed sniping being indulged in by those described as so aptly by Lib2016 as ‘bookburners’. Daily Ireland was a ‘pro peace process’ newspaper, something which couldn’t be said about other publications. It eschewed all violence, including state violence and state supported violence…something which is more than can be said for some publications printed in the north and in the UK,

    So if you want to get into a what aboutery debate, Mike, you’d better get ready…. Daily Ireland had nothing to do with any of the incidents you mention as it only came into being in 2005. So but don’t let that bog you down….

  • URQUHART

    OC: “The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    That’s perhaps the most egregious (to borrow Marty’s word du jour) post I’ve read on this site in recent years.

    One more thing – Marty’s little dig about the people of Ireland having rejected McDowell might be slightly more credible if the very same people of Ireland hadn’t rejected his Really Direland project with at least equal vigour…

  • Cromwell

    “You don’t have to think too hard, Cromwell, when the level of debate is such as I’ve seen in the past ten posts. No substantive point has been made by the Daily Ireland knockers. Not one.”

    I dont need to be substantive, I made the mistake of reading the rag…..once.
    It didnt sell because it was full of pish, end of.
    For Martian to go gurning to the courts because he didnt get hand-outs from the British state he detested so much was frankly ridiculous.
    To hear him on the radio complaining about discrimination against Roman Catholics & then in virtually the same breath admitting that out of a workforce of approx. 90-odd people he had 2 prods(I still didnt even believe him about that either) was frankly ridiculous in the extreme.
    I have never heard anyone in my life who is more arrogant whilst being so full of sh*te.
    Well, I probably have, but it seems to be a day for hyperbole after all, read this again;

    “The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    Absolute pish. But, better still;

    “What McDowell said was the political equivalent of book-burning. Same goes for those who support him”

    Now that Lib is just a load of oul ballicks.

  • Mike

    OILbhear –

    ——————–
    Mike’s contribution is typical of the one eyed sniping being indulged in by those described as so aptly by Lib2016 as ‘bookburners’. Daily Ireland was a ‘pro peace process’ newspaper, something which couldn’t be said about other publications. It eschewed all violence, including state violence and state supported violence…something which is more than can be said for some publications printed in the north and in the UK,

    So if you want to get into a what aboutery debate, Mike, you’d better get ready…. Daily Ireland had nothing to do with any of the incidents you mention as it only came into being in 2005. So but don’t let that bog you down….
    ——————–

    Deary me, OILibhear, you really should learn to read other people’s posts better, shouldn’t you.

    You said that “the attacks on Daily Ireland…were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years”.

    I asked you if they were worse then some examples of, let’s say, violent political extremism.

    I don’t recall saying these involved Daily Ireland.

    Simply challenging your hyperbole.

    Do keep up.

  • Mick Hall

    I’m not sure what the Pinocet defense is but if it has anything to do with that murderous thug then McDowell is welcome to it and in poor company at that.

    As to the DI being on a par with a Nazi rag, come on, that is preposterous and about as libelous as one can get, and for all its faults as a daily paper DI was definitely not a nazi rag, get things into perspective, if you doubt this read the back copies of Hitler’s rag.

    Daily Ireland was a paper I welcomed on the scene and I was sorry to see it go. However it went under because it was a poor paper, not fish nor fowl. It opposed the British State in Ireland yet looked to that State to provide it with funds. It claimed to be independent from SF but read like AP/RN on a bad day. Bar Tommy M and Danny M its columnists were nice middle class guys who had come over to the shinners after the GFA. Nothing wrong with that in itself but it showed it was muddled as to its target readers.

    Tt claimed it was all Ireland but was based in Belfast and by doing so it was never going to attract an all Ireland readership due to its regionalism.

    Having said all this its very existence was a step forward in that DI claimed, as of right a space in the market for an Irish republican paper. I hope some time in the future some brave soul makes another attempt to win a mass audience for a republican daily.

  • snakebrain

    Best thing about the DI was its soduko – it was an absolute killer. I don’t think I ever finished one and I usually clear 3 a day from all the other papers….

  • Comrade Stalin

    Oilbhear, there’s a pretty sure fire indicator that it was a crap paper – nobody bought it, and therefore it sunk. That’s what happens when your business plan is based on an weird shotgun marriage between a stupid ideology and reliance on the British exchequer’s advertising.

  • spiritof07

    ‘It had its faults as a newspaper, sure enough, but being a ‘cheerleader’ for any particular party wasn’t one of them.’

    and with that OC you lose your credibility.

  • cynic

    “No substantive point has been made by the Daily Ireland knockers”

    OK …lets try this one….it was crap and no one bought it so it went bust. Even the most devoted Shinner could only read so much of that garbage.

  • The Dubliner

    “The attacks on Daily Ireland from the likes of McDowell and some of those on this site who claim to be champions of the free press were the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.” – OILibhear Chromaill

    That is a total inversion of the truth. McDowell criticised Daily Ireland in defence of the concept of the free press, stating that Daily Ireland was unlikely to be anything other than another propaganda rag for fascists (PSF) and was therefore a travesty of the concept of an impartial and truth-seeking press. And how right he was about that.

    By the way, Ireland is not a signatory to the European Convention on State Immunity, so the so-called ‘Pinochet Defence’ wouldn’t apply in this jurisdiction.

