In the Irish News [subs req] Sinn Féin claim that James Monaghan, who is still wanted in Colombia, approached the party to help with the publicity for his account of his time in South America – he’s still claiming to have been observing the peace process in that country.. despite what other sources say. But the party’s involvement, and their apparent strategy, has angered the book’s publisher, Steve McDonogh of Brandon Books, as several reports detail. And the publisher has not held back with his criticism
Mr MacDonogh said his understanding was that the order blocking broadcast interviews did not come from Sinn Fein. However, he said yesterday he has now been told Mr Monaghan’s print interviews will be “supervised by Sinn Fein”. “As far as I understand Sinn Fein will choose which publications he speaks to,” he said. “That isn’t the way Brandon (Books) does business. We won’t take part in such a censorious approach. With our authors, we want them to be available to all the media.”
But Steve McDonogh, chief executive of publishing house Brandon Books, claimed Monaghan told him that IRA colleagues were attempting to block media interviews about his time in Colombia.
“He (James Monaghan) told me that he was advised by colleagues in the republican movement that he should not do any television, or any radio either,” Mr McDonogh said.
The publisher also claimed a Sinn Fein spokeswoman warned him that any interviews that did take place would be severely restricted.
“She said he would not be permitted to do television or radio interviews, but would be told to do interviews with the print media,” Mr McDonogh said.
“I said their strategy was utterly ridiculous – that I can say yes to one media outlet and no to another.”.
Meanwhile the Irish Examiner report has an interesting quote from James Monaghan
“I’d been talking with Sinn Féin and the idea was… you could be, as it were, ambushed on a programme where you find yourself — although you’re right, if you’re against some very articulate and hostile people, then you can end up being made a fool of.”
[Especially when they ask “stupid” questions.. – Ed]
And more from the publisher
“We undertook publication of this book in good faith and under the terms of a contract which, among other things, committed the author to co-operate with our promotional efforts,” said Brandon.
“However, to our complete surprise, the author has withdrawn from any co-operation with broadcast media, calling a halt in particular to discussions about his proposed appearance on the Late Late Show. He has done so on the orders of the republican movement.”