Slugger is ten years old today…

Love him or hate him (and I confess to feeling both emotions strongly)… It was ten years ago today (Alex Maskey as the first ever SF Lord Mayor of Belfast) that ole Slugger took his first faltering steps towards fame/infamy…

That was back in the day when the blogger software came without titles or indeed the capacity to comment… Those were both reverse engineered…

So thanks to all our bloggers, commenters and loyal readers for making Slugger what it is today… And if you are feeling suitably sentimental, you can always out a few quid in the donor button, to help keep her lit for another ten!!

Feel free to fire away with your best bits?

  • lover not a fighter

    Is it a ten year Jubilee your after !

    Oh Ya; Happy Birthday !

  • pauluk

    Well done, Mike – and the other regular bloggers – for providing such a valuable service to the people of Northern Ireland/The North/The Six Counties/Norn Iron etc. over the past ten years.

    Keep up the good work!

  • salgado

    “Feel free to fire away with your best bits?”

    I liked that time when posters fell back along tribal divisions and had the same argument over and over again.

  • Mick Fealty

    Oh, you mean that one that started ten years ago? 😉 It can get a bit sixth form at times!!

  • salgado

    I’m a relative newcomer here, but it’s been interesting. Keep up the good work!

  • DC

    Time to wrap it up. The future of unionism is done and dusted.

    Thanks for your efforts!

  • Dewi

    Congratulations Mick.

  • Mister Joe

    A bold experiment, Mick, and, as far as I’m concerned, a resounding success in getting usuns and themmuns to engage.
    Well done indeed.

  • pauluk

    Mick, sorry, I keep spelling your name wrong!

  • lamhdearg2

    congrats, well done, and keepherlit.
    ps any other way to donate, my tinfoil hat dont like online lolly tranfers,

  • Jack2

    Happy Birthday Slugger!

  • “for making Slugger what it is today”

    Mick F

    In your view what exactly is that?


  • IJP


    Comhghairdeas agus buíochas

  • Mick Fealty

    Bold, argumentative, unpredictable, dog with a bone, outgoing, hard to live with, pluralist, passionate, progressive, tenacious, a little spectum, eclecyic, occasionally genteel, occasionally well written, more respected tban loved, often right, sometimes wrong, modest and relatively hard working and honest

  • Mister Joe

    Good description, Mick. I would add informative and occasionally humourous to name but two.

  • Mark

    Joe beat me to it . I was wondering why informative wasn’t in there but seeing as you have modesty down , that explains it . Happy tenth birthday to the Slugger O Toole team .

  • Congratulations!

  • Dewi

    I must admit i miss those wonderful Derry/Londonderry threads….

  • Mick Fealty

    I don’t. They took years off me… mind you, it was Her Maj who seemed to put a stop to it when it became clear that people only had to ask… May be that’s one to dig out?

  • Pete Baker
  • galloglaigh

    Well done Mick on this milestone. I hope Slugger sees another ten or twenty, if not a lot more years!

    I haven’t been on Slugger long, but my personal best was this comment; a comic version of Decimus’ Library Book comment.

    Decimus, if you’re still reading Slugger, this will always give me a giggle!

  • Mick Fealty

    Little bit of early body language… When did DUP members first appear in a TV studio with SF members?

  • given my butterfly contributions I’m rather fond of my posting which uniquely at that point in time,when everybody was suffering from oratorical overload and had forgotten the final broadcast, asked good people to look in one more time…

    Comment on Aras11: Advantage Fianna Fail?
    on 24 October 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Just when you’re sick and tired of all the presidential debates the Pat Kenny presidential debate is on RTE One tonight at 9.40pm for nearly two hours. Given that 20% are still undecided, with the polls favouring Gallagher, and others having to play their last card but how, and Pat Kenny wanting to leave his mark on the process this could be a defining piece of television. Think Sean Gallagher ,Think All Blacks Think Sunday morning. Almost there unless those damn Frenchies pull some thing out of their beret.

    Happy birthday slugger

  • Mick Fealty
  • Mick Fealty

    Nice one articles…

  • Drumlins Rock

    congrats Mick, and everyone else involved, I think it has lasted and suceeded ( yes surviving 10 yrs as a blog is major success) because it is generally a team effort, but with a big boss to call the shots when necessary.

