has come to our attention that a recent contributor
to the Blanket, "Adam O'Toole", is
in fact a pseudonym. The Blanket has a long
standing policy of not publishing anonymous articles,
and of discouraging the use of pseduonyms, especially
in polemical articles that attack named persons, unless
there is a legitimate reason for needing a pseduonym.
The person using the name "Adam O'Toole"
was made aware of this policy when confusion arose
over the authorship of the piece he was submitting
("Stake Knife turns
out to have blunt British blade") to the
Blanket for publication, which has been previously
published in the online edition and newsletter of
An Phoblacht under the name "Mick Griffith".
In addition to this, the piece was submitted to the
Blanket using an email address which was the
name of a possible third person. "Adam O'Toole"
asserted authorship of the article and claimed that
the name "Mick Griffith" was mistakenly
used in the online edition of AP/RN and said
he would alert the editor of AP/RN to his error.
At no time did he indicate that "Adam O'Toole"
was a pseudonym and in fact he strove to present "O'Toole"
as a real person.
now transpires that neither "Adam O'Toole"
nor "Mick Griffith" exist and both names
are in fact pseudonyms. What is more, the article
"Be Neither Shocked
Nor Awed", which was first published in An
Phoblacht and then submitted to the Blanket
and published in both under the name "Mick Finnegan",
was in fact written by the same person. This article
was submitted to the Blanket using a web-based
emailer and it was only after we discovered "Adam
O'Toole" was fictitous that we made the connection
between the two and confirmed that emails purporting
to come from "Mick Finnegan" and "Adam
O'Toole" in fact came from the same computer
used by the same person who is neither "Finnegan"
nor "O'Toole". As it turns out, this same
person has written for the Blanket before,
again using a different false name, "John O'Leary"
(see the Letters page).
Each time, using different names, he falsely presented
himself as a real person, not a pseudonym.
had no problem whatsoever publishing the material
submitted to us - that we published it should bear
this out - but we do have a problem with the author
misleading our readers into thinking that the articles
were written by different people, and non-existent
people at that; not to mention the deception perpetrated
upon ourselves, who carried the work in good faith.
This continual deception makes it harder for us to
accept material from others who submit it via email
in the future. We have asked "Adam O'Toole"
for an explanation but as of yet have not received
any further correspondence from him. We are aware
of his real identity but choose not to publish it
at this time.
in the pages of An Phoblacht under a variety
of false names against the use by legitimate journalists
of "nameless, faceless" sources, it strikes
us as a most brazen form of hyprocrisy - a case of
the nameless, faceless pot calling the nameless faceless
kettle black. It undermines his colleagues at An
Phoblacht who have the courage and fortitude to
write under their own names and makes the uphill battle
An Phoblacht - which is basically a party propaganda
newsheet - faces in terms of its credibility even
harder. It is no small scandal that the party An
Phoblacht works for is chastising the media for
relying on nameless sources when its own newspaper
publishes articles from the same, giving the false
impression that more people support its arguments
than actually do.
apologise to our readers for not catching this earlier
and for publishing his deceptive articles. In knowingly
deceiving us he also deceived our readers and because
we took him at face value ultimately we are at fault
for publishing his deceit. Whatever else may be said
about the Blanket, a "Coward's Corner"
is something we have endeavored since day one that
we would never become.
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