  • The Dubliner

    And just to make the last point less obscure: it is wrong of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to (probably) libel Mr McDowell by claiming that he has “hidden behind the ‘Pinochet defence’” when Mr McDowell has done no such thing. McDowell is not held to account by laws or conventions that apply in other jurisdictions, nor can he use laws or conventions that are only applicable in other jurisdictions as a defence. If Máirtín Ó Muilleoir felt that he was libelled in this jurisdiction, then he should have taken his action in this jurisdiction and not in Her Majesty’s jurisdiction. Instead, he seeks to snipe at McDowell from afar by making lurid comparisons to General Pinochet.

    It might also have been prudent of Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to notice that Gerry Adams was the architect of the policy of “The Disappeared” a full two years before General Pinochet borrowed his tactic and applied it in Chile.

  • The Dubliner

    “According to [Ed] Moloney, Adams, as Belfast Brigade commander, established a number of self-sustaining secret cells, the Unknowns, reporting directly to himself, to handle the problem of informers whose punishment might embarrass the movement – volunteers from committed republican families or the likes of Jean McConville. The Unknowns would kill the miscreants and dispose of the bodies in secret.

    Jean McConville was a 37-year-old Protestant who had married a Catholic, coverted to Catholicism and moved into the Falls Road. In 1972 she was living in deep poverty in Divis Flats with eight of her ten children. Her husband had died the year before. In December she disappeared. No trace has ever been found.” – Eamonn McCann

    And two years later, we find this despicable policy of “dissapearing” people being applied by Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Mr Adams is the mentor to Mr Pinochet in terms of devising methods tp perpetuate gross violations of human rights.

  • willowfield

    O’Muller and his pal would have been well advised to get themselves some decent lawyers who knew the law. Would have saved them a lot of money!

  • URQUHART

    O’Muller and his pal would have been well advised to get themselves some decent lawyers who knew the law. Would have saved them a lot of money!

    Posted by willowfield on Nov 14, 2007 @ 08:33 AM

    Good point willowfield.

    Where is the £20,000 that M O’M owes in costs coming from?

  • Shore Road Resident

    What was most interesting about Daily Ireland’s case was the claim that McDowell’s criticism put the publisher and the editor’s lives in danger and this was a breach of Article 2 of the Human Rights Act.
    It seems to be a common refrain from certain republican organisations that any criticism exposes members to a risk of murder.
    This doesn’t show much respect for freedom of speech – especially by people who were themselves active cheerleaders for murder for over two decades.
    It’s also doubly ironic from a newspaper that published endless sneers at real journalists like Liam Clarke and Greg Harkin whenever they broke real stories that actually did expose them to genuine danger from paramilitaries and the state.

  • Shore Road Resident

    PS: Dubliner – Pinochet and Adams also have around the same body count. Amnesty’s upper estimate for deaths due to Pinochet’s regime is 3,000, and Amnesty does tend to gild the lilly.

  • DK

    I think the thing that woke me up to Daily Ireland was on the day that Dennis Donaldson was shot, every Irish paper ran with the story… except for Daily Ireland, which managed to find another story for its headline (Brit bashing iirc) and burried the DD story inside.

    This either indicated poor journalism (people would be genuinely interested to hear a republican perspective on the murder), or a sinister attempt to hide a story potentially damaging to the party.

    In either case – a reason not to buy the paper.

  • As I said, all reason goes out the window when the words Daily Ireland appear on this website and the so called champions of freedom get going….. Not one substantive point made against Daily Ireland except that it was ‘crap’. Maybe it was but Michael McDowell wasn’t to know that when he made his comments, BEFORE it was published.

    And Dubliner’s point that McDowell was actually defending the concept of the ‘free press’ is so inverted it may bite him in the backside…. It’s sickening to see when so called champions of freedom become fascists as is so clear from this site…..

    Shore Road Resident’s comment about being cheerleaders for murder doesn’t wash – especially given that his nom de plume was itself a site of so many sectarian murders by his ‘neighbours’ that it’s sickening.

    Daily Ireland was a pro Peace process newspaper. It struggled to survive because other newspapers upped their game and then when it went under, those same newspapers went back to their old ways and are now worse than they ever were.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    DK

    I’ll never forget that coverage of Donaldson on page three of DI… right beside an advert for holiday cottages in Donegal.

    You couldn’t make it up.

  • Shore Road Resident

    Errr – I live on the Shore Road. I don’t murder my neighbours or cheerlead for those that do.
    That was a ridiculous thing to write, OC. I’ve never posted anything here showing even the slightest equivocation for murder or sympathy for murderers, paramilitary or state.
    Are you contesting the Anydtown News’s historical support for the IRA? Are you suggesting anyone who lives in an area approves of everything that goes on within it? Your own paper’s circulation figures give the lie to that.

  • joeCanuck

    I have to agree that OC’s comment is ridiculous, to say the least.
    To cast an aspersion on SRR simply because of where he lives is disgraceful.

  • joeCanuck

    And not only on SRR, of course, but on the general population in that area.

  • “Michael McDowell wasn’t to know that when he made his comments, BEFORE it was published”

    I’m sure he could make an educated guess based on the editorial line of its sister publications.

  • Mike

    OILibhear’s comments are of the usual hysterical, unbalanced, and dare I say Daily Irelandesque bent.

    Questioning a poster’s right to criticise support for sectarian murder based on what area he’s from . (now there’s prejudice in action!)

    Attacking me more something I haven’t said.

