Mr World Challenges Mr Underworld – Kamal Ibrahim vs Donal MacIntyre

Tattered vultures circling over Limerick yet again.

There’s no point rehearsing the dispiriting litany of journalists falling back on the tired old Limerick cliché as a substitute for proper investigation, and besides, it’s too depressing.  After all, we’re dealing with a fairly tattered flock of carrion feeders perched on that dead tree-branch, and pickings in Limerick are getting leaner by the day.

As the old vulture joke went, Patience my ass.  I’m gonna kill something, and that’s exactly what the increasingly desperate journalistic feathery ones are doing of late.  I hate to mix metaphors, but these vultures are one-trick ponies, and the Limerick story was the greatest gift a journalistic scavenger could ever have hoped for.  It was a step up from knocking on the doors of suicide victims’ families looking for a communion photo, and it had the veneer of being slightly more respectable, especially if you presented yourself as a gritty, fearless investigator, outraged at the behaviour of lowlife scumbags and determined to face them down.

Everyone’s a winner.

Your public is titillated.  The editor is delighted.  Your inner Walter Mitty (who might also be your outer Walter Mitty) is having an orgasm. The only loser is the truth, but that was never a hugely valuable commodity in tabloid-style reporting, on paper or on TV.

Of course, there is an honourable history of journalists as participants, all the way from Sean Flynn to Hunter S Thompson, but I’m afraid these three tattered carrion birds don’t fit that frame.  These boys are all about the self publicity and that’s why TV3 decided, yet again, to send Donal MacIntyre to Limerick, even though there’s no major crime, no killings and the scumbags who led the troublesome gangs are all in jail.  How odd they didn’t send him six months earlier, when Limerick was at the height of its City of Culture triumph.

Now here comes TV3 with an unnerving and sinister droning subliminal soundtrack going on beneath whatever trite, meaningless clichés he repeats, with video of feral children riding horses, just as they broadcast stock footage of Dublin car thieves last time they did a similar programme on Limerick.

Local man, Kamal Ibrahim, wrote an impassioned defence of Limerick, incorporating some of my own words, and debated with Donal MacIntyre on Liveline.  As a man who was born and bred in Limerick, who grew up here, studied here and had his entire being in Limerick, the former Mr World is well placed to challenge the former Mr Underworld.

Here’s what Kamal wrote:

Right, So I have a real f**king problem with this! (and If you’re from Limerick you should too).

Take if from someone in the business that actually knows!

TV3 have lost hundreds of hours of programming to UTV Ireland and are scrambling to create new shows to attract and retain their audiences. They’ve tried game shows like CrossFire and The Lie (which I myself did a screen test for). They’re launching a new Soap, Red Rock and are working very hard to develop programming that people will actually watch because shows like X-factor which still airs on the network will no longer be on TV3 by 2016, so yes, they have A LOT to be concerned about.

There are many talented people working at TV3 and over the years I have been lucky enough to get to know and become friends with many of them.

That said, I can’t say that I’ve ever been so pissed off at an entity in my life.

I just saw the teaser TV3 released on Donal MacIntyre’s ‘new’ documentary and I’m furious!

I just got back from spending Christmas in Limerick, my hometown. The place I grew up, went to school, got my first job, my first kiss, where I still have my friends and my family, the place that gave me the start in my career.

It was my intention, as it was for all of you in Limerick, to start 2015 with a positive outlook, despite all the doom, gloom & heartache that we (and everyone else) have to deal with, ironically, caused by all the ruling parties in DUBLIN. And staying in Dublin we can turn our attention to TV3 and the worlds laziest ‘investigative journalist’ Donal MacIntyre who, as is evident by this short clip, is also struggling to find worthy, relevant content to put on Irish television.

First, Donal made documentaries like Gangland Limerick, which used inaccurate statistics to dramatize the show. But I tolerated it. It was about all the crime in Limerick, the gangs and the headlines that it made.

Now, Donal has made another dramatic looking documentary also about limerick. But this time its not because of the crime or the gangs and the headlines, this time its about the LACK OF ALL THE ABOVE!

