Dec 052011

The journalism students at UL produced a newspaper which was mostly very good, apart from one derivative, cliché-filled piece of fluff, which would be unsuitable for a free local rag, and which I commented on.   It was a non-news story about the “tide of vice” overwhelming Limerick city, and I expressed the opinion that it was a load of shite, which it was.

The young men responsible for this piece of nonsense don’t brook opposition easily and saw fit to delete all critical comments.  Very unprofessional.  As you probably know, I operate a comments policy here which will get some comments deleted, but never for criticising me.  The boys, however, don’t like to be questioned, though I don’t know why.  Maybe they never heard the word NO  as they grew up and maybe they’re all the poorer for it.

This is the journalistic equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and shouting I Can’t Hear You.

If this sort of immaturity is the future of Irish journalism, where are we going?

These young lads didn’t even possess the maturity to accept valid criticism.  Is it any wonder people ask what  point there is to a degree course in journalism?  Pampered, juvenile, overbearing youths shouting down their opponents will not make effective journalists, though they might serve as footsoldiers for the Sun or the Daily Mail.

This incident is very depressing and doesn’t inspire confidence in the future of journalism.  When inexperienced, unformed youths think themselves superior to grown adults, where are we going?




I notice they deleted the pingback from this post as well.  Less and less impressive.  These boys are clearly destined for the red-tops.  (Or the free sheets.  I haven’t quite decided yet).

I posted another question, asking what the statutory role of city councillors is in policing.  If they delete that, you can draw your own conclusions about their integrity.  They should bear in mind that many people are watching what they do next, and not all those people are fellow students.  Before deleting it they should take careful note of the fact that others have acknowledged its existence.  Now, what they have to ask themselves is this: who gave a thumbs up to this comment?

It might be somebody who fits into their game-plan or it might not.  Research required.  Another first.

Before deleting it, choose wisely, Grasshopper.









Just received this email from somebody called Rowan Gallagher:

Apologies for what just happened – I blocked you from my personal Facebook page which in turn deleted the comments on the website. It was unintended – Here is the comment I wrote before realising what had happened – I subsequently deleted my own comment as it was irrelevant without a visible dialogue.
Please keep on the subject matter of the story – any administrative questions should be directed towards the online editor. (Contactable through the contacts tab) Posts not relating to the story or of a personal/vindictive nature will be deleted as seen fit by the editorial staff. Linking external websites that the editorial staff deems as advertising or spam will also be deleted on a case by case basis. The comment procedure is being reviewed at the moment and comment segment on the website may be subject to deletion entirely.


My reply:

Thanks.  I’ll publish this email in my original post.
I don’t know why you’d block me.   You flatter yourself that I’d consider your Facebook page important enough to read.

I never heard of Rowan but he obviously thinks he’s somebody to be reckoned with.

Anyway, he has now broadcast his hubris to an audience he might not be entirely comfortable addressing.  You’d be surprised  who dips in here from time to time.

But wait.  I’m just some fool with a website.  Why not block the real movers and shakers?  I hear Vladimir Putin does little else but read Rowan’s Facebook page,  Block him.

Obama, the Dalai Lama and Nama.  Out!

Elvis, just in case.  Oh, and Bono.

That should cover it for now, but one mystery remains: since a character called Craig Hughes wrote the drivel I refer to, what on earth gave Rowan the idea that I’d be looking at his Facebook page?

Strange.  Still, I suppose you can’t be too careful when you’re a big-time editor.



Cityvoice has taken down the silly article, which raises the question: was that because someone realised what poor work it was, or because someone didn’t want any more criticism of it?

Which in turn leads to another string of questions: which students have administrative rights on the site?  How did they acquire them?  Who removed my earlier comments critical of the article?  Do some students have more influence than others?

If so, why?

Why would an article be taken down  without explanation?  I’d never do that.  More evidence of inexperience.

I ask myself what  the reasons might be.

Was it defamatory?


Was it inaccurate?

Certainly not, since it contained no facts.

That leaves only one option: it was shit and its author realised it was indefensible.  Perhaps, but that’s not the end of the story.  Once your piece is accepted and published, you really shouldn’t have any say in what happens after that, so  who decided it was shit?  Did the entire editorial team have a say in this removal, or did Craig get special privileges?

And if he did get special privileges, who gave him such rights, over and above his fellow students?

Curiouser and curiouser.


  23 Responses to “Cityvoice – Some UL Journalism Students On an Ego Trip”

Comments (23)

    I agree that they should learn to deal with opposing views Bock, but in terms of thinking themselves “superior to grown adults”, I dont think they should feel inferior anyways. What I mean is I don’t think anyone’s opinion warrants any extra respect just because they are older. There are plenty of grown adults who don’t want to hear opposing views from their own peers even. But I definitely think they should learn to deal with opposing views.

    In terms of their piece on prostitution in the city, I don’t see it myself.


    The Irish women mentioned in the piece, as it turned out, were probably undercover cops.