    Let’s try you again, OILibhear. You’re throwing round the terms ‘fascism’, ‘fascist’ and ‘book-burners’. You’ve referred to what you see as “the worst example I can think of fascism in Ireland in recent years.”

    Clearly you see a government minister strongly criticising a newspaper for its editorial as ‘fascism’. And indeed a serious manifestation of such.

    Tell us, do you see the murder of people because of their political beliefs as fascism?

    Do you see a party declaring it will use political ends and violence to achieve power as fascism?

    Do you see the use of violence, including mass murder, in pursuit of a nationalist political programme that isn’t achieving the votes it needs at the polls as fascism?

  • Of course it’s illogical and ridiculous that I cast aspersions on SRR because of where he lives and link that in with the killings which undoubtedly were carried by people from there – it’s as illogical and ridiculous as SRR’s assertion that Daily Ireland was somehow complicit in murders and killings which took place BEFORE it was founded as a pro peace process newspaper in 2005. So apologies for that…..I also of course expect SRR to apologise for his unwarranted and unsubstantiable claims that Daily Ireland was somehow a supporter of violent action by anybody, the IRA or any other grouping. Was there one editorial in it which advocated the use of violence for political ends?

    As for Mike: He obviously doesn’t get it. He can’t say Michael McDowell’s criticism of Daily Ireland’s editorial wasn’t fascism – because Michael McD’s criiticism came BEFORE Daily Ireland was ever published. So how can he criticise an editorial he has yet to read? That is what I call extreme prejudice – and extreme prejudice is an essential component in the make up of any fascist, as is the inability to listen or take on board to logical argument based on facts not half baked mistaken notions.

    Violence being used for political ends is wrong. It’s not an -ism. It’s not republicanism nor fascism nor loyalism nor unionism (the last three are interchangeable…).

    Burning newspapers before they’re ever published or printed is wrong too….of course you see that.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I didn’t say Daily Ireland had been a cheerleader for murderers during the Troubles. I said that the people involved in it had been: “active cheerleaders for murder over two decades.”
    This is a matter of historical record and one which the people in question would hardly deny. The publisher of Daily Ireland wrote a book about his days as a Sinn Fein councillor during the 1980s, when his party’s military wing was killing people at a rate of around 100 a year.

    This is why it is ludicrous of such people to claim now that anyone who criticises their politics should be silenced under Article 2 of the HRC (“the right to life”). I note that OC has still not answered this point.

  • “nor fascism nor loyalism nor unionism (the last three are interchangeable…).”

    Good grief.

  • Mike

    OILibhear –

    “As for Mike: He obviously doesn’t get it. He can’t say Michael McDowell’s criticism of Daily Ireland’s editorial wasn’t fascism – because Michael McD’s criiticism came BEFORE Daily Ireland was ever published. So how can he criticise an editorial he has yet to read?”

    You’ve taken the wrong end of the stick again. I didn’t say he criticised an editorial, I said he criticised the editorial line. Now there may be an argument to be made in saying a newspaper’s editorial line can’t be fully known before it’s started publication, but that’s a different matter from “criticis[ing] an editorial he hasn’t read.

    “That is what I call extreme prejudice – and extreme prejudice is an essential component in the make up of any fascist, as is the inability to listen or take on board to logical argument based on facts not half baked mistaken notions.”

    You appear to be operating on some sort of bizarre definition of ‘fascism’ unique to yourself if you think that a politician criticising the editorial line of an unpublished newspaper, based on its stablemates, those involved and their public pronouncements, equals “facism”. What’s your definition of facsism, pray tell?

    And where does the ‘extreme prejudice’ that leads to murdering people because of their political beliefs fit in your definition?

    “Violence being used for political ends is wrong. It’s not an -ism.”

    Righto, so it’s not an -ism, but a minister criticising the editorial line of an as-yet-unpublished newspaper is an -ism. And not just any common or garden -ism, either, it’s fascism.

    “It’s not republicanism nor fascism nor loyalism nor unionism (the last three are interchangeable…). ”

    What was that you were saying about ‘extreme prejudice’?

    “Burning newspapers before they’re ever published or printed is wrong too….of course you see that.”

    ‘Wrong’ doesn’t equal ‘fascism’. And criticising (not ‘burning’ – where does this love of Nazi and fascist imagery spring from?) a newspaper, if you are to count it as a ‘wrong’, is a considerable lesser one than murder.

    Criticising a newspaper’s editorial line before it’s been published, based on its stablemates’ publications, the actions and opinions of those behind the newspaper, and their public pronouncements? Wrong? Why don’t you make that argument instead of throwing up wierd accusations of ‘fascism’.

  • You’ve taken the wrong end of the stick again. I didn’t say he criticised an editorial, I said he criticised the editorial line. Now there may be an argument to be made in saying a newspaper’s editorial line can’t be fully known before it’s started publication, but that’s a different matter from “criticis[ing] an editorial he hasn’t read.

    Allow me to refresh your memory:

    From your post of 3:49pm
    Clearly you see a government minister strongly criticising a newspaper for its editorial as ‘fascism’. And indeed a serious manifestation of such.

    And thanks Beano, for your contribution. Mr McDowell’s initial libel, which he ran away from defending despite all his boasts about ‘seeing you in court’ etc, was based on guess work. Educated guess work? I don’t think so….

    I challenge anyone to come up with a single editorial in Daily Ireland which a) was not pro the Peace process.
    and/or b) advocated the use of violence for political ends.

