New site features – on the site and in the pipeline

Observant visitors will have noticed our new regional and topic-based navigation. Slugger's headWe hope you like it. It’s all part of a great job that Simon Dickson and Simon Wheatley have been doing for us over recent months. It was actually ready to go a few months ago but we were waiting for our bloggers to get into the habit of using the ‘Region’ categories. Most have started doing this but some haven’t (I’m looking at you Mr Walker!).

Also, in the pipeline, we’ll be launching our new comments system very shortly. It’s almost ready, but we’d like to give it a final test with some of the site’s users. I’m not going to link to the test-site directly here (our level of traffic would probably knock the staging server over) but we are looking for a handful of volunteers to give it a quick test.

Anyone prepared to help with this? If you’re a registered user, just say ‘yes’ in the comments below. If not, email us using this spam-proof link and we’ll send you the details of how to do this.

It’ll involve a quick bit of reading so you can see what the system is meant to do, followed by some testing and feedback. If you can help us with this, it’ll take up about 20-30 mins of your time.

Thanks in advance!

  • joeCanuck


  • Yes

  • Alan Maskey

    First obvious thing is you have two headings: Ireland, Northenr Ireland. Are you trying to say they are different places? That is very offensive to most Irish people, including members of the IRFU and GAA.
    Given the nature of the site, there will be huge overlaps between almost all the elements on your second row as well as between them and elements in your first row

    I think your site could do with other things: surveys and the like. But that is just me.

  • joeCanuck


  • JR

    Yea, I’m not liking this Ireland – northern Ireland business. Reminds me of being in university in Dublin people constantly asking me. What made you want to come to University in Ireland?

  • It is very confusing, Alan. ‘Ireland’ is the usual state title rather than ‘Republic of Ireland’. Hence the official use of the term ‘island of Ireland’. In Bertie Ahern’s speeches it was difficult to tell when he was referring to the state and when to the island.

  • joeCanuck

    Neither here nor there 😉
    Not just the Usual title but the official one. It certainly must be confusing for people elsewhere but context should let us peasants know which entity he is referring to.

  • I’d be happy with British Ulster and Mexico instead.

  • joeCanuck

    Haven’t heard six counties and twenty six counties used in a long while. It was fairly common in nationalist areas at least when I was a lad. Are SF still using it?

  • simond

    We also have a region for ‘Global’ – but that isn’t intended to offend those in England, Wales, Scotland, or any part of Ireland, by suggesting they are not part of Planet Earth.

    Contributors are invited to tick the region – or regions, plural – which seem/s most appropriate to their story.

  • Well, here’s some Ahern gibberish:

    Britain and Ireland; Ireland (state); Britain (island and/or United Kingdom); Northern Ireland; island of Ireland; both parts of Ireland; both parts of the island of Ireland; Ireland, North and South …

    I may have left some out 🙂

  • foyle observer

    I, along with Alan, and the majority of Nationalist / Republican’s who frequent Slugger will no doubt find this Northern Ireland / Ireland tab thing offensive.

    Just thought i’d add my thought on this.

    I think it should be changed immediately.

  • Mark McGregor

    I think I predicted there would be yapping about this when it was first mentioned.

    The blogger is free to select one/other or both.

    Its up to the readers if they want to get offended by a bloggers personal choice on how they refer to things.

    Will be pretty pointless thing to take offence at though.

  • Joe, it seems its no longer 26 – no nay never, no more.

    Fingal County Council.

  • Mark, just a small point: a label for Great Britain has been overlooked.

  • FYI, it’s website navigation, not a final legal ruling on what is in Ireland and what isn’t.

  • joeCanuck

    C’mon, Mark. You know as well as I do that some people take pleasure in being offended and look for the offence everywhere. 😉

  • pippakin

    I like it so far but I wonder how much overlapping there is going to be.

  • alex B

    Indeed “Ireland” is confusing. If this is meant to mean the Republic (as it looks like it is from the tagged posts) then say the Republic.

    Actually this usage does border on the offensive – it’s quite ridiculous that Southern Irish government has got away with incorrectly and antagonistically calling itself “Ireland” for so long. I find so much of the arguing in Northern Irish politics is actually due to sloppy usage of terminology – if people were more exact with their terminology then you find that people here tend to agree on much more than you would think at a first glance.

    On the other hand, if “Ireland” does mean its correct and ancient meaning as being the island then fair enough – however, looking at the posts that have been tagged “Ireland” they all seem to be related to the Irish Republic.

    As a solution I would suggest of having all three of “Northern Ireland”, “Ireland” and “Republic of Ireland”. Alternatively, posts related to the island could be tagged with both “Northern Ireland” and “Republic of Ireland”.

  • pippakin, there’s likely to be a fair to massive bit of overlapping. Considering our history I’m surprised there’s not a separate heading for religion 😉

  • pippakin


    Don’t give anyone ideas!

