Some headlines to test your powers of identification

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 11.41.46

Picture by NS Newsflash

OK class, sit up straight. I have a little test for you today.  No, don’t start crying – it’s a straightforward test. And a two-part test.  First part,  you’ll be asked to do a bit of mixing and matching; and then when you’ve done that, you’ll be asked to identify the source for it all.  Sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Here I’m going to give you three  headlines and then three, um, journalists. Your job will be to match the, um, journalist with the headline. Here we go.


“Sinn Fein in crisis as voters flee to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail”

“Bad news for Sinn Fein as the dead still won’t disappear”

“More shadowy secrecy from Sinn Fein  only reinforces its ‘cult politics’ tag”.

Right.  Digest those for a minute.

Now. Here are three,  um, journalists. Your job is to say who wrote what – link the um, journalist with the headline.

Um, Journalists:

Mairia Cahill

Eilis O’Hanlon

Jody Corcoran.

Tricky eh? Any hands? OK, you Virginia… You think  Mairia wrote the first, Eilis wrote the second, Jody wrote the third. Sorry, Virginia. Nice try but no cigar.

Egbert – you think you have it? OK, fire ahead… You go for Eilis on the first, Jody on the second and Mairia on the third. Sorry, Egbert. Near but not quite there.

You give up? Fair enough. No need to feel downhearted , though – any of the three pieces could have been written by any of the um, journalists.  In fact this time it was Jody who had the Sinn Fein voters “fleeing” (a darlin’ word, that, “fleeing”) to Fine Gael and Fianna Fail; it was Mairia who had the Shinners identified as a passel of cult politickers; and it was Eilis who brought the news about the dead not disappearing for Sinn Féin.  At first I thought each piece was characteristic of the um, journalist who had penned it;  on mature reflection I can see how they could have been shuffled around and fitted to the authorship of any of the three.

What’s that?  I still haven’t asked you about the source for all three pieces? Ah well now,  that was only a little private joke of mine, a little chuckle I was having with myself. Sure a blind-folded child strapped on a mad horse could spot the source of those kind of headlines. Not to mention the content of each piece, which I would summarise for you except each time I tried to read the piece I kept nodding off.  Tell you what – if you don’t know the source of these three fine pieces by three of our most eminent um, journalists, then maybe you should quit politics-watching and take up mud-slinging as an alternative past-time. You don’t know how to mud-sling? No worries. Lots of tutors around, expert in the field, more than happy to show you how to knead and fire. The only proviso will be that you don’t get to choose the target for the slinging. They do.

41 Responses to Some headlines to test your powers of identification

  1. neill June 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    Oh boo hoo Jude man up just because these journalists had a little pop at a party that has has a track record of rank hypocrisy you don’t like it still it is terribly decent you to stand up for poor old bullied Sf the poor innocent darlings
    Perhaps from now on nobody should question SF afterall it might endanger the peace process…

    • Jude Collins June 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm #

      Now you’re just being ya-boo-sucks, neill. Not really much of a contribution, if you think about it

      • neill June 29, 2015 at 10:55 am #

        Perhaps it was in contrast to your fawning coverage of SF the point is you give more latitude to SF than you ever do to other parties and movements?

        • Jude Collins June 29, 2015 at 11:42 am #

          You’ll have to pay attention, neill. I normally support SF because their policies make sense to me. They are also the object of constant broadsides from the mainstream media (check out today’s Indo and Irish Times if you doubt me) so a little counterbalance seems more than reasonable. I’m not sure how that translates into ‘fawning’ but maybe you can explain.

          • neill June 29, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

            Well Jude you condemn journalists from certain papers having a real go at Sf yet you on the other hand offer little or no critism and to be truthful actually follow slavishly their every word you talk about the media being biased and yet as part of the media don’t notice this about your self.

            The broad context here is that a free media is only good when scrutinising the other parties and not Sf and critising SF endangers the Peace process….

          • Jude Collins June 29, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

            Oh dear, neill – do I have to go over this with you AGAIN? My point is the aforesaid journalists – and quite a few others – do little else except have a go at SF. I don’t follow their every word, slavishly or any other way – didn’t I tell you I stopped reading with the headlines? I’m not part of the mainstream media – if I were I’d be a lot richer than I am. Though if you want to start making a contribution every time you read me, who am I to stand in your way? I’d just like – at the danger of repeating myself yet again – to see the media for once do a positive piece on the Shinners. Jim Gibney in the VO apart…I think I even offered you money if you came up with a reasonable number. Odd that you didn’t respond, given that the mainstream media are fair and balanced, right?

