case surely of the Skibbereen Eagle: the Irish
Echo last week had the temerity to devote a column
to a vicious, accurate and offensive attack on the
Angrytown News in Belfast. Ireland.
of our vigorous support for the peace process from
the very moment the Republican Movement started calling
it that, we're being denigrated and attacked by dissident
'republican' Anthony McIntyre and his associates.
some time, Mr. McIntyre has been running a one-man
campaign against the Hanschristianandersonstown
News. This has included his recent outrageous
claim that we're journalists.
the sort of claim which has left Mr. McIntyre with
zero support among the upper echelons of West Belfast
society. However, as he and his family are now well
aware, it's also a very dangerous allegation for him
to be going around making.
then so are most of the myths about this paper which
he peddles in the darker, not-for-profit, recesses
of the internet, safe in the knowledge that no matter
how embarassing or accurate, no-one is interested
in feeding his ego by threatening action, even legal
action should it come to that, against anyone we can't
guarantee will fold like a cheap deckchair or has
lots of vulnerable property in the Free State.
recent weeks, however, he's been desperately not preventing
the respectable (i.e. commercial) media from referring
to his defamatory statements. We've left the mainstream
under the impression that we'll sue if his highly
dangerous (for us as well) and damaging allegations
appear in print in a legitimate forum -- where they
might be believed by our American profit centres.
Mr. McIntrye, who, according to our exclusive and
authoritative republican sources, may possibly have
used the libel laws against us in the past, and your
writer Eamon Lynch who would have taken his action
for libel to court in Ireland if his opponent had
had a leg to stand on, say that's unfair. Besides,
we had to pay out when an unfortunate typographical
error led to our describing another journalist as
a loyalist informer. Swings and roundabouts, how are
McIntyre is particularly disturbed at the way we carried
out our exclusive audience with Mr. Fredo Corleone,
the former member of the Cosa Nostra ("Ourselves
Alone") British Intelligence sources branded Stakeknife. Your columnist
weighs in behind that view and alleges we were working
to a political agenda.
could be closer to the truth. The fact is that our
titles are rigorously apolitical and independent of
almost all political organisations and have more diverse
views in their columns than any other newspaper in
Ireland (An Phoblacht, Sunday Business Post).
We cater for Catholic and Nationalist alike. Our columnists
include a Sinn Fein councillor, a Portadown loyalist
[letter from Mr. Emerson Newton-John, April Fools
edition], a Sinn Féin Lord Mayor, a former
IRA volunteer, the well known author and writer Mr.
Danny Armalite (a leading non-member of Sinn Fein),
Fr. Ted Wilsputin, Ireland's leading defrocked cleric,
and a woman . . . to name just all. As support for
the dissidents dwindles, theft of our papers from
convenience stores is growing: last month the Monday
edition of the Andersonstown News was named
fastest growing paper in Poleglass, showing an infinity
percent growth in circulation compared to the period
when there was no Monday edition.
interview with Mr. Scappagoati -- who your columnist
now brands a "high tout" -- was a first-class
piece of journalism, right up there with previous
scoops such as "People sleep safe under protection
of Brave Oglaigh", "Adams wonderful
- Official!", and "Kill a Coke and
win Sam Maguire tickets." All this at a time
when the media was chock-a-block with stories covering
McIntyre rushed his fences by declaring Mr. Staccaniffi
might possibly be guilty as charged by Brit securocrats
and declared us sell-out merchants (putting us on
a long list that includes Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams)
for letting the guy have his say without giving him
any backchat. Does our interview prove Mr Scaredicatti
wasn't Stakeknife? No. Was it a top-drawer piece of
journalism which threw light on a murky subject? No.
Was it textbook example of politeness and respect
for the privacy of the interviewee, and wholly responsible
and supportive of the peace process? You bet!
other pointers for the record: The Angrytown News
was never involved in any picket of Mr. McIntyre's
home and deplores such activity. Staff attended on
their own time and no overtime or mileage was paid,
save to those members who also covered the picket
in a professional capacity (see 'Enemies of Peace
Process provoke totally spontaneous outburst of community
anger. Republican Movement in no way involved-Exclusive!'
AN passim). This position will be made clear to all
staff signing up for the next one.
allegations about the Portadown News [subs: ask Propellor
Boy if he's managed to think of something plausible
stick it in, otherwise we'll just gloss over it]
McIntyre is as free as anyone else we target to write
to our paper; his contributions will be considered
on their merit and shredded.
what is this paper which most of your readers will
hardly have heard of but which merited such a mention
in the Irish Echo last week?
publish four titles, including the daily Irish language
newspaper Tiocfaidh!, the North Belfast
Informer and the South Belfast Owner and Occupier,
employ 60 henchpersons through house picketing agreements
with the main Organisation, operate the irelandprick.com
website, host the second biggest community awards
ceremony in Ireland (after Tirghra) which in 2001
presented its Person of the Year Award to the New
York Fire Department for courage in the face of non-white
terrorism. Please like us, please. We are the only
newspaper in Ireland to boast the Investor in Cash
Based Businesses award, and have been honoured repeatedly
in our solicitors' letters for our first-class journalism.
a newspaper in Belfast comes at a price. As does looking
at our website. Like our colleagues in newspapers
across this city, our journalists and editors put
their lives on the line to tell the news - all the
news - which affects the communities they serve (G.
has angered paramilitaries - who have made death threats
against our paramilitaries - but the day when we start
standing up to these people (or, in my case, being
these people), in our columns will be the day when
we are a newspaper worthy of the name. And that's
a day which, despite the abuse of Mr. McIntyre and
his colleagues, isn't going to come.
O Muillioneoir, C.E.O./Adjutant
Fawlty Towers (Teach Basil)
Irish Echo accepts that God did not make the
little green apples and that summer rain in Indianapolis
is unheard of. We are satisfied that pigs are, in
fact, capable of flight. Furthermore, the Irish
Ego accepts that the Angrytown News is
an independent, lucrative and professional newspaper,
run by brave dedicated and indeed saintly people who
are committed to the highest standards of journalistic
practice and profit margins. In fact, whatever Mr.
O'Millionaire says is fine by us. This is my honest
opinion and made of own my free will and in no way
out of concern for my telephone masts.
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