  • wild turkey


  • Alan Maskey

    Sinister two nationist groups had campaigns in the 1970s and 1980s. They used to send the following to anyone who contacted newspapers and who displayed an Irish nationalist/republican/democratic slant:

    1. A list of Protestants murdered by the IRA with: At the setting of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Lest we forget. This was called The List and many Republicans got it (and often a bullet as well)
    2. Copies of the Church of Ireland Gazette, a rapid supremacist rag.
    3. Stickers saying: Ireland and Northern Ireland. Separate names for different nations. When using terms like the six counties to describe the Occupied Zone, the Nazis would say all types of rot, like Munster were the Six Counties.
    4. It is interesting that Mark McGregor uses the preferred terminology of the British and of their death squads. One would more expect it of the modern Trad Lite Republicans, who worship Gerry Adams

    Some BIC)O related guys and friends of the later Jim Kemmy ended up doing time in the Bog for bank robbing and cop killing. Anyway, the terms are grossly offensive and are meant to be, just like Eire is when used in English.

  • alex B

    As a Unionist I also find it offensive. The southerners should not be allowed to get away with hijacking the terms “Ireland” and “Irish”.

  • Alan Maskey

    By your two nationist thought process, you should not have a separate heading for UK. Unless you trhink the Occupied Six Counties is not part of it.
    Many of the posts in it do not refer to Britain but to the Occupies part of Ireland, for which you already have a separate, partisan heading.

  • Alan, some stories relate to the whole of the UK, some to one or more of its component parts.

    The UK/British government used to refer to the 26-county territory as the Republic of ireland but now uses the Irish government’s preferred form, ireland.

    Eire is what it says on the stamp so it’s hardly surprising that Eire has been borrowed into the english tongue.

  • OOPS. Apologies for dropping the capitals!!

  • joeCanuck

    Just how sore is that scab you keep picking at?

  • joeCanuck

    5:16pm post for Alan, of course.

  • slug

    “Ireland, Northenr Ireland. Are you trying to say they are different places? That is very offensive to most Irish people”

    If its very offensive to most then perhaps Ireland the state should rename itself something other than the geographic island’s name. LOL.

  • Dr Concitor

    Just shows how observant I am Mick, I have just noticed the site navigation now. Very useful. Just a suggestion to placate the sensitive – how about a bit of Ulster-Scotch and Irish at the top. Any thing at all, so few understand anyway.

  • slug

    I have a worry that the site is really losing focus now. I don’t visit very much any more so it may just be me…….

  • Guys – seriously it isn’t that big a deal, I usually take the division to mean that if it is an Irish issue (as in the whole island of Ireland, not the Republic, and for completeness I I tick both). If it is really just a local issue in the North (since such things do exist like elections), I just tick Northern Ireland.

    Ironically, there is no ‘Republic of Ireland’ tab yet no-one is bothered by that…

  • Damian O’Loan


  • Alan Maskey

    If Ireland refers to the name of the 26 cos, where does that put the All Ireland final and the Ireland rugby team.
    And, Joe Canuck: My terminologies are traidtional Republican ones. The only time old time Provos would sawy on this was in addressing letters etc to prisoners in British jails.

  • joeCanuck

    I presume that you are referring to my post of 2:31pm. In which case I have to ask you what you’re blathering on about; it would seem that your comprehension resource is running low – I never said anything about republicans calling Ireland the 26 counties. And, incidentally, there were neither young nor old provos when I was a lad.

  • John

    Surely anyone who is annoyed by the definitions would not be on here to be bothered.
    By definition and funding this site is the current status quo

  • smellybigoxteronye

    “lol”. I don’t think actually that this is a laughing matter.

    In all seriousness, I think that a campaign should be started to get the Republic to stop referring to itself as “Ireland”. It really does reek of the times of de Valera and, as another poster has mentioned, is unnecessarily antagonistic. The Republic has surely moved on since then and such a name change would reflect this. This is also one issue where I think that both northern Nationalists and Unionists would be agreed upon.

  • JR

    Agree with you there Alex, not a unionst nationalist issue.

  • Yes. Is Slugger going to offer posts as Gaeilge ever again? I’m willing to contribute same, plus translations, on an occasional basis.

  • pippakin

    Concubhar O Liathain

    I would like to second that. It would also be good to see some Ulster Scots posts on Slugger.

  • Concubhar, send them to Mick for publication.

    Perhaps the Gaelic and Scots folks should support one another as they do in Scotland.

  • pippakin


    Good idea

  • Alan Maskey

    Let’s look at the current edition of Saoirse, the official organ of the official wing of RSF, which stil lhas not fallen to the either the mainstream Provos or the Provo wing of RSF. The current isuse is for June 2010, so some problems there which need not detain us.
    Protesterrs story page 2: Occupied Six Counties….Six-County (adjective)
    Britain claims Rockall (not the UK)
    You get the picture. It is too tedious to go through it.
    ps: If you are thinking of joining RSF, there are a number of mobile numbers in either the 26 or the occupied 6 counties you can call. (watch your bill). If you want to be an active cumann member, be prepared to do a lot of travelling as not all counties seem to have a cumann and there actually seems to be as many cumainn n Britain as there are in Ireland.

  • I had one in mind for the next week or two, so I just put it up here today.