    I think the hi-light was the NIW scandal unfolding, but I must mention the social aspect of putting faces to the names has been good.

  • lamhdearg2

    I miss Munster and pip.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I even miss McGregor, but don’t dare tell him!

  • bernie

    Well done, Mick! A great achievement! Keep it up!

  • Granni Trixie

    You and the others behind the scenes – take a bow Mick! Wonder did you ever dream the amount of work and commitment involved when you started up Slugger?

    and Talking of the best bits…could there be a book in it? along the lines of the book published some years ago by Fortnight to mark its anniversary?

  • babyface finlayson

    I miss old ‘ding ding’ Ingram. He sure knew how to wind people up.
    As one of the few who come here to learn rather than teach, I have found Slugger to be very useful.
    I enjoyed reading it for years without feeling the need to comment.
    Only when I thought of a username that conveyed wit and sophistication did I take the plunge.
    Thanks Mick

  • seamus60

    Congratulations Mick and best wish`s for the next ten.

  • Many happy returns on that, Mick. It was march 09 before first posted using a similar user. I see they’re dropping all the contributers to Hearts and minds when it hits the buffers in a fortnight. You might get one or two more here you don’t already have.

  • Greenflag

    Congrats for the 10 years and for keeping Slugger civil or as a certain CJ of the ‘Rise and Fall of Reggie Perrin ‘ was wont to say ‘not too much not too little -just enough’

    I occasionally miss the ‘Repartition threads ‘of a few years ‘back NOT 😉 As an aside they say diamonds last forever although not necessarily in the same hands and on that note I see that the ‘Ulster Doomed ‘ site remains available despite the untimely and sad passing of it’s creator Ian Livingstone a couple of years back .

    A question ? Does this mean that Slugger will be available in the 22nd century by which time many of us here will have long ceased to have a personal interest 😉

    Anyway well done and nihil illegitimi carborundum as always.

  • Mick Fealty

    You may have to visit the British Museum where they’ve been archiving us for the last four years or so…

    Don’t think any modest legacy I might leave could/would sustain the site as it is for long…

  • Bangordub

    Happy Birthday!
    Without blowing smoke where I shouldn’t you are a valuable part of political life, an outlet for opinions of those who maybe wouldn’t feel as comfortable expressing their views in other forums and a thought provoking platform.
    Keep it up!!!

  • Bold, argumentative, unpredictable, dog with a bone, outgoing, hard to live with, pluralist, passionate, progressive, tenacious, a little spectum, eclecyic, occasionally genteel, occasionally well written, more respected tban loved, often right, sometimes wrong, modest and relatively hard working and honest.

    Mick F

    Well put, no surprise there as you have always been well able to fight your corner and have the necessary stamina to maintain a blog like slugger, no mean achievement in itself.

    Where I would disagree is your claim slugger is progressive, (if you mean in the political sense.) Overall Slugger has sailed with the status quo winds, which have been anything but progressive during the last ten years. Even when attacking SF and its leader, slugger has been sailing in the wake of a larger status quo.

    No where has a lack of a progressive bent been more so than on economic matters, as recent as two weeks or so ago you were still clinging to the remnants of neo liberal economics, one of the most reactionary and destructive economic theories, as we are all finding out to our cost.

    Nevertheless, none of this makes your achievement any less.

  • Mister Joe, (if you mean in the political sense)..

    My dictionary defines that as favouring political or social change. By that definition, Mick, and a lot of contributors and commenters are indeed progressive.

  • Mister Joe,

    Mmmm, to my mind that is just how much our language has been distorted, I would see being progressive as fighting for change for the better for all, not a tiny minority of millionaires. How crashing the heart out of the British and US industrial base, widening the gap between rich and poor, privatising the family silver and using the banks as your private casino, whilst using a marked deck, can be called progressive is beyond me.

    Yet this is what has become the status quo over the last decade and more; Or should I say, the common sense of the age (LOL) and bar some honourable exceptions, slugger supported it or acquiesced to it.