  2. James June 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    If you take your politics seriously Jude, the first bit of advice is under no circumstances pay for a hard copy of any of the southern media. By all means read them on-line and if any of them have a pay-wall up, (you know the one I mean), the best thing to do is set your web browser to incognito mode, end of problem with the pay-wall. For me, any article which has Sinn Fein in the headline is immediately by-passed and rejected as the usual pot-boiler rubbish which very often fills a gap during what those in the newspaper business refer to as ‘the silly season’. The way I look at it, the five minutes or so which it takes to read those type of articles is five minutes out of my life which I can never recover. Life is too short !!!

    • John June 29, 2015 at 1:29 am #

      Hi James. – Like Jude does, i take my Politics very seriously. Have done since the age of 13 – for many, many reasons. The arrival of that harridan (to put it mildly), Thatcher (& Co.) played a large part in that. – Plus a fully compliant media (‘Newspaper’ and Broadcast). Some things (obviously) never change – a 95% Pro Right-Wing printed media prior to the recent Election. And the very same here in Ireland (I’ve lived in Co.Kildare for nearly 15 years now) – and watched/seen the very same thing happen. One thing that will always stick in my mind (as i’ve mentioned on Jude’s (excellent) Blog before) – is the morning editions of The Daily Mail (why people over here buy it is utterly beyond me – it being one of the most anti-Irish ‘papers for the best part of a Century. Surely by now the diaspora in the UK have passed the message over well before now. Or maybe the reader’s here are part of the Southern ‘clique’ who like to think themselves somewhat Middle-Class – or higher, and/or part of the Unionist / Dublin D2 etc etc ‘Set’. The 2 ‘editions’ that will always stick in my mind, relate to the time ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’ won a ‘Best Film’ at some particular Awards Ceremony. – The UK edition front page screamed ‘Ban This IRA Recruitment Filth!’ – whilst the edition over here (very same day) – could not be more lavish in its praise for the film, actors etc.
      As yourself – I don’t pay for hard copies of the Southern media – if i find one lying around (‘The Dependant’ – as our resident Wordsmith of Repute – Perkin, calls it), weekly – or especially Sunday’s – i find myself becoming more and more tense and the blood-pressure rising. Often this’ll be in my local Hospital, where copies can be found in the Cafe days later – and i’ll find myself reading the utterances of these untrained ‘Journalists’ prior to an appointment, so it’s probably for the best – as the Doctor’s etc will have me marked in their files as ‘This guy;s heading for a heart-attack’, or suchlike.

      The one that does arrive with my other e-mail’s every day, is The I.T. (can just about put up with – and i can get a general knowledge of what’s been going on, once i’ve filtered through the bias) – Though that’s heading for a Paywall.
      As much as i often can’t prevent myself reading what these numpties are saying (it comes from an excellent (UK) Labour MP – Dennis Skinner saying years and years ago, and always remained in my mind…..”Always know what your enemy is thinking” – i shall take your excellent advice re: the pay-wall – (that, i have to say James, is a brilliant by-pass!) – and ‘go incognito’. – Thank you very, very much indeed for that one!

      – And Jude, apologies for lack of input recently. (Health) – This, and recent blogs have been excellent as always, with some top-notch input. (And the usual “Will you Ever change your tune”, from others).
      Hope you’re keeping well, and Regards to PK too.

      • Jude Collins June 29, 2015 at 7:36 am #

        Much thanks John – on my own behalf and PK’s…Stay well…

        • John July 2, 2015 at 12:22 am #

          GRMA Jude, and to Paddy too. Much appreciated, and apologies for the delay in replying.

          Looks like you’ve stirred up quite a debate (no harm there) – but will neill ever get with the programme / headline (so to speak?!)

  3. giordanobruno June 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    No journalist buried the disappeared.
    No journalist caused Sinn Fein members in Cork to resign.
    No journalist commissioned the poll showing worrying results for SF.
    You have a bad case of shootingthemessenger-itis.

    • Sherdy June 28, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

      Gio, – And no journalist told the truth!
      That’s the important one you forgot.

      • giordanobruno June 29, 2015 at 8:26 am #

        As Jude did not read the articles I guess he would not know that.
        Examples of the lies in the articles?

  4. Perkin Warbeck June 28, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    Oddly enough, your three-part question, Esteemed Blogmeister, with regard to the Sunday Dependent put one in mind of another three-part thingy of a rather contrary stripe, in this instance to do with Independence.

    Mexican Independence, in fact.

