Still bloggin’ after all these years..?

Before the time for thanks moves on, thanks to Shane Hegarty in the Irish Times for mentioning Slugger as one of Ireland’s must read blogs… He calls us “The granddaddy of Northern Ireland’s politics and culture blogs…”

Now I mind the time (as my Uncle Seamus might say) when there was no such partition in the blogoshere… You got your Irish bloggers where you could find them… In my recollection the earliest blog I remember was Sean McCann who started the year before us in 2001…

Damien says he was around from about a year before that, but we must have been on very different beats since I don’t recall seeing his blogging even when we started in June 02…

Bernie was back then blogging at Underway in Ireland, and Karlin who, I think, has been around since Blogging Year Dot… not to mention Paul Dunne’s long defunct and long missed The Shamrockshire Eagle… Oh, and 1169 and Counting

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 13.05.53And there was Frank McGahon‘s lively, combative and always intelligent Libertarian rant space… Smoke Signals rattlebag of stories and ‘stuff’… Stunned who started a few weeks before us… And Gavin a few weeks after

Apart from those few Irish bloggers most of us drew from a small fund of Brit bloggers and some of the larger store of US bloggers… But we were and remain tiny compared to our counterparts in the States…

You can see how far down the long tail Slugger came (scroll down) when Clay Shirky first wrote about Power Laws in the blogosphere in early 2003…

It’s good to see some of the ‘oul wans’ still going on… And still punching hard… Alongside a steadily powering up Irish and British blogosphere…


  • Ulsters not Irish

    Partition = N.Ireland. Partition is good, it saved many lives from the ethnic Republican seperation of 1916.

  • Slugger is a real ould fella of blogging all right. I’ve been reading now and then for years even though the discussions can be infuriating at times.

    Please tell me the commenter above is joking…

  • Mark McGregor

    I know its an old argument but I’m still not convinced the vast bulk of Slugger content counts as a blog (not having a dig, Mick). I expect a more personal voice, commentary or unique content in a blog over the mainly linking and aggregating that covers the bulk of entries though Turgon in particular would fit my view of blogging.

    A manual news aggregator with a comments facility? or a discussion forum with restrictions on thread starters?

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s another old meme Mark… This fragment is all I can find of it:

    But each to their own…

  • nellicrone

    the slugger aficionado wishing away the border?

    and it ain’t really a blog, more of a soapbox for a tiny coterie with the microphone handed around amongst the cheerleaders and hecklers with the on/off switch operated on a whim.

  • OC

    “In my recollection the earliest blog I remember was Sean McCann who started the year before us in 2001…”

    “A manual news aggregator with a comments facility? or a discussion forum with restrictions on thread starters?”

    The first NI “blog” would be the Belfast Telegraph On-Line Letters-To-The-Editor circa 1999/2000, which was a discussion forum with unrestricted anonymous public thread starting, but totally monitored to censor uncivil AND uncouth, or vulgar comments, along with 24 hour turn-around to see your comment appear. I would await the daily posting of comments from the day before like the mailman’s delivery.

    They later contracted with some kind of service to take it over. Required registration. That’s when I bailed.

  • Mark McGregor


    Wasn’t a criticism in any way but if you were writing on the history of Irish blogging there is no harm including the discussion, that did come up quite often, on if Slugger really fits the standard definition despite using the technological platform.

    It’s a debate of little or no value beyond the nerdy craic of having it. Unlike your mention of Mulley which seems to infer he may lie about his age. Could be bad form from the self appointed protector of Irish blogging standards ;0)

  • Dec

    Aah, The Shamrockshire Eagle…peerless!

  • Mick Fealty

    He was Dec, he was…

    Mark, as I say, we may have been on different beats back then. Eight years from when the post was written means he started late 2000; although my first memory of Damien is from about two or three years later than that.

  • Mick Fealty


    Hankering after open ranges of the early days maybe… the partition of today comes about because there are simply more and better blogs exploring territory…

    On with Progress…

  • Hi Mick !
    Thanks for the mention – that’s worth more to us than a comment in ‘The Irish Times’ !
    You’re our favourite ‘Granddaddy’ in the Blogosphere !

    Thanks again!

  • Great article! I really enjoyed reading and will be back looking for more 🙂 Keep up the good work.