    Of course slugger was not alone in this, as almost the entire mainstream media did like wise and and despite what we now know and are experiencing, still does. Making it the most unrepresentative media which has existed in my life time.

    And that is saying something.

    more on this here,

  • Congratulations Mick.

    To be able to practically demonstrate your belief in the open society and freedom of speech (despite the provocations or occasional miscreants like myself testing your patience) for such a long period is as important in a place like NI as the quality of comments or posts on offer.

  • Mister Joe


    You’ve totally lost me there since I cannot make the connection between the millionaires and SOT (unless Mick is hiding his personal wealth from us) or, indeed, my personal views.

  • Mister Joe

    My point is if one uses your definition of progressive it would be much the same as how the mainstream media described globalisation, neo liberal economic and the likes of the market knows best, etc, etc.

    I will let you work out why I do not regard slugger as a progressive blog, or perhaps not.

    It does not make slugger a bad blog or not worth a visit, it is just how I see it.

    All the best.

  • Mister Joe

    Thanks, Mickhall. Now I understand what you meant about distortion of the language. It depends on what kind of social or political change you favour.

  • Alias

    It’s probably poor form to pick your own post out from Slugger’s vast archive as a favourite (particularly when it is pure nonsense) but I still get a kick out of the progression in this one, delivered in an absurd exchange with MunsterMitty where he had convinced himself that I was a Mossad/MI5 agent placed on Slugger as an agent of influence but then tried a new (to him) way to discredit me when he had to grudgingly concede that it probably wasn’t so:

    “If such posters do indeed sincerely believe what they contend, that slugger is of minor importance in the overall scheme of things, and yet expend so much time and effort in detailed, participatory, posts, then the only logical conclusion is there are some sad lives out there, some very sad lives indeed!” – MunsterView

    True, I’m so boring that even my local parish priest yawns during my confession. And as a Jew, I only go to confession because no one will listen to me. I had to nail his door on the box shut to stop him from bolting! Even my dog yawns when I get home. I even bought a parrot just to have ‘someone’ to talk to but all it ever said was “Would you ever shut the fu*k up!” It’s all very sad, really. I remember gate-crashing a wake and someone pointed at me and said “Who put the corpse sitting up?” Is it any wonder I have such low self-esteem? Hardly. It got so bad that one time I phoned The Samaritans but they just hung up. Jehovah’s Witnesses make their excuses and leave. I wish I could be a radical subversive, dedicating my spare time to promoting an establishment party in a mandatory coalition but nothing that exciting could ever happen to me. Hell, I’d go take my dog for a walk right now but it insists on going for walkies alone. I’m the kind of guy that ends up killing his neighbour’s family with an axe and arranges their dismembered corpses in satanic poses on the front lawn…

  • Great stuff Alias, I’m off to bed with a silly smile on my face and that does not happen often this days, and all due to your pen and Mick F’s blog.

    nite nite


  • anne warren

    Happy Birthday Slugger.
    Now you’re 10. Childhood’s almost over!
    Will you soon become a stroppy teenager?
    Looking forward to it!!

    PS We the readers understood there was some sort of ding-dong with McGregor but whatever happened to Munster?

  • weidm7

    A hearty congratulations to Mick and Slugger for having easily the most interesting political blog in Ireland.

  • Mick Fealty

    Munster, sweet man that he still is, could never quite refrain from dealing with his residual opponents in the terms of who he thought they were rather than what they said.

    Mark resigned from the blogging team after we disagreed (strongly) on the legal status of a particular post of his. He still has the right/capacity to comment.

  • antoinmaccomhain

    Lá breithe sona duit.

  • DoppiaVu

    Blimey – 50 posts in and still no backlash. That must be a record on Slugger.

    Well done to Mick and the blogging team.

  • anne warren

    Thanks Mark for satisfying my curiosity!

  • Mick Fealty


    I’m a bit taken aback by that too… People do know they don’t have to be nice… especially since it is no longer the old boy’s birthday?

  • wee buns

    Congratulations on the milestone Mick – can only imagine what it must take, a tremendous amount of work. In a week I barely get time to read all posts but always find some food for thought. Do miss the Photoman though.