    Every year the place to be at 11 pm (the eleventh hour, indeed) on September 15 is El Zocalo aka the central plaza in Mexico City, along with half a million others, and not a single , solitary nuanced If Only O’Toole of a Blueshirt among them.

    That is the appointed hour when El Presidente from the balcony of the Presidential Palace first of all rings the bell and then opens his lungs to deliver (in triplicate) El Grito de Dolores, the Shout first uttered on the same night in 1810 by Padre Miguel Hidalgo in the small town of Dolores.

    Which turned out to be El Pronunciamiento of the Mexican War of Independence.

    After that the National Anthem of Mexico is sung en masse. And once that patriotic duty is done, the real National Anthem is then given a full, uninhibited airing: El Cielto Lindo.

    Si, senor, the one that goes: ay ay ay ay.

    One know that is the real N. Anthem (or National Antrim in Dublinese) because one is invariably woken next morning to the sound of church bells ringing out….El Cielto Lindo.

    Senor Domingo O’ Brien thinks he’s Tito
    Whose oily rag confers upon him a veto
    Over El Cielto Lindo
    The bane of d’Sindo
    Speed el dia twill be el periodico mosquito.

  5. Séamus Ó Néill June 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    All these years later , no matter what we do , we are still under scrutiny , under the microscope ……the cause of ALL our woes cannot possibly be analysed…. Unionism /Loyalism and the British are feted….wined and dined ,pampered to… but the baddies ,the auld Shinners …..they are worse than the devil incarnate….why ? , could it possibly be a guilt complex ,,,a realisation that the abandonment of 1/4 of the population would one day haunt their very fat wallets and their very bulimic conscience. Is Éireannach mé ,sin é agus sin sin…..I am not going anywhere , I deserve my day in the sun……and I SHALL have it !!!

  6. Argenta June 28, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    You missed “Name ‘Veronica’ bridge after the SF/IRA victims”.The journalist was Jimmy Guerin(brother of said Veronica).He suggests that the proposal to name the new flyover on the Naas Rd after his sister fell because of Sinn Fein opposition.They apparently felt that there should be be no hierarchy of victims.I’m sure Sinn Fein would never campaign to have a bridge named after one of their members ,would they?!Hold on a minute,they’re doing just that at the minute in Strabane but I’m sure that’s different!

    • C. June 29, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Argenta, since the death of the Strabane SF member you speak of (Ivan Barr) was not as a result of the conflict, he cannot therefor be called a victim; so maybe you could spell out how you can maintain SF are being hypocritical and how they are placing him in this “hierarchy of victims” you refer to?

      • Argenta June 29, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

        I’m not responsible for the headline that Jimmy Gurein (or Sindo sub-editor) chose to put on article.As I understand it Veronica Guerin was murdered because of articles she wrote criticising certain Dublin drug barons.So it can’t be said that she was a victim of the “Troubles”.Sinn Fein’s mantra seems to be that there should be no hierarchy of victims.Down south,they apparently blocked the naming of a bridge after M/s Guerin yet up in Strabane they are actively campaigning for a bridge to be named after the late Cllr Barr.Sounds like double standards to me!

        • C. June 30, 2015 at 9:50 am #


          You’re missing the point. It would be double standards if they allowed one bridge to be named after a victim while maintaining another couldn’t be named after a different victim. But how can they be applying double standards in terms of how they treat victims when Cllr Ivan Bar was not a victim?

        • John July 2, 2015 at 12:44 am #

          Argenta – “Sounds like double standards to me” – (Or that of the Sindo sub-editor) – that most dependable ‘organ’ of ‘Journalistic standards’ – where a person needs no training, qualifications, etc, etc, to pour forth their ‘issues’ shall we say….

          What, exactly, is your point Argenta?

  7. michael c June 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm #

    Aye Gio,that poll “showing worrying results for SF”!.Support running at more than twice the last general election is a real disaster,is’nt it?

    • giordanobruno June 29, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      If it shows a trend it might be a worry I would have thought?
      But I don’t know, polls maybe do not mean to much.
      My point really is this ‘boohoo the media stole my lunch money’ stuff is surely counterproductive. Address the issues raised(if they are lies, it should be easy) and voters will have more respect.
      When the media do a story reflecting badly on another party (yes it happens) there is no hesitation in commenting on it,and when recent polls were more favourable to SF such stories were lovingly handled on these pages.
      And having a jab at Mairia Cahill is surely not wise,in terms of bringing in new voters. Discuss what she is saying certainly,but if I was PR guru for SF I would be advising to stay well away from personal attacks.