  • And it was clear from the very inception of Daily Ireland that it would be a pro-peace process newspaper. Also pro republican. At least it was up front about where it coming from when it started.

  • Mike

    My apologies OILibhear, I left ‘line’ out of my 3.49.

    Now, can we get into exactly what you see ‘fascism’ as, and how it has been manifested in Ireland?

  • My position on fascism is clear – I’m against it if it comes from republicans, loyalists or unionists, Government ministers, whether current or rejected by the electorate, or any group at all for that matter.

    I do recall, however, a Drumcree Orangeman showing his nazi tattoos to a Channel 4 camera man for the Twelve Days in July documentary a few years back. something about White Power? Care to comment?

  • Shore Road Resident

    Yes. You’re clearly desperate to avoid staying on topic and answering the direct questions put to you.

  • Do you see the use of violence, including mass murder, in pursuit of a nationalist political programme that isn’t achieving the votes it needs at the polls as fascism?

    yes – as I see the murder of unarmed civilians by soldiers who are supposed to protect them – as happened on Bloody Sunday – as fascism. Do you want to trade atrocities for a while? I’ll put this on auto pilot if that’s your game.

    Criticising a newspaper is not what’s at question here – seeking to deny the newspaper the right to exist and to put forward its view point is what’s wrong and that’s what McDowell tried to do as, will I say it again, he made his statement BEFORE Daily Ireland started publication. And instead of standing over his viewpoint he sought refuge in the defence of a fascist dictator, one Augusto Pinochet, against the legal recourse available to Mairtín Ó Muilleoir and Robin Livingstone.

    I have yet to hear either Shore Road Resident or Mike or The Dubliner condemn without equivocation – or even with equivocation – the death threat to Robin Livingstone from the unionist paramilitary group, the Red Hand Commando. Or doesn’t their championing of a free press extend to protecting the journalists from threats of violence? Or is their concept of freedom of expression limited to those with whom they agree? If Mike wants to know what fascism is – he need look no further than that. He should also consult with the loyalist organisations about their links with the neo nazis ‘Combat 18’ and the like.

  • Shore Road Resident

    As far as I’m aware, the death threat to your colleagues (which I of course condemn – is absence of evidence also evidence of absence in your book?) came only a month ago, over a year after Daily Ireland stopped publishing – so it’s hardly down to McDowell’s remarks over two years before, is it? And even if the RHC had come out with a threat straight after McDowell’s remarks, that would have been cause for arresting those behind the threat – not cause for journalists to gag a politician because they didn’t like what he was saying about them. Imagine if that boot was on the other foot. There is a human right to free expression as well you know.

  • There was never any attempt to gag McDowell – only an attempt to have him explain in a court of law why it was alright to label as nazis people who were trying to establish a newspaper and employ people. That’s all. He refused to say what he said outside the bounds of privilege – which indicates he knew he was wrong. And his defence was a weasel’s defence.

    I don’t know what you mean by absence of evidence….the bullet was delivered, the police do take it seriously. Would it satisfy your need for evidence if the threat was acted upon?

    This is only the latest manifestation of the death threat – it’s not the first time that this threat has been used against Mairtín and Robin. They haven’t been silenced by the loyalists nor by demagogic bullies who have since got their come uppance.

  • Shore Road Resident

    I meant the absence of evidence of my condemnation.

    If you want to talk about the presence of evidence, you could mention the several court cases in which the Andersonstown News was shown to have forged letters into the paper accusing other people of being informers or intelligence agents – although of course that didn’t put anyone’s life at risk at all.

  • Garibaldy

    SRR,

    Got more details on those court cases?

  • Tkmaxx

    Its amazing as someone who has received threats from the UDA/UVF/IRA and Sinn Fein – I take it with a pinch of salt- Did nt they all tell us it was a war and move on? leave victimhood to real victims.

  • Suilven

    I imagine these are some of the incidents SRR was referring to, Garibaldy.

    http://ireland.indymedia.org/article/60086

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

    http://www.phoblacht.net/dome.html

  • Garibaldy

    Cheers Suilven. Interesting stuff.

  • If you want to talk about the presence of evidence, you could mention the several court cases in which the Andersonstown News was shown to have forged letters into the paper accusing other people of being informers or intelligence agents – although of course that didn’t put anyone’s life at risk at all.

    I’m not aware of such court cases. And I read the links supplied above – apart from the poor spelling, there was nothing remarkable about them either. So what are you actually talking about. Be less obtuse…..

  • Mike

    OILIbhear –
    —————————–
    My position on fascism is clear – I’m against it if it comes from republicans, loyalists or unionists, Government ministers, whether current or rejected by the electorate, or any group at all for that matter.
    ——————————

    I’m not sure your take on fascism is all that clear – particularly as you seem to think that by supporting Northern Ireland remaining part of the United Kingdom, I am a fascist.

    —————————-
    I do recall, however, a Drumcree Orangeman showing his nazi tattoos to a Channel 4 camera man for the Twelve Days in July documentary a few years back. something about White Power? Care to comment?
    —————————-

    Disgraceful and he should have been prosecuted (obviously I have no idea whether he was or not). Why do you ask?

    ——————-
    yes – as I see the murder of unarmed civilians by soldiers who are supposed to protect them – as happened on Bloody Sunday – as fascism. Do you want to trade atrocities for a while? I’ll put this on auto pilot if that’s your game.
    ——————-

    Just trying to get to the bottom of your definition of ‘fascism’, and its worst examples.

