I spoke briefly to Jim McDowell on Tuesday night at the Slugger Awards. I hadn’t seen him in quite a few years, and he seemed in reasonably robust form. But the following evening he was subjected to a pretty awful beating in the middle of the busy Continental Market outside the City Hall. McDowell’s paper has long been a scourge of loyalist and nationalism paramilitaries. He has a reputation for not pulling his punches and relentlessness in his journalism. More detail in the Newsletter. Put me in mind of the end of Malachi O’Dohery’s The Telling Year, when, at the very end, he tells of an encounter with UDA man Tommy Lyttle talking about McDowell’s predecessor in the job, Jim Campbell:
I said, “I worked with Jim”.
He said, “Every so often I drive past his house, beep the horn and give him a wee wave – just to scare the shite out of him”.
Tells you everything, doesn’t it?
They had enjoyed their war.
Tabloid journalists get the least recognition, attract the most notoriety and take by far the biggest risks… Get well soon Mr McDowell…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty