Yesterday’s Sindo: let us pray

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 09.09.57

Picture by Jon S


From time to time people tell me I’m a bigot, an apologist for ‘Sinn Féin/IRA’. That of course tells you more about them than me, including the fact that they don’t know what the word ‘apologist’ means. People with this mindset, on the other hand, display a hushed respect for  the words that are printed in newspapers, particularly Irish newspapers north and south. So on this grey Monday morning, let’s have a look at what one Irish newspaper has been saying about republicans.

If you go to that excellent website, you’ll find a list of links to newspapers and  articles that deal with Irish political matters. So let me take the latest nuzhound list and focus on article linking to the Irish Independent/Sunday Independent.


  1. “SF/IRA must ‘surrender’ all weapons – McDowell” by Jody Corcoran
  2. “Peace strides welcome but PIRA legacy must be faced” by Frances Fitzgerald
  3. “Ahern – IRA link to Sinn Féin ‘didn’t come from out of the blue’ ” by Ronald Quinlan
  4. “Time to think carefully about who we want in government” by Ruth Dudley Edwards
  5. “Garda chief fails to clear up confusion left by letter” by Eoghan Harris
  6. “Grave charges must be investigated, once raised” –Editorial.
  7. ” ‘Gerry Adams told us he was the leader of IRA and Sinn Féin’ ” – Paudie McGahon
  8. “IRA’s four tons of Semtex was sold to FARC narco-terrorist groups” by Jim Cusack
  9. “IRA diesel smugglers poison the land by torching toxic sludge” by Jim Cusack
  10. “Micheál Martin has won – Fianna Fail not Sinn Féin is true republican party” by Jody Corcoran

 All of these articles, with the exception of Nos 6 and 7 – (which appeared on the 22 and 24 October respectively) appeared in yesterday’s Sunday Independent. In other words, yesterday’s Sindo carried at least eight articles attacking Sinn Féin.

 Some call it groupthink, some call it transparent propaganda. Let us now close our eyes and offer a decade of the rosary for that mind-saving man,  Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web.






34 Responses to Yesterday’s Sindo: let us pray

  1. jessica October 26, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    Is it like after watching a horror movie and being more frightened of the dark in your own living room where you have walked many times?

    Are they frightening themselves with their own imagination and feeding off one another that they are seeing things that those of us who see things daily in a more positive light cannot see?

    Why are so many people in the media petrified at the rise of Sinn Fein when the people in their communities are not?

    It is baffling.

  2. Mark October 26, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Spring will tell us how the frightened bunnies of Irish journalism have fared. I’m no fan of the party which have abandoned the principles of those who died for our freedom but, stating Fianna Fail are realising the spirit of Republicanism more than Sinn Fein, who have elected representatives throughout Ireland is, well, laughable.

  3. Jim Neeson October 26, 2015 at 9:46 am #

    Some crackers there!!
    Ruth, Jim Casey,Eoghan Harris but I am disappointed that the real experts, Maria Cahill, Eilis O`Hanlon and yer woman McCartney did not get a story in and a few euros to boot.

  4. neill October 26, 2015 at 10:00 am #

    Have you ever criticised the Republican movement ever?

  5. Iolar October 26, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    RDE wrote,

    “…freelancers… get away with murder and with the robbery, fraud, extortion, smuggling and corruption that enriches so many…”

    That sentiment could apply to a wide range of bankers, politicians and entrepreneurs. Elected members of parliament in Westminster named people using parliamentary privilege and people died in the north of Ireland. The heavy hand of history is dripping with blood on Tony Blair’s shoulder at present.

    Mr Harris used another journalist’s quotation,

    “In any other European democracy, Tuesday’s report would have caused a crisis. A party in government in the North is intrinsically linked to a murder machine.”

    Mr Harris et al need to recall that political unionism was in control when innocent Catholics were being murdered and burned out of their homes in the north of Ireland and loyalists were planting bombs in Ballyshannon in the Republic of Ireland. Some in political unionism had no problem with being intrinsically linked to loyalist death squads. Innocent Catholics and Protestants were murdered, some on the basis of “British Army intelligence”, using British Army weapons with cover provided by a range of individuals including military, paramilitary and various agents of the state, a truly appalling vista. That same murder machine was active in Belturbet, Monaghan and Dublin. That same murder machine is busy burying files and documents which will not see the light of day until 2050 under a thin veil marked, National Security.

    Noamhs Chomsky said,

    “The more you can increase fear of drugs, crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.”

    Mr Harris et al try hard but fail miserably to fool even some of the people, some of the time.

  6. Morpheus October 26, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    The problem that faces the Shinners Jude is that this is a battle they simple can’t win. If the media put their shoulder behind a cause then there is little those on the receiving end of it can do about it. Look at what happened in the Scottish Independence referendum, the kitchen sink was thrown at it – including all the Tory “promises” and utter rubbish about banks/businesses moving south taking their jobs with them – and it worked. It spooked the electorate.

    The problem the reader has is that it is incredibly, mindnumbingly, eye-gougingly, hair-pullingly boring. So much so that they switch off and it all becomes white noise. The issue that the Shinners have is that if the white noise, the constant droning in the background, is saying the same thing over and over again it will impact come election day

    • jessica October 26, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

      “The issue that the Shinners have is that if the white noise, the constant droning in the background, is saying the same thing over and over again it will impact come election day”

      Their thoughts exactly Morpheus.

      How can this happen in Ireland of all countries.

  7. colm October 26, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    I can’t even bear to read Independent atricles on Huzhound. Recent polling data would seem to suggest that many in the Republic recognize them for what they are… hate-filled diatribes. What I found more disturbing at the weekend was Noel Whealan losing the run of himself on the radio between one and two on Saturday afternoon. The barrister, former Fianna Fáil candidate and “respected” Irish Times commentator went off on an angry ( Eoin Ó Broinn was doing just too well) solo run outlining how lacking in credibility Sinn Féin is…at least to him. As a final breathless thrust he said that Bertie Ahern had told him that Adams and McGuiness had had informed Ahern that the Northern Bank Job was going to happen… yes you heard me Adams. McGuiness, Ahern and God knows how many others knew of the heist in advance.. well according to the bold Whealan they did. Did my ears deceive me? Can anyone else confirm what I heard?

  8. billy October 26, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    people in the south dont vote on sectarian headcounts like here,they want to know who their voting for different game there.should they be gagged for trying to sell papers.

  9. Joe October 26, 2015 at 11:49 am #


    You disappoint me. It turns out you didn’t even know you lived in the northern bubble.

    Welcome to life outside the bubble. Sinn Fein will face criticism, just like FF and FG. You’ll just have to get used to it. And if SF ever get in power (which I’d be delighted if they did) brace yourself for an onslaught. Remember what happened to FF at the end of their last stint in power. Extraordinarily criticism. Career ending critism. Powerful criticism.

    I think Sinn Fein and their apologists are so used to having to the ‘neutral’ northern media in their pocket that they expect the same in the south. If you consider that on BBC radio alone SF have Colm Dore, Danny Morrison, Chris Donnolly and yourself on constantly as apologetic commentators. Who is the SDLP apologist for example? When you step back it’s more a case of media bias towards Sinn Fein – inside the bubble. Maybe you though they were all neutral commentators.

    So once again welcome to the real world. And if you think SF is getting criticism now, you’re in for some shock. You haven’t seen anything yet. And wait to you see what awaits Enda Kenny in about three years.

    Perhaps you should just stay inside the bubble. It’s nice in there. It all makes more sense in there.


    • Jude Collins October 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughts, Joe. Can’t say I agree about the bubble, though it sounds nice…

    • Emmet October 27, 2015 at 5:44 am #

      Joe, can’t you see the difference in the criticism of Sinn Fein and criticism of the other parties?
      1. Sinn Fein criticism is usually based on conjecture or lies.
      2. Criticism is hardly ever about policy.
      3. The ruling party usually has more scrutiny- they are supposed to run the country.
      4. opposition parties are usually given air time to scrutinise the running of the country.

      The criticism of Sinn fein is unrelenting. The elite are really feeling under pressure, In a way it is probably a good sign. Anything that sees the West Brits feeling threatened has to be good for Irish society.

      • Joe October 27, 2015 at 11:59 am #


        You are correct in all four points you make. Yes, Sinn Fein are getting an unfair amount of criticism. They are not being treated as a proper political party and accorded the respect they are due. That I agree on totally. But why?

        Sinn Fein should at this stage have been a mass movement in the south, dominating the media like Syriza did in Greece and in 2016 they should be cruising to government on a wave of popular support.

        Instead SF has been a real damp squib. Plodding in the polls, less popular even than FF and performing dreadfully on television. This is the reality. There is no popular up swell of support. In all honestly, I am very disappointed with this as SF would be great in power.

        The problem is the six county bubble mentality where Sinn Fein is the perfect party. The problem is that SF supporters cannot find it in themselves to criticise the party at all, even in internal thought. This will be the downfall of SF. If you want to see Sinn Fein in power, you need to see what you don’t like about them. If Jude Collins wants to see Sinn Fein in power he needs to write an article (somewhat) critical of Sinn Fein.