      • Jude Collins June 29, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

        Nothing personal about it, gio – strictly business…

        • giordanobruno June 30, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

          Not sure what happened to my last attempt,but I am sure you didn’t censor it, so I will try again.
          It is clear you were having a dig at Cahill’s journalistic credentials, in order to undermine what she said, instead of making an argument on the content, which you did not even read. (You know the journalists don’t write the headlines don’t you?)
          If I was the SF PR guru I would say it is bad for business to be having a go at Mairia Cahill and to stick to the detail of what she is saying.
          That is if SF or you are interested in winning new voters rather than just pleasing the party faithful.
          So no need for the “um journalist” stuff unless you are little plum,
          “Um journalists are picking on um Sinn Fein again Chiefy. Bah!”

          • Jude Collins June 30, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

            I’m not sure what happened it either, gio – I certainly didn’t censor it – as you should know by now I reserve that for libel and abuse only. Re your comments: I wasn’t having a dig at Cahill’s journalistic credentials – I was just amusing myself in terms of all three, who again and again hammer at GA and SF, come rain come shine. You’re right, I didn’t read the articles – but do you think there’d have been something in them that’d have surprised me, given the authors, the headlines and the organ? I know the hacks don’t write the headlines, but neither do the sub-eds write wildly inaccurate headlines normally. Anyway, one way or another I didn’t read them so how would I engage with their argument? I expect you might say that if you were a SF PR guru – but you’re not and I’m not a member of SF so it’s a bit speculative all round, wouldn’t you say? I’m not interested in pleasing anyone but myself, funny enough. AS to the little plum bit, it rings a faint bell in my head but nothing I can pin down. That said, I still think the Indo is a joke as an objective or even thoughtful media organ and I think the constant diatribes against the Shinners have got to a point that’s beyond parody. So if you’re saying I shouldn’t be bothered reading even the headlines, you’re probably right. Take a bow, gio…Again.

  8. RJC June 29, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    As some wag on Twitter said about Denis O’Brien –

    ‘Typical Ireland. As soon as a man buys a government and silences the media, out come the begrudgers.’

    • Jude Collins June 29, 2015 at 2:18 pm #

      Brilliant! Give that man a cigar…

  9. Dixie Elliott June 29, 2015 at 8:15 pm #

    Three Journalists attack SF. Again!

    There you have the abridged version of your piece Jude. It’s easier on the eye and think of all the words saved to include in another piece in defense of the Party.

    I couldn’t actually find a single sentence in which there was a point made against what they had written.

    And if the class started crying it’s because they had to read something which entailed having to start again to actually figure out what they were reading about.

    • Jude Collins June 29, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

      Very good, Dixie – bravo! I was dealing solely with the headlines, actually – as I say, I never quite got round to reading the articles. But you could probably guess what they were about, couldn’t you? The class were crying because there was a test, not because they were asked to read something. Do try to keep up, Dixie…

      • Dixie Elliott June 29, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

        I must say, it was testing Jude…

        By the way. Anti-Sinn Fein is the most repeated phrase in use by the average industrial shinner as far as I can see.

        It too shows a lack of constructive argument in defense of the Party, especially as we are all ‘anti’ something or other…. Anti-SDLP….Anti-FF/FG/Labour.

        And in SF’s case anti-whistle-blowers.

        However could you imagine if others followed suit, debate would be confined to everyone accusing everyone else of being anti-them.

        • Jude Collins June 30, 2015 at 7:21 am #

          Dixie – you’re in danger of vanishing up your own existential aperture with that class of talk…As to anti-SF, they have a lot of anti-SF to be concerned about. I think you’ll find that SF’s central planks are pretty obvious: equality and freedom. Old-fashioned words, old-fashioned things but all the more valuable for that. As to being against whistle-blowers: that would depend on what the whistle-blowers say when they take the whistle out of their mouth.If they declare ‘The sky is falling!’ or ‘SF is a coven of cloven-footed monsters!’ then maybe there’d be a need to be a little sceptical – no?

          • Dixie Elliott June 30, 2015 at 11:06 pm #

            Equality and Freedom….

            Jude the Brits are heavily funding SF in the North, in other words paying for party loyalty, I very much doubt that the Brits are investing in something which works against them. Especially in the areas of Equality and Freedom.

            Proof that their investment is safe is the fact that leading members of your party, by chasing the British Royals for handshakes, are making the most repugnant aspect of British Imperialism acceptable to nationalists.

            We have Shinners standing at British Cenotaphs and even Mitchel McLaughlin is playing his part by sitting on The Stormont Commonwealth Committee.