I feel like standing two inches in front of his face and shouting at the top of my voice to ‘F**k o** back to England and stop bullying Limerick.

This bullshit documentary commissioned by TV3 has a direct impact on the people of Limerick and more importantly, EVERYONE ELSE, especially those who have never been to Limerick before and Donal knows it. He also knows he would never get away with making something like this in the UK because he’d be sacked.

I work in television and I’ve sent TV3 a handful of fun, energetic, positive ideas for shows that could attract a primetime audience, written by me and my friends FROM LIMERICK.

But instead they’ve commissioned a ‘budget friendly’ programme that does nothing but degrade, humiliate and denounce my city and people of that city, a city I don’t recognize as the town that’s home to the World Music Centre, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Munster Rugby, one of the worlds best sports & educational facilities at the University of Limerick, home to Paul O’Connel, Richard Harris, The Cranberries, Terry Wogan, Michael D Higgins, Peter Clohessy, Seán South, Michael Colivet, Willie O’Dea, Frank McCourt, Celia Holman Lee, The Rubberbandits and many, many, many others.

I don’t recognize the place where the creative people I know play music and perform theatre and laugh and tell jokes and cook and eat and make love and swim and fish and play sports and enjoy life. I don’t recognize that because that is not what I see when the story is told from the point of view of a faux-investigative television journalist.

Congratulations Mr MacIntyre because you’ve ticked one of the boxes when it comes to a ‘good TV idea’ – entice a strong public reaction.

But I suppose we should remember that when it comes to the business of television, it’s far cheaper to recycle old news than to invest in real stories.

Did anyone notice TV3’s extensive coverage of Royal Deluxe, Fuerza Bruta or Munster rugby?  Eh, that would be a No, Ted, since this kind of vulture journalism is not interested in good news.

Why do I care?  You might well ask and you’d be right to ask.  Why do I care what any bad journalist says?

Simple.  People believe this sort of nonsense.  It scares people away from our town.  It hurts us and it damages us.  It harms our lives and it harms our children, all to satisfy the dysfunctional needs of certain journalists and their editors.

That’s why we need to confront such nonsense whenever it crops up.

Enough of this shit.  We can’t let ourselves be defined forever by carrion birds.




Paul Williams: New journalism, old journalism and downright bad journalism

Donal MacIntyre, Laziest Journalist in Ireland


48 thoughts on “Mr World Challenges Mr Underworld – Kamal Ibrahim vs Donal MacIntyre

  1. So there is no problems in Limerick? the first and only family that had to leave the Irish State at the tax payers expense(The State paid for their business)i.e the Collins family…this disgrace is not mentioned or the scum bag Dundon’s s the crimes lords of Limerick..easier to slag of a reporter and give a straw man argument as per usual…how would you report crime in Limerick?

  2. You went straight down the toilet with your opening question.

    “So there is no problems in Limerick?”

    Nobody said that.

  3. Well said Bock, by the way “realstory” nobody suggests the city doesn’t have problems, but that always gets lost in the argument, one facet of Limerick life has defined the perception of the city for 40 years…it is still defining the image of the city despite the success of the Gardai 5 years ago. this city has way more facets that should define the place but as long as our National Media keep drilling Irish people with this shite crime will always define this city.

    The fact that you are well versed in the Steve Collins case suggests you are swallowing all the nonsense…I can’t name a single person from any other city that has had to leave that city, does that mean it has only happened in Limerick?

  4. I do be listenin’ to de de Joe Duffy show when I’m peelin’ de spuds. Don’t dey be given de babies de Red Bull tru de sooders and de teats over dere? Oh dey do be doin’. Donal ony saw, wir his own eyes. De babies do be growin de wings so dey do. Wooden happen in Ballyfermot.

  5. Feral children?
    Jesus, there’s snobbishness and there’s outright distain.

    I shouldn’t be surprised at this stage, this coming from a blogger who has nothing but distain for his commenters..who makes statements like ‘I wonder where all my intelligent contributors are gone’ driving people away in droves.