        Unless criticism among supporters can develop, then the criticism from the non supporters will be utterly relentless. Remember Syriza was criticised by it’s supporters to such an extent that the media had nothing left to say.

        Sinn Fein will never be in power as long as their supporters get offended at criticism of the party. This means that it is Jude Collins, and probably yourself Emmet and many more that have lost the 2016 election for Sinn Fein.


        • Jude Collins October 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

          JOe – well-argued but I’m afraid I disagree.If people like myself began putting the boot into the Shinners, the present boot-putters-in would be delighted and would return to booting with renewed energy. So no, projecting into the future, I didn’t lose the election for SF by not thumping them.

          • Joe October 27, 2015 at 1:38 pm #


            Thanks for the reply. I don’t mean for you to put the boot into Sinn Fein. That would not work. What I mean is that Sinn Fein members and supporters need to regard it as a political party and not a political movement. This is where the NI bubble causes so many problems because inside the bubble Sinn Fein is a movement that will free Ireland, and bring about the utopia.

            Outside the bubble in ROI Sinn Fein is another political party that want power just like FF and FG, will be as corrupt as FF or FG and will mess up everyones life just like all political parties do. Sinn Fein are simply human beings you know.

            So what I mean is regard them as a political party. Remember ALL political parties are incompetent, corrupt and do many things wrong. And Sinn Fein are like this too.

            Inside the bubble they are perfect, but if everyone stays inside the bubble, SF are already dead in the water because people take political movements personally. The Sindo take Sinn Fein personally.

            Treat them like a political party. And they may get elected as a political party. Treat them like a movement and they’ll end up like all movements. Flushed down the toilet.



          • Jude Collins October 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

            Thanks Joe (I think). I’m afraid, cynical and hardened though I am, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that all political parties are corrupt.I think that’ where we part ways. All political parties are imperfect but some are more spectacularly imperfect than others. I do regard SF as a political party, but it has one asset that no other party I know of has: it actually cares about a re-united Ireland. I realise it’s not perfect but I think you know yourself that there’s loads of organs working outside ‘the bubble’ who will highlight those imperfections to frightening proportions. I don’t really see any benefit in adding to those.

        • jessica October 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

          “Instead SF has been a real damp squib. Plodding in the polls, less popular even than FF and performing dreadfully on television. This is the reality. There is no popular up swell of support. In all honestly, I am very disappointed with this as SF would be great in power.”

          That’s the irish for you.

          It took blood sacrifice to get any steam up in 1916, lets hope 2016 can repeat the swell without the bloodletting.

        • jessica October 27, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

          “The problem is the six county bubble mentality where Sinn Fein is the perfect party. The problem is that SF supporters cannot find it in themselves to criticise the party at all, even in internal thought. ”

          Joe, They only seem perfect compared to the rest of what’s on offer in the north.

          In an all Ireland context, with 32 country elections, we would have the normal economy based criticisms. From where we have come from and being still under military occupation, I think we aren’t doing too badly.

        • Emmet October 28, 2015 at 5:34 am #

          To be honest when I was first aware I was a Sinn Fein supporter I never really expected or wanted them to be the ruling party. Even today I don’t think it matters who is ruling or in opposition (even though the government doesn’t run that way). So as for losing the election, I don’t care. If people don’t like Sinn Fein policy then don’t vote for them, simple. However, I think you underestimate Sinn Fein, they will do a lot better than the media suggests. Although Sinn Fein could be criticised as being heavily idealogical I see this as a strength, People are sick of parties who will lie to satisfy as many people as possible in a attempt to grasp votes. Sinn Fein are honest about what they stand for and unlike many other parties don’t constantly do u-turns in some silly popularity contest. To sum up, I don’t want to see Sinn Fein in government if they have to give up on their aspirations and values to get there.

          • Emmet October 28, 2015 at 5:41 am #

            Sorry should have replied to Joe’s post!

      • neill October 27, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

        West Brits perhaps you should come back when you have been house trained

        • Emmet October 28, 2015 at 5:39 am #

          Sorry the term causes offence Neill. The term has a deeper meaning than would first appear, and it is a term that often appears in Irish literature and culture. I thought it would reassure you though; in the republic there are some people who look at the Britain with glowing admiration and look at the days of empire as the good old days.