            And lets not forget the UK City of Culture farce. SF in Derry were opposing it in the knowledge that it was merely rubber stamping the city – formally known to the world as Free Derry – as a UK City.

            Then up steps Marty and suddenly it’s a great thing altogether.

            Republicans like myself need only wait to see what they do next because they’ve stooped this far so I reckon they can stoop down far enough to be able to look backwards through their legs.

            Oh look a Royal….

  10. John F June 29, 2015 at 10:29 pm #

    The infinite monkey theorem fits the Sindo much better than the works of Shakespeare

  11. Emmet June 30, 2015 at 6:53 am #

    I wonder how many Irish journalists are paid by MI6? I would guess a lot of the ‘establishment’ in the South are under the influence of foreign intelligence. Are there any independent journalist able to get some information on this? Is it possible to uncover? I think it is an issue of national security. I have my suspicions, and when I was at university a person who worked for the British government said the Ireland would be in open rebellion if we ever found out how much our affairs were being influenced by a few people in London. He became more credible as the years went on, he was getting routine reports from satellite imagery of Israeli settler expansion in Palestine that made me feel he had some idea of what was going on. Has anyone else got any info on this?

    • Wolfe tone June 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

      The best way to control the opposition is to control the opposition.
      When the editor of the Irish daily star(I think) printed the topless photos of royal welfare scrounger Kate Middleton a couple of years ago he was unduly bounced out of his job by the owners of the paper. Who are English. He committed no crime. He simply did what other European papers were going at the time. Alas he upset sweaty Betty Windsor and the royal political establishment. So I think we can recognise how far deep the British state reaches into Irish free state society. They havent gone away you know……….They never even left.

  12. neill June 30, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Oh dear, neill – do I have to go over this with you AGAIN? My point is the aforesaid journalists – and quite a few others – do little else except have a go at SF. I don’t follow their every word, slavishly or any other way – didn’t I tell you I stopped reading with the headlines? I’m not part of the mainstream media – if I were I’d be a lot richer than I am. Though if you want to start making a contribution every time you read me, who am I to stand in your way? I’d just like – at the danger of repeating myself yet again – to see the media for once do a positive piece on the Shinners. Jim Gibney in the VO apart…I think I even offered you money if you came up with a reasonable number. Odd that you didn’t respond, given that the mainstream media are fair and balanced, right?

    Read what I said Jude not what you think I said!

  13. michael c June 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    Dixie,I think Mick Fawlty or Anthony McIntout are waiting on you to report back.

    • Dixie Elliott June 30, 2015 at 10:43 pm #

      michael c I actually believe you’re danny m – I’ve often seen the same nonsense spat out from his general direction….

      Anyway the so called ‘touts’ are getting chased down by the PSNI and even charged while the so called ‘touted on’ are clearly immune from prosecution.

      Ah the logic of the average shinner is at best amusing.

  14. michael c July 1, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Anyone charged were foolish enough to believe McIntout’s guarantees and foolishly implicated themselves while those they were out to get wisely adopted the old Republican mantra of “whatever you say say nothing”.As I say go back to Slugger where Fawlty will pat you on the head or better still go back and team up with the rest of the wierdos on “the touting quill” !

    • Dixie Elliott July 1, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

      michael c at least Mackers and the others, including I might add Jude, have the balls to put their names to whatever they have to say unlike yourself.

      Ernie O’Malley did something similar when he toured Ireland taking the testimonies of former volunteers. Those testimonies come in the form of 3 books under the main title, ‘The Men will Talk to me.’ And guess what? You can buy them in the SF online shop.

      I wonder, was O’Malley touting when he did those interviews?

      And don’t talk about Republican mantras, those went out the door when so called republican leaders started chasing British Royals for handshakes and raising a toast old HM herself.

      Anyway you hide and throw out as many insults as you want, for all we know you likely only became a SF supporter in the last few years. Then again I honestly believe you could well be Danny M…

  15. michael c July 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    As I have told you before ,you have’nt a leg to stand on because the “touting quill “website that you endorse and regularily guest on is inhabited by by scores of anonymous wierdos who spout their bile anonymously.Both me and my family have been republicans for generations when you and your ilk were prancing round with hibernian sashes tripping you.Ernie O’Malley was able to do his interviews in 100%safety for the simple reason that the southern authorities were on the same side and were comrades of the interviewees,.Both FF and FG soldiered with the interviewees during the tan war and FF soldiered with them during the civil war.There was no possibility of repercussions for anyone saying anything to O’MALLEY.