    Why not go and help these kids to read/write?
    They have clubs in some of those places to help some of those kids.
    Too busy with your head firmly stuck up Brian (what’s his name – who can’t write for shite?… Brian… eh) Lucey’s colon.

    There are some seriously neglected areas in this town, and I hope, at least the programme will assist in getting funds directed their way.
    The state of the houses, lack of facilities was a bit shocking to me.

    There’s a lot more to Limerick granted, but there are some seriously disadvantaged, neglected areas.

    Sometimes it’s a word that sets me off.. Sorry now.. Feral. Fuck off.

  6. Drink? It’s easy dismiss people with that notion.
    Don’t drink at home…It’s a chore to go out drinking socially sometimes actually and when I’m out, I have a laugh. Not an angry drinker at all.
    I’m into fitness, eating well and generally taking care of myself..I’m well aware of the effect of excessive alcohol intake on people. So you’re wrong.

    A tad unconventional does not a wino make..

    Anyway, back to the feral comment.
    If you think the kids are uneducated, go help um, not look your nose down on them. Just my sober as a dudge tuppence..

    Change feral to unfortunate and I might take you off the shit list.
    A little empathy never hurts.

  7. A Scottish girl I work with, who’s lived in Dublin the last fifteen years won a hotel break to Limerick city just before xmas. She told me at the time that although she was delighted she won a trip she wasn’t happy it was to Limerick.
    She said she was apprehensive about bringing her children to Limerick as it’s an ‘awful place’.

    She had never been to Limerick, all her knowledge of the place was through what she had read or viewed on TV.

    She came into work yesterday after her weekend with her family in Limerick glowing about it, she spoke of strangers approaching her while she was looking at a map, offering help, offering tourist info. Strangers in the street!

    She said she had never experienced such warm people anywhere else, she loved the place and loved the amount of stuff there was for her kids to do.

    She would never have visited Limerick if it wasn’t for winning that prize, because of shows like this many many more won’t, and will remain ignorant. That’s a shame.

  8. I agree with the sentiment of the reply but we shouldn’t give McIntyre or his tripe journalism oxygen. The more we discuss the program the longer it lives.
    With the exception of about 12 years abroad I have lived here all my life. I came back here to raise my kids, my wife is not Irish but wouldn’t leave. I have several friends married to non Irish, all have raised families here and are rooted here. The outlets for kids and their parents here is excellent from arts to sports. The thousands who left with positive views during the City of Culture, the thousands who visit for sporting events and leave with positive impressions. The thousands that leave to attend various events and leave positive impressions behind, these are the true ambassadors of our city, we’ve just gained a new one in the Scottish lady.
    McIntyre and his ilk are not worth the anger, turn it into positivity. #limerickandproud.

  9. The programme was not the worst he has made, the one where he walked about South London with a Laptop waiting to be mugged was television gold

    He did show some positive initiatives which should be encouraged, he spoke to some awful kids who are now raising kids, and gave them some Oxygen they don’t deserve or use to show there best attributes

    The joy riding was awful and should have ended with the Gardai arresting some idiots, won’t hold my breath for that.

    Not as bad as the trailer or the over reaction to the trailer

    I’m not from Limerick and was strongly advised not to live here in 2006, but I came anyway and it has improved. Never seen a place like it for people looking for something to be offended about

  10. Don’t tune in here or comment here as much as I used to as I’m probably not considered to be one of the Intelligent contributors you are searching for.

    I find you are much more polite on Twitter in a more public forum you don’t have as much control over. On here you are more likely to encounter one of the grumpy moderators, whoever Bock is this week.

    There are lots of positive initiatives he could have filmed is it not good he had a platform to review some of them.

    Again not as bad as the trailer would have suggested, or the hype generated from people who had never seen the programme.

  11. John, there are very clear rules about commenting on this site. Nobody who abides by them is ever prevented from commenting.

    You can read them here.