    UFB – You didn’t see their replies so you didn’t have an opportunity to judge the sheer, arse-festering juvenility of it. I’d expect better from a ten-year-old. And they deleted two comments of mine, presumably for criticising the quality of their article. That reveals a combination of arrogance and insecurity, which are often two sides of the same coin.

    This site has a comments policy and nobody who abides by it gets comments deleted, unless the comments are in some way defamatory of a third party. The boys have a lot to learn. I suppose they must have missed the lectures on how not to be a self-important knobhead.

    Lab Rat — The boys don’t seem to realise that city councillors have no role whatever in policing. It’s not part of their function and is not mentioned in the Local Government Act. An ex-mayor waffling about crime is a populist, bullshit non-story, unworthy of an advertising freesheet in Borris-in-Ossory.


    This is obviously about the 22 men who were in court on charges of Soliciting prostitutes in the city centre.
    What i find hard to understand is how they didn’t work out that the girls they approached were in fact undercover Ban Gardai!!! Chances are these “girls” would have been far less attractive than the usual foreign girls you see hanging around Mallow St, Catherine St etc..


    It would be a news story if written about a court case. This is an inconsequential recycling of a city councillor’s knee-jerk opinions.


    Does Barry Duggan write for Cityvoice?


    And if not, why not?


    I see that that august journal the Irish Independent has printed the names of the 22 men. Journalism sinks to new heights.


    Apparently one of them asked for free legal aid. The judge said that if he could afford to pay for the oldest profession in the world, he could pay for the second-oldest.


    The judge had a point, pity that our habitual offenders aren’t sudject to the same ruling. Ted McCarthy must be mounting an appeal, forgive the pun.

    Off topic, trafficing and pimping aside, is a contract for sex between two consenting adults really a crime? Are the names of the “customers” a worthy news item? Could the actions of the Gardaí be classed as entrapment?


    Its bad form printing the names of the men who were caught. For the sake of their families i mean. I can imagine all the nosy ould ones out there passing judgements on the wives or girlfriends of these men!!!!


    It’s irresponsible journalism in my opinion.


    so 27 guys were arrested,sentenced, named and shamed, all in the space of a few months for trying to screw a lady of the night. what about the guys who screwed 4 million citizens? hows are there cases coming along?


    I think this is a disgrace. Not the men soliciting hookers, but the Independent naming them and their full addresses. Assholes.
    Absolutely horrible cretins – the people at the Independent.

    None of the men had previous convictions and the were entrapped late at night by Ban Gardai in disguise. I mean they might have been pissed as a coot and the beer goggles came into effect. Some of the men are older too and mightn’t have had sex in a while.

    I can only imagine these gobshites in town like fucking T-J Hooker (pardon the prune)..’10/4 over, he comes another drunken horny man, lemme get my legs out.. let’s bust um’. This is entrapment.

    Have our Gardai nothing better to be doing at all?


    Don’t let two cocky, trainee “journalists” question your confidence in the future journalism. I am a journalism student at UL and I assure you, some of use take criticism, in fact we appreciate it. We also have a “Voice” paper out tomorrow and if I was told my story was kinda shite (which I have been and either rewrote it or found another one), I have been grateful, as its a learning process. There is a comment box for a reason and people can be harsh when hidden behind the safety of a computer screen. It’s all part of it!


    I have every confidence in the future of Irish journalism. There are many talented young people coming forward.

    My only worry would be about Beavis and Butthead here, but I suppose there’s a future for them too. The Sun and the Mail will always need errand boys.


    Well said Une Fille!! The Gardai i’m sure are all clapping themselves on the back with smug self satisfaction.
    The real reason this “sting” operation was put in place is because the presence of the prostitutes in Catherine St etc is just drawing attention to the fact that this side of Limerick City is quickly becoming a ghetto!!
    Be waiting a long time for our elected councillors to address this situation and actually start investing some much needed money into this part of town.


    “The real reason this “sting” operation was put in place is because the presence of the prostitutes in Catherine St etc is just drawing attention to the fact that this side of Limerick City is quickly becoming a ghetto!!”

    I don’t think so Ivan.
    Here’s an pic of Catherine street on a site for Jerry Flannery’s pub there, if anyone wants to take a look for themselves.

    Stop talking nonsense will you.

    There’s another thread on this now too.


    Oops, that wasn’t a site just for Jerry’s pub.
    Tis for Limerick in general.

    Some nice images here too:


    A ghetto? Jesus, if you think that’s a ghetto you should get around a bit more.


    Here’s another example of idiots inventing stories. What is it about the word “journalist” that makes fools think they have some intelligence?


    Une Fille, i am not having a go at Limerick in case you think i am!! I am a proud Limerickman and have spent all of my 29 years living here.


    About a year after this piece was written your subject won the Vincent Doyle award for investigative journalism.
    he is now a researcher/presenter for RTE’s Prime Time.

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