    —————————
    Criticising a newspaper is not what’s at question here – seeking to deny the newspaper the right to exist and to put forward its view point is what’s wrong and that’s what McDowell tried to do as, will I say it again, he made his statement BEFORE Daily Ireland started publication.
    ————————–

    It’s not my place or indeed particular desire to defend Michael McDowell, but I think he would see it as criticising the editorial line of a newspaper whose stablemates he was familiar with, and at least some of whose backers had publicly supported a terrorist campaign which had left many hundreds dead and whose perpetrators, in contravention of the Irish consitution, still formed a havily-armed ‘private army’.

    ————————-
    I have yet to hear either Shore Road Resident or Mike or The Dubliner condemn without equivocation – or even with equivocation – the death threat to Robin Livingstone from the unionist paramilitary group, the Red Hand Commando. Or doesn’t their championing of a free press extend to protecting the journalists from threats of violence?
    ————————–

    I didn’t realise that this had come up in the thread.

    Of course I condemn the death threat unequivocally and without reservation.

    ————————
    Or is their concept of freedom of expression limited to those with whom they agree?
    ————————

    I’ve already alluded to the fact that I see the murder of people because of their political opinion (as practised by the republican movement and their loyalist counterparts) as reprehensible. I view death threats in the same way.

    —————————-
    If Mike wants to know what fascism is – he need look no further than that.
    —————————-

    I know a fair bit about fascism, having studied both it and Nazism in depth at university. And if I didn’t, I would need to look a LOT further than a death threat to a journalist – this would give me little insight into fascism.

    —————————
    He should also consult with the loyalist organisations about their links with the neo nazis ‘Combat 18’ and the like.
    —————————

    You appear to have me confused with someone who has some sort of sympathy to, or connection with, loyalist terrorist scum.

    By the way to get a full understanding of fascism, I’d still have to look further than some pathetic racist extremist scumbags who think it’s a good idea to intimdate people and flaunt Nazi emblems.

  • Not one example has been cited here of how any body involved with Daily Ireland expressed support for the IRA’s armed campaign, given that campaign was well over by the time Daily Ireland actually went to print!

    In the initial post, there was a link to Máírtin Ó Muilleoir’s statement on his blog, in which it’s stated quite clearly:“While Mr McDowell can make egregious remarks and disappear from the scene, refusing to shoulder any responsibility for his actions, others, including British Irish Rights Watch and the NUJ, are left to clear up the mess created and deal with the consequences, not least the recent Red Hand Commando death threat to Robin Livingstone.”

    Now this was only raised by myself in my various comments – not by the thread instigator or by any of the other commenters.

    This leads me to surmise that Slugger Admin isn’t too concerned about a death threat to a journalist, as long as Daily Ireland journalists, past or present, are fair game, it seems.

    That in itself is an interesting standpoint for a website such as Slugger O’Toole and is at odds with the stance of the NUJ and British Irish Rights Watch.

  • Shore Road Resident

    So you reckon that MoM opposed the IRA’s armed campaign while a Sinn Fein councillor?

  • [Play the ball – edited moderator]

  • I’m pretty sure he supported SF’s peace process strategy. But whatever his stance during his time as an SF councillor, during which time he had to endure many death threats and the ongoing cheerleading by unionist politicians – the peace loving DUP – for loyalist actions (they called Alex Maskey lead belly in the council chamber after he had been shot in the stomach by loyalists), this predates the publication of Daily Ireland by a good many years. And the point I return to here is that Michael McDowell libelled Daily Ireland’s publishers before the newspaper was ever published….and not a word has appeared here from any contributor as to how they can show Daily Ireland supported anything but a peaceful, just and equitable solution to the conflict.

    I’ve heard politicians of many different hues display support for armed struggle in many ways – for instance John Taylor, owner of the Alpha Group, said in his contribution to the Peter Taylor series that the loyalist campaign of sectarian murder wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, or words to that effect. Does that mean that those newspapers support violence….

  • Shore Road Resident

    So you’re saying that MoM is no better than John Taylor?

  • Yawn
    ……..

  • In my (possibly flawed) view the real newsworthiness of this very long running story is that it was chucked out of court for a reason that must have been obvious right at the beginning. But I pared down the intro so that people could come to their own conclusions with as little help from me as possible.

    Of course the threats against Robin are concerning, but I cannot see how it relates to the original stand off between the paper and the Republic’s former Minister of Justice or to anything I’ve written here on Slugger. Unless you are claiming (which Mairtin most certainly did not) that there was some kind of link?

    If you’ve got something to add, perhaps you should put it out there? If not, you might consider being a little less reckless with your inferences?

  • I merely observed that I thought it interesting that a site such as sluggerotoole didn’t consider it worth mentioning in an introduction to a topic that there was a link between the original statement by Michael McDowell and the subsequent death threat to Robin Livingstone. Concern was expressed about this possibility by the NUJ and British Irish Rights Watch when the statement was made in January 2005 but the focus consistently of Slugger O’Toole, when dealing with this topic, has been anywhere but on the danger to the journalists or, for that matter, their liveliehoods. I also suggest you read Máirtín Ó Muileoir’s original post to find that he indeed link the statement by McDowell to the death threat. On that basis alone I would have thought it would have merited a mention in your introduction.