  12. Positive programme on Limerick City of Culture, none of the people bleating on about how offended they were with Donal, did anything to highlight that it would be on. Or have gone on Joe Duffy to say how delighted they were, so far.

    Waiting on the backlash as Ann Cassin reported that it was cold and wet in Limerick today, which will add to the negative image of Limerick and could ultimately affect tourism in the City over the next few months of winter.

    They did go to the marvellous craft centre will that do ?

  13. Just before this programme there was another programme on a different channel.
    This was about the excellent buildings in Limerick centred on the building of Saint Johns.
    After this I watched about 20 minutes of the TV3 programme, in which I must have seen the same four horses and, three ruined houses ten fucking times.

  14. John, could you elaborate a little on your line of reasoning?

    Why are you opposed to people criticising cynical hacks like Donal MacIntyre or their tactics?

    Do you reckon he just happened to bump into the young gun-maker by accident? I met a friend yesterday who was born and bred in St Mary’s Park and he was utterly disgusted by the portrayal of his area as if there were no decent hard-working people in the Island Field.

  15. As previously mentioned I’m opposed to :-

    Donal being told to go back to England, before the programme had even aired

    People on Joe Duffy giving out about the potential, programmes content

    No credit for the positive aspects of the content of the programme when it did air.

    This constant reference, almost breach of freedom of speech to report on what is there to be seen, in favour of Donal suddenly presenting an edition of Nationwide, which is not what he does. the gun maker lives in Limerick would you have them throw a sheet over him because it doesn’t fit with the nationwide version of the programme you were looking for, the clue is in the title of the show.

    I’m not surprised you met someone else giving out about the programme and it’s representation of Limerick, people had eagerly been waiting to be offended, as directed by the skewed reporting on the media., whereas on social media a lot of people like me didn’t find it as bad as anticipated. In fact there are people still criticising it who claim not to have watched it ? How does that work

    I’m not some fan boy for Donal and have been critical of him in the past, but I’m calling as I seen it. And it seemed like a complete over reaction.

  16. Now that the programme has aired, it seems reasonable to tell him to go back to England.

    We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of innuendo.

    People remember the impression long after the facts have evaporated, because that’s the way we humans are made. And when there’s a constant association between Limerick and crime, eventually, the message gets through. Don’t go to Limerick. Limerick isn’t safe.

    This affects all of us. It affects us personally, it affects my children and yours if they live in Limerick. It damages local business and iit holds us back from achieving our maximum potential as a city.

    I was among those who went out and marched against the scumbags who dragged our good name down, and I’ll make no apology to anyone for also resisting the cynics who pounce on the nearest available cliché to churn out a cheap mockumentary. Let’s have some serious journalism and we’ll all support it, even when it hurts, but I feel no obligation to support a televised comic-book.

  17. Your verging into freedom of speech territory

    So people should be go back to where they work occasionally if they don’t report on Limerick the way you want to see it portrayed ? Did it occur to you that people might be interested on the report ?

    It’s a nice idea, he like anyone else has a right to repot on what he has seen, and interestingly it wasn’t as negative as before. If anything it might embarrass the local representatives to further the initiatives and do something to stop there being less gun makers, and give their kids some hope.

    I marched as well and would love Limerick to keep improving but I’m interested in what goes on close to home.

    I also wonder where all the marchers and public reps. were for the years this was being allowed to take hold of the City I was in Dublin or London.

    all it takes etc

  18. People are marching in France tonight because one group of people didn’t like how a Satirical magazine were representing there prophet and religious beliefs.

    I think some lower level violence, not by you, has, been threatened in this case, because people weren’t keen on how their City was going to be represented.

  19. People might be marching in France and getting all strung up about Mohammed or whoever, but that’s their right.
    -They’re entitled to take offence.

    (Obviously being offended doesn’t justify any violence)

    Granted offence is taken, but you are perfectly entitled and correct to set the record straight on any misrepresentation.

    Not wanting to appear hysterical as Donal put it (or um sozzled ) but Donal is a lazy vacuous hack, pandering to the lowest common dominator of the masses.

