Politics.ie entering a legal bear pit?

Dublin Opinion and Cedar Lounge Revolution have strong posts on the controversial situation that the Republic’s most popular political internet forum, Politics.ie, now finds itself in. I have little to add, other than to note that no one, no matter who they are, should treat the potential of legal action with anything less than deadly seriousness, no matter the size or location of their assets. It is the one instruction I give all our bloggers, and something we are very responsive to regarding misconduct within the comments zone. Not for the first time, it calls to mind Mulley’s appropriate strapline: Invisible people have invisible rights. Adds: And said Mulley has his say too… Oh and Fergal has a thing about proverbial bacon slicer…, Jazz Biscuit predicts a blog riot… And Simon’s on Conor’s side…


  • But visible people have invisible rights too. Though I will stand corrected if someone tell me what my right to education looks like.

  • Your right to education is visible in the Irish Constitution. Then there’s all those enumerated and unenumerated rights…

  • No, the Irish constitution says I have a right to education. It does not render this right visible, any more than me writing here that I have a toothache makes my toothache visible.

  • Jo

    “the potential of legal action with anything less than deadly seriousness”

    Its the weapon of bullying, used by bullies.

    Two words: Jonathan Aitken.

  • Mick Fealty

    There are dozens of others… I’ve a good interview with Tom Steinberg who was behind the they work for you site from last night suggested that journalists should come under increased scrutiny for the kind of sub libel (but damaging) abuse they hand out…

    I’ll try and get it up to YouTube and Slugger/Brassneck it tonight…

  • Charles J Haughey, peace be upon him, never used to sue. He laughed it all off. Until he felt like a cornered rat. Then he sued. If an Taoiseach is afraid of a few people chatting on a website, then that should become a story.
    The Great Satan, USA, spent a few million dollars on an inquiry into the 9-11 attacks by the martyrs of Islam. Then they closed their books. Case closed. In Holy Ireland, the tribunals go on forever. And the country’s top popets go to Nepal to meet young boys. No wonder God hates Ireland.

  • Gregory

    Speaking generally.

    I’ve had a little experience of this. Is the publisher a gentleman? If the answer is yes, then you don’t go to law.

    I recall one gay magazine accusing me of being a right wing fundamentalist bigot, financed by crazy people in Texas.

    His final offer was ‘small contributions are also being made by misguided Catholics in Scotland”.

    That’s a retraction and that’s a gentleman.

    I asked him if it was not inconvenient and at all possible, and if he was doing it again, could he please do it on a page which didn’t have gay porn adverts.

    He said no to that.


  • Gregory

    “Charles J Haughey, peace be upon him, never used to sue. He laughed it all off. Until he felt like a cornered rat. ”

    He was a splendidly interesting statesman and the quintessence of Tammany Hall.


  • Trazic

    Weren’t BBC journalists libelled by someone calling him/herself ShoreRoadResident on the Andersonstown News apology to Adams thread last week?

  • Anyone who thinks hosting offshore is enough to insulate them should read this (at page 11 of the pdf) especially in reference to Dow Jones vs Gutnick in the High Court of Australia. Australian and Canadian courts are similar enough to Irish ones that their precedents are likely to taken seriously if not honoured in full.

  • Mick Fealty


    There were some questionable comments from that quarter which were removed immediately it was brought to my attention. Most of the difficulties I’ve had in the background have arisen from the comment zone.


    I suspect David knows that. As someone has already pointed out on one of the various threads linked above, hosting in the US probably only buys you an ISP that is probably less liable to pull you off their servers at the first sign of trouble.

  • Steve

    Yeah but it sounds like us penniless blow hards are fairly well insulated lmao

  • Gregory

    VISA and No-Fly listing may reflect upon ‘unreasonable’ attacks on US officials which go over and above the accepted diet,

    calling a lady a ‘C’ could be more than enough to cancel LA & NYC privileges. She only has to report it, so with state.gov or justice.gov people, be firm but nice.

  • Moochin Photoman

    Can BBBBBertie now be discussed on P.ie now that he has resigned?

  • Gregory

    That poor man has been hounded and stalked over a few quid. Tribunals are a boil on the face of our nation, they’re a pack of nosey parkers.

  • The Eire government did and does have strict libel laws. One of the reasons perhaps tribunals flourish there. I guess the days of the French Revolution and Wolfe Tone are over and that jeffersonian democracy is as much a myth now as it ever was.

  • Gregory


    A “malicious” campaign of harassment against a housing group in Wearside has resulted in what is thought to be the biggest internet defamation payout.


    I have seen the worst kind of internet bully enter a discussion forum and when they aren’t given the respect they feel they deserve, resort to legal threats against the administrators of the site, for the most scurrilous of reasons.
    However the very fact that the admin of the site receive a letter from a solicitor is enough to get them to cave in and let the bully have their way.
    In the case I am talking about, the bully then took the fact that they had caved in to a local rag and had the story printed as some kind of victory and vindication on their part.
    The news story then gets thrown back at people as another cheap threat, and in every stage of this process the truth is distorted ever so slightly until at the end what is being alleged is simply the polar opposite of what actually happened.
    It used to be only the super rich who could afford to suppress the truth in this way, the Likes of Robert Maxwell and such, now the Internet has given as a macabre kind of equality.
    I know of at least one person of this type on this forum, and I also know that it is only a matter of time before Mick starts receiving the letters from the lawyers.

    Watch this space.