  • Mick Fealty

    Ah, he’s lost the password. Must get him back toot sweet!

  • Republic of Connaught

    Congrats on your 10 years, Mick.

    No doubt Slugger is the only online tavern on this island for reasonably intelligent discussion about the north of Ireland, a place I have learned on slugger some people up there strangely call “Northern Ireland”. 😉

    Here’s to your next 10 years when, in the new German controlled united Ireland, you’ll have to translate all threads into Deutsche for our comrades in Berlin. 🙂

  • Roy Walsh

    Y’know, I first used this about then, using the nom de plume Bill Tracey, forgot that password quickly, it’s been a gas, and hopefully will continue, thanks for the informations and the scraps.

  • ForkHandles

    Slugger may be 10 years old, but it’s been getting worse and worse as the years go on. Most people would expect posts and discussions on current affairs and events in the news at the present time. But Slugger has gone off into some kind of land that time forgot. The posts here are 90% on the theme of 20th Century troubles/sectarian/united Ireland/terrorists rants and issues which are related to people who think in a tribal way and seem to have got a bit worked up about what the other tribe is doing. It’s really embarrassing for us expats to read this never ending loop of nonsense and see it portrayed as popular topics of discussion for people from Northern Ireland. No one I know back home ever talks about or cares about this sort of nonsense. The people that go on about this stuff are considered to be a bit embarrassing in a backward sort of way.
    It’s about time that Slugger made way for a blogging site that represents the vast majority of normal people in NI. A modern NI site would ban posts on
    “Let’s look back at the 60s, 70s, 80s communal strife…”
    “Protestants and Catholics this that and the other blah blah blah”
    “Them terrorist’s organisations……….”
    “United Ireland!! Grrr, struggles, oppression!…..”
    “Tribal behaviour….. from them other’uns….”
    “Let’s have a march and / or a protest….”
    And so on….

    The only real draw for Slugger as a web site is that it gets updated often with posts and comments and so provides something to read about events at home. But it fails in 90% of the content as it caters for a small sub section of society that is stuck in the past. If there was an NI blogging site that banned the above type of posts and built up the frequency of its comments, then I think that slugger would die a death overnight.
    On Slugger I enjoy the occasional post and comments on events at home, especially when someone has some extra information or perspective that you won’t see reported in the main stream media. I also enjoy the posts related to the Euro problems and the comments from the southern contributors as they often have detailed information and arguments to put forward. Contrast this with posts and comments about what the Lord Mayor of Belfast likes to put on his wall! Cringe factor 10! …..
    Slugger should be repositioned as “a medium to facilitate the rantings of the ass end of society that just can’t get over it…”
    Then perhaps we could have a NI site related to more normal conversation and politics and discussion of current affairs from NI.
    Mick, perhaps you could start ?? 🙂

  • wee buns

    While I kinda appreciate that you’ve gone to trouble to make a list of what bores you, you have omitted to say what topics a ‘blogging site that represents the vast majority of normal people in NI’ should carry, apart from ‘current affairs and events in the news at the present time’.
    I was under the impression Slugger does carry current affairs (such as they are) from the north, as they happen.
    Surely what you rave about is simply a characteristic of many northerners (tribal behavior) and while I agree that the commentary is often entrenched and insular, that’s the nature of the public opinion beast.
    Southern political blogs (e.g. are equally entrenched and insular too, all be it in a sort of ‘southern’ way i.e. tribalism translates into celebrity type culture. It’s quite hateful – myriads of comments about what a wanker such & such politician is – verbal diarrhea. The will to live leaves me as I plough through a topic I’m interested in.

    I do wish people could stick better to the issues, not personalities or other stereotypical mindsets.

    At least on Slugger there exists a fair percentage of considered commentary.

    I’m intrigued as to what a ‘normal conversation and politics and discussion of current affairs from NI’ would look like?

  • ForkHandles

    WB, any topic woud be fine, just nothing that fits into the categories i listed. those categories are only really of interest to a small group of people, not normal people 🙂
    a normal conversation would be a facts based discussion to argue a point, not a tit for tat rant bringing in irrelevant events from the past.