    If this ‘documentary’ was an isolated incident, the reaction it received might be considered unwarranted and hysterical, but it’s not.. far from it.

    You’d wish the kids he was talking to over in D’island told him to beat it before they shoved his camera up his jacksee.. Obviously they didn’t realise they were being used for entertainment.
    I hope at least they get some funds directed to them there though.. the facilities were dismal.

    There’s no denying the reality of disadvantages areas that are badly neglected, but what you saw on that ‘documentary’ is in no way representative of what life is like generally in Limerick. But as we know people get unfounded notions.. fill in the gaps, associate, deduct, conclude that what they hear and see the most about Limerick, must be what Limerick is like.

    Donal might be too dumb to understand this granted.
    He needs to be called out for what he is though – an idiot.
    He’s involved in producing this type of tripe as he’s not capable of much more.

  20. If Limerick doesn’t make the headlines in either RTE or TV3, then they’ll put LK back in the headlines to suit them. with a great year for Limerick as the city of culture in 2014 and with the giant granny, RTE and TV3 were practically knocking each other over to report the event (I’m being sarcastic)
    I know LK has its own unique brand of scumbags, but the media constantly put the place down and on show…..McIntyre and Williams must have come from the same class…
    No matter where I have went in this country… I’ve been asked..
    “So where are you from…. with a pause, I’m from Limerick”
    Then you get oh stab city, is it that bad there…
    All of Limerick has to suffer because some parts of the bring it down..
    Now when crime is reported in the likes of Dublin, they break it down, for example, If someone was shot in Tallaght or where ever the fuck it happens, they break it down, oh no that’s really in Dublin, its Tallaght… so they can afford to break it down and they have the news coverage of the crimes segregated to suit them..
    So the TV reporters, will all finish up, with the likes of Ann Cassin & co saying… Ann Cassin RTE News, Tallaght… not Dublin…

  21. Donal and Kamal were on Live95fm the other day and Donal said Kamal threatened to beat him up.

    Kamal immediately denied threatened him in any way physically.. It would seem Donal is a liar.

    You can hear them here –
    (podcast 06/01/15)

    (‘The Dogwhisperer’ on this morning, was a gas man,(available on the podcast list also.. Need JavaScript enabled) — Very positive stuff said about Limerick. His memoir will be a big seller I think)

  22. I only have 2 examples of violence being threatened, and a news report of actual violence in Sheriff street in Dublin.

    “Standing 2 inches from somebody’s face and telling them to fuck off back to England” is on the confrontational side of reasonable debate where I come from.

    In addition more then one poster has mentioned the 95 FM confrontation where accusations were made about potential violence. I never heard the 95 FM show so couldn’t possible comment…….. Or could I ?

    What people are looking for is selective censorship, nothing less. If it’s a question of taste, just don’t tune in, there’s another 2 channels showing happy clappy Limerick is fluffy programmes, almost at the same time or within a few days of the offending show

  23. Your post asked for examples of when violence had been threatened against Donal Macintyre ?

    One you re-published from Facebook and one was alleged by Donal on 95FM, The third was filmed and will be included in the uncensored by local people version of the show about Dublin.

  24. John, I’m only asking you when the alleged incident took place. Do you have details of that, other than Donal MacIntyre’s assertion that something happened?

  25. Don’t see the word “incident” or “took place” in post number 22′ which is the one I was responding to.

    You could stick them in now and your questions would make more sense.

    Or you could invoke some local censorship, so everybody agreed with what your saying

  26. John, if you’re going to keep doing that, there’s no possibility of a rational discussion. Would you agree?

  27. I totally agree if your looking for me to respond to questions you never asked then the discussion will be a bit long drawn out and pointless, you should go for the local censorship option .

    It’s your baw you can take it home if nobody agrees with you.

    Doesn’t mean your right.

    If you had a defence for you or anybody else’s right to a local veto on programmes made about Limerick, then we might go somewhere, otherwise all a bit pointless really

  28. Could it be that Donal is one for the melodramatics? Who’d a thought..
    He didn’t counter the denial from Mr. World that he never threatened him in any way.
    Dealing with facts are not Donal’s forte it seems.