    Your latest post confirms that you thought the legal point much more important than the death threat. So when it comes to ‘recklessness’ I think perhaps you should examine your own conscience. It’s clear that Slugger’s concern for journalists safety and liveliehood doesnt’ extend to those who were involved in Daily Ireland.

    is it also your position that the publishers of Daily Ireland should have put up their hands and said, yeah sure, we will be to SF what the nazi rag was to the Nazi party, rather than state that they considered this to be an unjust attack on their reputations by a craven politician hiding behind the skirts of the state? The fact that some commenters thought it ok to pose the question as to who would pay the costs – and slugger saw fit to allow these comments – points to an underhand agenda on the part of slugger. If it cost Mairtín and Robin 20k to show Michael McDowell to be a coward unwilling to stand over his weasel words, it was money well spent.

  • The Dubliner

    He didn’t say there was a link, but he certainly implied it:

    “While Mr McDowell can make egregious remarks and disappear from the scene, refusing to shoulder any responsibility for his actions, others, including British Irish Rights Watch and the NUJ, are left to clear up the mess created and deal with the consequences, not least the recent Red Hand Commando death threat to Robin Livingstone.”

    I’ve heard of a ‘leap of logic’ but that one surely deserves the Olympic men’s high jump gold medal.

  • Quaysider

    Isn’t it equally likely that the “death threat” (which the loyalists didn’t confirm) was stunt nicely-timed for this court case? I mean, what are the odds that the RHD would threaten some obscure reporter on a local weekly jsut a month before that some person was up in court seeking a claim for damages on the basis of possible loyalist death threats?

  • Quaysider’s comment really takes the biscuit for fascist comment of the century. It shows Slugger to be a COMPLETELY skewed website which has little of worth to contribute if this is the level of debate which is tolerated.

  • Quaysider

    Only asking, son.
    I well recall these guys being done in court for claiming that another journalist was a British agent. They’ve made up this sort of cr*p before. Are you saying they’re completely incapable of doing it again? And how is it “fascist” to inquire? Isn’t that a journalist’s job?

  • Oili,

    “Slugger saw fit to allow these comments – points to an underhand agenda on the part of slugger.”

    What’s your criteria for removing these comments? I am more than happy to take down something that’s blatently playing the man, and we have to be careful of the law, of course.

    But much as I refuse to enforce consensus on the peace process or the decision of dissidents to continue an armed struggle long since abandoned by the mainstream, we also have to be careful not to suspend straightforward and legitimate discussion on what is already in the public domain. However, as it says in the comments guide, I am open to representation on anything you think is beyond the Pale.

    I’m also quite sensitive to the accusation of being callous towards journalists, since I’ve never (to my knowledge) treated any journalist’s work with contempt, let alone treated the possiblity of threats against their life with the kind of cavalier disregard you are suggesting.

  • tweedledee

    OILibhear Chromaill,

    If it cost Mairtín and Robin 20k to show Michael McDowell to be a coward unwilling to stand over his weasel words, it was money well spent.

    Well said.

    As for why this site allows any and every comment to stand against republicans of any shade, IMHO it’s because the site owner is overly sensitive to criticism from unionists (cf recent discussions on the OO), and previous unsuccessful libel actions have emboldened those who throw mud. It’s probably also worth noting that Newton Emerson’s recent public retraction and apology didn’t warrant a note on Slugger’s.

  • tweedle,

    “why this site allows any and every comment to stand against republicans of any shade”.

    Well, if you are going to tell a lie, make it a big one! You have proof of this? Because I have a record of all the shut down comments. The truth is that the vast majority of people commenting on Slugger are nationalist/republican. The vast majority are intelligent, and committed to honest discourse. Some, a minority, clearly, are not.

  • tweedledee

    Mick,

    The truth is that the vast majority of people commenting on Slugger are nationalist/republican.

    It’s the quality, not the quantity. Or to put another way, given the history of the conflict, who stands on the side of the state and its apparatus, it doesn’t matter if 99.99% of contributors are nat/rep, unionists have always been allowed by the state, by the media, by the state’s apparatus (and see Laird Laird’s speech for a recent example of abuse of state privilege) to level any and every accusation they want against republicans and get away with it. I’ve seen many comments over the years re Bloody Sunday, accusations levelled at McGuinness, that he lied at Saville, that he refused to admit his part etc etc, and I’ve yet to see them taken down. Those are opinions, they are not demonstrated fact. The same goes for Gerry Adams re Jean McConville. He is frequently accused of ordering her abduction/murder. No action is ever taken against these kinds of comments. They are opinion, they are not demonstrated fact.

    Just because nat/reps let it run off them like water off a duck’s back doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen and is allowed to stand. But say one word about them, and they’re crying Mick Mick they’re saying bad things about us, are you going to let them away with it, I’m not coming to Slugger’s anymore, it’s full of unwashed fenians and you don’t do anything about it, boo hoo hoo … ad infinitum, ad nauseam. And I believe that you are over sensitive to their bleatings. I understand that you don’t want them to stop commenting, as all there would then be is an echo chamber for nat/rep opinion, but … it is what it is.

  • Suilven

    Dearie me, Twaddledee – any more MOPEry you want to get off your chest?

  • Tweedle,

    One of the reasons why we are going to move to registration is to try lock people in, in ways that will make them more accountable for their actions. I don’t have time for people who just come in with a fillibuster and are not interested in engaging with people they disagree with.

    But I think you will find that I’ve erred rather more on the side of allowance than disallowance. I don’t like the personal stuff, but if certain material is hitherto unchallenged and in the public domain, what on earth am I to do?