  10. Argenta October 26, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    You do seem obsessed with the Sindo and its “works and pomps”.Given the dominance of Sinn Fein in the North,I wouldn’t have thought that there are many readers of the paper in that party.The position may be different in the South .However there does seem to be some merit in Joes comments above and S F will just have to get used to being challenged (like all the other parties down there)!

    • Jude Collins October 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

      When’s the last time you read an edition of the Sindo with eight articles critical of FG/FF/Labour?

    • jessica October 26, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

      “However there does seem to be some merit in Joes comments above and S F will just have to get used to being challenged (like all the other parties down there)!”

      It seems to me, when challenged about real issues Argenta, the other parties are ruffled and revert to type and mud slanging.

      The mainstream parties in the south don’t seem much better than the unionist parties in the north.

      I trust the electorate will put manners on our politicians throughout this island in the not too distant future.

  11. Cllr.Gerry O Neill October 26, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    That article by Paul Williams on Paudie McGahon should never been printed…..pure cock and bull……Its making a cod of the chap…..Is there no editor of the Indo

  12. billy October 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    they get it quite easy,when have you ever heard journalists ask proper questions,theres been an unwritten rule in the media dont upset the peace process and they adhere to it.

  13. Perkin Warbeck October 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    The Self-repeating Sindo

    Apropos the First with the SF News Sindo
    Not so fussed how often it goes in, though
    Feel free to wipe feet
    On their every repeat
    The Sindo’s a far better floor than a window.

  14. fiosrach October 26, 2015 at 2:58 pm #

    Nolan gets up a lot of people’s noses with his our wee country and his Northrin Ireland and complete ignorance of Irish culture but both him and William Crawley hang on like terriers once they get their teeth into a victim. Being a unionist being interviewed by McKee and the rest is like ‘being savaged by a dead sheep’. Anyway I did my bit and stopped buying the Sunday Times yesterday. No more Myers, Emerson, Harris and the rest. Iknow I will spend the rest of my life in ignorance but at my age you’re entitled to a peaceful Sunday.

  15. Freddy Mallins October 26, 2015 at 5:42 pm #

    I know Fiosrach, I feel a similar guilt when I buy the Sunday times. The writing is excellent. Even people like Rod Liddle and Lawson. But their irredeemable right wing world view distresses me so much. I like to think that I’m above indoctrination and can use my inner regulator to extract the narrative but ignore the subliminal Mudoch editorial line. Perhaps I’m fooling myself.

  16. Joe Nolan October 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    Actually, the number of articles produced by that pathological “lynch mob” in the Sunday Independent is even greater than you imagined. On today’s Nuzhound site, there are three more anti-Sinn Féin Sindo pieces by Dan O’Brien, Willie Kealy and Eilish O’Hanlon.

    The O’Hanlon article has the headline “How do you know a republican is telling lies?; his lips move.” 0/10 for content. 0/10 for originality of humour. As my late father used to say, ^I fell out of the cradle laughing at that one”. At least, it was an unconscious admission on the part of the sub-editor that Sinn Féin is the only republican party in Ireland.

    Seriously though, the Sindo represents an appalling abuse of press freedom (how many times was loyalist criminality mentioned in all of these articles?). Most of the *journalists* referenced above are employed solely on the basis of their ability to generate anti-Sinn Féin bile. It is transparent and contemptuous of its readers, but does it succeed in its aim of derailing Sinn Féin’s political advances? I would like to think that people can see through all of this, but my gut feeling is that it is partly successful in that it helps to reduce Sinn Féin’s potential vote by a few percentage points which is significant.

  17. Peter Hughes October 26, 2015 at 6:59 pm #


    Nice article, I find some of the previous posts hillarious, when has the sindo ever written anything negative about fg or labour.
    Fgs cosy links to big bussiness is never questioned or scrutinised. Eoghan harris has changed coats that many times he is beyond parody the sticky unionist/ ff man.

    And jim cusack just makes stories up, he did a gripping expose about the provos polluting the dundalk water supply which was subsquently rubbished by the gardai and Irish water.

  18. michael c October 26, 2015 at 10:09 pm #

    I would’nt share your enthusiasm for Nuzhound Jude.The articles it selects for republishing are heavily biased against SF.

  19. Peadar Laffan October 27, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

    Interesting article.
    I do not support SF. But I vote for them because of the attitudes described in this blog article.
    The Indo & Co. criticise SF, not because they disagree with SF policies in the way one might agree/disagree with the policies of other political parties. They criticise and attack SF because they regard SF/IRA as criminals. Their failure to understand half a century or so of Irish history can only lead to long term failure on their part. That puts the ball in SF’s court. It remains to be seen whether SF can rise to the occasion. My guess is they will.