    Carry on..

  29. WIKI says
    Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions.

    Public communication considered Inconvenient as determined by other groups (of local People)

    This is a local City only filled with good creative artistic local people, who have never made a real gun in their life, let alone kept a horse in their front garden, despite what those pesky Rubberbandits sing about….. oh wait they are locals so they can sing about people having horses, outside

    I’m going to go with Wiki’s understanding which concurs with mine

    Have we given up on the who threatened who discussion so?

  30. I’m not sure I understand this –
    If you had a defence for you or anybody else’s right to a local veto on programmes made about Limerick, then we might go somewhere, otherwise all a bit pointless really

    Clearly, we have no power to veto any programmes.
    Should people not be discussing their disappointment of those programmes though? Should misleading headlines like limerick being the murder capital of Europe not be discussed?
    Are people supposed to be happy about that, as there’s a few other positive things being said here and there?

  31. John, if you don’t mind, I’d like to stick with the censorship issue for a moment or two since you brought it up and it seems important to you.

    Do you think I have the power to censor what you say?

  32. @Aretemis


    People can discuss their disappointment, when they watch the programme.

    Then other people can disagree with them, especially when the initial basis and some of the follow up comments were from people who hadn’t seen the programme, or who still have not seen it.

    Really the point to most of the objections before and since the programme aired is that it did not show the warm fluffy side of Limerick again, and was totally down on limerick, which it wasn’t.

    And is really a call for only the good side of Limerick to be shown, or censorship as it’s known.

  33. As you have pointed out many times in the past your website you pay the bills, so Censorship is your right, and is detailed in your terms and conditions.

    There is no such thing as an absolute right to free speech, either on this site or elsewhere. The site is paid for and operated privately and neither I nor any other admin, have an obligation to publish anything.

    In this context I agree. However in objecting to what should and shouldn’t be included in a programme about Limerick is another matter.

  34. To use some classic Bockism here

    Can you show me where I said you Censored anyone ?

    I still believe you and other people were calling for Censorship of inconvenient programmes, and you retain the right to not publish here

  35. I don’t know who has and hasn’t seen the programme John.
    If people were commenting with disgust before the programme aired, that might have been based on trailers for it.
    It makes no odds who saw it and when they commented on it, as the programme has aired now and a lot of people in Limerick felt it wasn’t a fair representation of our town or even the areas filmed.

    You know what, Donal could be right – we might well be a little sensitive (this coming from a man who thinks people are out to beat him up is, seems a little ironic) but you might consider they could have good reason to feel the way they do.
    – Everything in context.
    It’s not a once off.

    For the most part, people around the country and abroad haven’t been shown the warm fluffy side of Limerick.

  36. @ Artemis

    Based on a 1 minute 15second trailer made to catch an audience which did not represent the programme made

    He didn’t set out to make programme which represented the people of Limerick nor was he obliged to take a poll of how Limerick wanted to be represented, as you say it’s not a once off that’s the kind of programme TV3 commission him to make!

    Very funny Bock last comment censored

  37. John, what does that mean? “Last comment censored”? Your commment was caught by the spam filter and released in due course. I don’t know why the spam filter thinks you’re a spammer.

    Do you think you have the right to be published wherever you choose?

    If a newspaper chooses not to publish your letter, do you think that’s censorship?

    John, I can’t censor anything you say, but I can decline to publish your views. That isn’t censorship.

  38. Yeah, low content shite John..
    He goes after a reaction and he gets it.
    He’s a hack.

    He’s under no obligation to be a decent accurate journalist either, but tough luck if he expects a lot of respect.

  39. I have no idea, John. The spam filter on this site is a widely used one, and it bases its decisions on a wide range of criteria including activity across the web. Maybe you comment on other sites too. I don’t know.

  40. I’ll leave ye to the love fest..

    I’m off to go do some other activities across the web.

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