    Again, as I said on a recent thread, it is only in extremis that people will get locked on on a first offence. You need to watch what people are doing over a period of time to decided whether they are expressing extreme but sincerely held views, or just plain trolling.

    If I get ansy over the treatment of unionists, its mostly to do with their reduction of stereotypes, rather than serious engagement with individual issues. I cannot make people comment if they are disinclined. But forcing ‘groupthink’ consenses is killer to any would be deliberative space.

  • Suilven,

    Quit trolling! Engage please, or keep it to yourself!!

  • The Dubliner

    “The same goes for Gerry Adams re Jean McConville. He is frequently accused of ordering her abduction/murder. No action is ever taken against these kinds of comments. They are opinion, they are not demonstrated fact.” – tweedledee

    He wasn’t in the IRA either. You forgot to point that one out.

  • Do whatever you want, Mick, it’s your site. After all. I thought Quaysider’s comment was blatantly libellous. But I don’t really think Máirtín Ó Muilleoir would be bothered with going after you for allowing the publication of a comment which suggested such an illegal act, which given the involvement of police, would be considered an attempt to pervert the course of justice. It would also, if true, be deeply damaging to a newspaper’s crediblity.

    However, it goes to show that one of Slugger O’Toole’s blind spots is anything to do with Daily Ireland/A’Town News. Anything goes, including as it is apparent, a blatant and careless regard for the safety and liveliehood of journalists working there.

    You have shown your true colours.

  • The Dubliner

    Great argument, Chromaill. If I may paraphrase it as “Don’t condemn those who support fascists because other fascists may kill them if you do. Therefore, do not exercise your right to free speech – unless it is to praise fascists.”

    Nice try to censor free speech but no cigar.

  • willowfield

    OILIbhear

    But I don’t really think Máirtín Ó Muilleoir would be bothered with going after you

    Why not? He hasn’t hesitate to go after every others, if the Indymedia discussion is anything to go by. And Newton Emerson might have something to say about that, too. And Michael McDowell.

  • tweedledee

    The Dubliner,

    He wasn’t in the IRA either. You forgot to point that one out.

    So because you believe he was in the IRA that means you also believe he ordered the abduction/murder of Mrs McConville?

    Sound reasoning there. Can it be applied broadly to cover Unionist and British politicians?

    Mick,

    See, The Dubliner’s comments above are commonplace, typical, in the weasely way the accusation is levelled.

  • Dewi

    “The truth is that the vast majority of people commenting on Slugger are nationalist/republican”

    Is that an empirical observation Mick ? What sort of proportion do you make it ? And why is it so do you think ? Is it true to say that your bloggers are mostly Unionist ?

  • Mick Fealty

    tweedle,

    There’s been an awful lot of ‘weaselling’ going on in this thread. For instance, I called you earlier on some fairly blatant falsehoods, something which you have chosen to sidestep.

    Someone, I cannot remember who, mentioned ‘fair game’ in relation to Slugger’s supposed attitude towards Republicans earlier in this thread. It’s reminiscent of L Ron Hubbard’s famous line on how to deal with a ‘Suppressive Person’. And it’s one that I would take with a very large dose of salt, particularly since, time and again, we have transparently held the right of people to criticise what’s written here as a crucial part of the ‘Slugger process’.

    Dewi,

    It depends who is counting. People can be pushed into either camp for any manner of reason. Malachi O’Doherty recently baulked at Martin McGuinness’s suggestion to him that O’Doherty was somehow ‘ashamed to be a nationalist’, and asked him how he knew whether he was a nationalist or not? Check out Joe Canuck’s recent and forcible ‘co-option’ into the Unionist camp too.

    In short, determining who is what is fraught with danger. My feeling is that those who have no qualms identifying themselves as unionist are now, and pretty much always have been, in a minority here on Slugger, despite the characterisation of the majority of people blogging here as ‘unionist’.

    I have never taken offence at the possibility of being identified as a unionist, since it is merely a political position and does not carry, as some seem to believe, an undesirable connotation of moral inferiority. However, I have rarely been taken for as a unionist by any genuine and active, bona fide unionist.

    The rest of the world is learning to live with uncertainty. It’s about time we learned to admit some into our increasingly small political game.

  • Dewi

    “I have never taken offence at the possibility of being identified as a unionist, since it is merely a political position and does not carry, as some seem to believe, an undesirable connotation of moral inferiority. However, I have rarely been taken for as a unionist by genuine bona fide unionists.”

    Read that thrice now. Does it mean ?

    1) I’m from a Catholic tradition and Prods (Bona Fide Unionists (as good a description as I’ve heard for a while !!) ) know it ?

    Don’t answer – only kidding.

    What would be interesting would be somehow finding out the “tradition” of readers. Maybe your move to registration could achieve a balance..like a quota ? What is strange is the overwhelming male thing – which most political blogs seem to share – strange.

  • Mick Fealty

    Not interested in quotas. I’m interested in activists who are prepared to commit themselves to robust but civil speech. And, at quite a profound level, I really don’t care who they are.

    At the same time, I’m not prepared to let the poor levels discourse and lazy thinking we’ve seen burgeon on this and other threads go unchallenged.

    Deliberative spaces only have legitimacy on the basis that quality conversations are made and remade within them.

    Slugger may have a good reputation for sparking honest and open conversations on difficult subjects, but that is something that has to be proven day after day.

    It’s not something, even for one minute, that I take for granted.

