On the closure of Castlebar.ie

One of our regular commenters Mayoman, pointed out the story of Castlebar.ie, a bulletin board of some ten years standing. I was too busy to follow it up, but the Irish News has instead. When the local free sheet newspaper threatened legal action over comments left on the site, the owners decided to close it. The paper asked me to comments (amended slightly for scansion):

“My view of it is that the law should not be first, rather it should be about civil engagement. There are things I do remove but not just because they may be libellous. If someone complains about something written about them, nine times out of 10 I’ll remove it because it’s an infringement of Slugger’s ‘civil code’. There’s two ways of looking at it – there’s the positive permissive line, which allows people to engage with one another and most of the time that works – but there’s also the negative, people don’t have an absolute right to say what they like.”

Having said that, it is wearing. And for the facilitators of sites like the one in Castlebar (and Slugger for that matter) there is little or nothing in the way of financial remuneration for trying to keep matters civil. After ten years, they may simply have had enough.

  • ulsterfan

    mayoman did indeed bring this to our attention and as far as I recall asked what was going on and the reasons for closure.
    I thought the answer was fairly obvious with the threat of legal proceedings and the financial implications involved in which case the site operators did the intelligent thing and close down.

  • Steve

    Inteligent maybe intimidatory definately. Was me I might have left it run just because if you push me I push back. Not always the smartest plan but you can’t let the bullies win

  • Is this Tony Geraghty of The Mayo Echo the same Tony Geraghty who wrote The Irish War – the book’s dusjacket having a photograph of Captain Simon Hayward aka Captain James Rennie, the BA’s leading hitman in N.I., and apparently the assassin of Sweden’s statsminister Olof Palme while he was reassessing the performance of his bodyguards for Major David Walker’s KMS security firm while on leave as the Ops Officer of the 14 Intelligence Company’s South Detachment?

    If he is, the Castlebar blog should not have capitulated to his threat over his performance regarding the activities which occurred at its lake. The guy sounds like some psy-ops operator, posing as a newsman – lumping all people their as perverts, taking photos of license plates, etc.

    Little wonder that the D-Notice Committee went after him when he printed Hayward’s picture, and doubted that Captain James Rennie was a real person. (p. 141)

  • I’ve reproduced the licence plates for the exposure of perverts.

  • Castlebar man

    Thanks Mick for looking at this. One thing I would like to point out, we in Mayo have suffered years of unemployment and immigration. If you go to any city in the world you will find many Mayo folk. These same people used Castlebar.ie to keep in touch with people, see what is going on at home etc.

    Then there were the schools, clubs and various local organisations that used this site to promote them selves.

    Castlebar.ie was the most successful community based site in Ireland. Millions of hits every month. It really was a great community project.
    Then because this guy threatens legal action the site is forced to close.
    Surely no one wins here at all.

    Out of interest Mick has anyone ever threatened to sue you and sluggerotoole?
    On slugger when someone posts a comment it goes up straight away, however on Castlebar.ie the post are vetted and if they are deemed reasonable they are posted, a bit of a time delay if you like.
    I would think by having posts going live straight away one would leave themselves open a bit.

    Anyway thanks for flagging it and Save Castlebar.ie 🙂

  • Inteligent maybe intimidatory definately. Was me I might have left it run just because if you push me I push back. Not always the smartest plan but you can’t let the bullies win