  • Granni Trixie

    At the expense of being accused of “not caring” about journos, I think it is not only reasonable to ask where is the money coming from to pay the 20k legal fees, but where did the money come from to run DI at a loss for so long?

  • Dewi

    But the creation and maintenance of such a deliberative space must have a purpose over and above engagement. Is it intellectually honest to argue otherwise ?

    I know sectarian headcounts not your thing but some sort of test of background of readers would be enlightening.

  • Mick Fealty

    Dewi,

    Maybe. Unlike parliament (which exists by statute, regardless of the quality of its content or engagement), it stands or falls on its capacity to converse. On what? Well, on what ‘seems’ important. That may not be what is *actually* important: those conversations may already be happening elsewhere.

    Despite the hype (negative as well as positive), Slugger has no proprietorial claim over defining what is important, or what’s not.

    Granni,

    Ask away: but like so many matters in Northern Ireland you may have to endure being lectured that you are just asking ‘silly questions’…

    But I have said enough already… Night all…

  • tweedledee

    Mick,

    For instance, I called you earlier on some fairly blatant falsehoods, something which you have chosen to sidestep.

    I didn’t realise you wanted me to go trawling through this cumbersome site with no search facilities, especially as an example is right in this thread, and the post still stands. This is not the first time you ‘called me’ on something when the obvious was right there in the thread. Is it something to do with not seeing or recognising what is right in front of your nose?

    [quote]“The same goes for Gerry Adams re Jean McConville. He is frequently accused of ordering her abduction/murder. No action is ever taken against these kinds of comments. They are opinion, they are not demonstrated fact.” – tweedledee

    He wasn’t in the IRA either. You forgot to point that one out.

    Posted by The Dubliner on Nov 15, 2007 @ 05:46 PM[/quote]

    Wonder if I phrased something similar about David Trimble would it be left to stand? How about this: Now in spite of the fact Trimble was one of Bill Craig’s Nazi-style sidekicks, and had the ‘odd’ meeting with a certain mid-Ulster loyalist killer, never never never let it be said this man was in collusion with those who murdered Catholics. 😉 😉

    Anyway, here’s something that caught my eye a few days ago, so I didn’t have to trawl for it, and it was one of your blogs:

    [text removed – and on original – mods]

    Posted by Rory (South Derry) on Nov 09, 2007 @ 05:04 PM

    I hope Slugger takes down Rory’s above post on arrests if it is shown to be untrue.

    Posted by Frank Sinistra on Nov 09, 2007 @ 07:06 PM

    The Provos have murdered this kid and the Slabs mob are up to their armpits in it!

    After all everything that happens is only allowed to do so with his blessin!

    Posted by Rory (South Derry) on Nov 09, 2007 @ 07:21 PM[/quote]

    The accusation still stands, it hasn’t been demonstrated to be true, the post is still there, but sure it’s “Slab” Murphy so it doesn’t matter, eh?

  • Mick Fealty

    Right. You have two problems here. One, you clearly have not read the commenting policy.

    “3. We do not have the time or resources to constantly monitor or moderate the comments sections, and so may be unaware of illegal or potentially libellous material posted there. If you believe a libellous statement or statements have been made in the comments section, please notify us by sending an e-mail containing details of offending material.”

    Having just checked the sluggermods email account I find nothing from you or Frank.

    Second. The shortcomings of the site’s search facility (it’s at the top left of this page btw) is not my problem. If you are going to make heavy accusations about the bias of the site, you need be prepared to back it up, otherwise people will think you are just making it up to suit yourself.

  • Mike

    “Quaysider’s comment really takes the biscuit for fascist comment of the century.”

    Jesus wept…

  • URQUHART

    There are many comments on this site and on this post that I find irritiating and offensive. There are many that I find insightful or humorous. There are still more that I find bloody stupid.

    But surely that’s the point? If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t come back. If I think that something is particularly irritating / insightful / stupid I’ll respond with my own irritation / insight / stupidity.

    Fealty, you’re doing a great job. Don’t be put off by the yaps.

    Oili / Twee, you have the same entitlement to space here as anyone else. But if you dislike the site so intensely, or believe it to be unfairly biased against provos, just feck off and be done with it. Coming on to complain and spill this tiresome mopery does no one any good.

  • tweedledee

    Mick,

    Right. You have two problems here. One, you clearly have not read the commenting policy.

    I have read it. It’s no skin off my nose so I didn’t complain, but since the topic came up in this thread, I have given words to my observations. I didn’t realise that not constantly monitoring meant you didn’t get around to reading the comments attached to one of your blogs in a week.

    Second. The shortcomings of the site’s search facility (it’s at the top left of this page btw) is not my problem. If you are going to make heavy accusations about the bias of the site, you need be prepared to back it up, otherwise people will think you are just making it up to suit yourself.

    Indeed. And if in three months time I said the same thing about Mr Murphy (you’ve now removed the comments) and couldn’t be arsed to trawl through every thread to find them, you could accuse me of making it up and focus it back on me again.

  • tweedledee

    URQUHART,

    But if you dislike the site so intensely, or believe it to be unfairly biased against provos, just feck off and be done with it. Coming on to complain and spill this tiresome mopery does no one any good.

    Who said I dislike it intensely? I have no problem with bias against “provos” either, it’s the whining of unionists that does it for me, and the kid gloves Mick expects them to be treated with. But you’re right anyway, I should fuck off and I will.