From top: Minister for Employment and Social Protection Regina O’Doherty; Professor Catherine Kelly

Tyrone-born, US-based academic Catherine Kelly (via the Jude Collins blog) writes:

Leaving Ireland on June 27, 2017 to return to New York, I was approached by two men in plain clothes who presented themselves as officers from Pearse Street Garda Station.

They asked, “Is this your name Catherine Kelly?”. When I confirmed my name they stated they needed to speak with me.

I was quickly shown one Garda badge though I did not have time to note any identification number of name. One of the men did all the talking while the other looked on.

I was asked if I use social media, which I confirmed. I was asked if I use Twitter, which I also confirmed. I was shown a small notebook in which the words ‘Sane Politico’ were written.

I was asked if I used the ‘name’ ‘Sane Politico’, which I again confirmed. I was asked if I had written an article about Minister Regina Doherty and that too was affirmed.

This is the article in question.

I was then informed that a complaint had been made against me at Pearse Street Garda Station. There was no information offered about who filed the complaint. I was informed that I was being ‘cautioned’ and that I was not to tweet Regina Doherty or any material relevant to her again.

I was informed ‘she does not like it’. As the Regina Doherty and Sane Politico accounts have utilised mutual blocks for at least two years, I explained how I cannot and do not tweet Minister Doherty directly.

This explanation was not understood by the man posing the questions.

I then informed the interrogator that I am a Professor of Political Science at an American University and that I teach about the use of social media in political contexts. The man responded, ‘Sure half of these ones do not even understand what social media is’.

The man who questioned me then reintroduced a small notebook and I saw a page of notes that I did not attempt to read. I was asked to sign the page of notes at the bottom. I did as requested, as I was informed I was required to do so before I could proceed to my gate.

I signed the page, ‘Catherine Kelly’. As I had an urgent personal matter to attend to in New York, it seemed like the wisest action to take.

Broadsheet contacted the Garda Press Office and was told it cannot confirm anything about the matter as it cannot comment on individual cases.

Broadsheet also contacted a spokesperson for Fine Gael TD Regina Doherty and we are awaiting a call back.

‘There’s Quare [and Sinister] Things in Dublin …’ by Catherine Kelly (Jude Collins)

Thanks RevolutionIRL

Rollingnews

UPDATE:

A spokeswoman for Ms Doherty said:

“If there is an investigation going on or enquiries being made by the gardai, it wouldn’t be appropriate for any comment but I am aware of a complaint having been made. It’s a matter for the gardaí.”

99 thoughts on “Chilling

  1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

    Why didn’t broadsheet report on the rally for life the other day?

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        A couple of thousand rosary rattlers with a statue marching against women’s rights isn’t news. It was a slightly bigger Corpus Christi procession held in Dublin.

          1. jimi

            why didn’t you comment complaining that Broadsheet didn’t report the state of the motorways in Guatamala?

          1. The redundant Mickey Twopints

            That’s incredible! Based on the RTE formula for estimating numbers of marchers (finely honed during the water protest marches), there must have been at least half a million attending the Rally for Life.

      2. Rob_G

        Broadsheet has posted pictures of dogs sitting in cars on several occasions, so their publishing threshold isn’t so high…

    1. newsjustin

      It was too massive. Would hurt the narrative that all the cool people are pro-choice.

      1. ahjayzis

        There was not a single person at that march who could be defined as ‘cool’ and you know it.

        Cool like Nathan Carter and Cardinal Connell isn’t actually cool.

        1. newsjustin

          Actual cool people aren’t ever described as cool. They don’t need to know they’re cool.

          Nathan and Cardinal Connell (rip) are cool because they don’t care that they’re uncool.

          You know what are cool? Snazzy Repeal jumpers.

          1. ahjayzis

            Of course they care that they’re uncool, they wouldn’t be kings of boring stuff and plainness if they were cool!

            Repeal jumpers ARE pretty cool.

            Too cool for school.

            Because a foreign religious sect somehow still controls the school. >_>

      2. catherine ryan

        Being of a certain age demographic that risks hypothermia if they don’t wrap up well enough when they’re bussed from the old folks home type of cool? Or mad oul’ fellas carrying statues & madder oul’ones rattling rosary beads as though the pro-choice lot were vampires type of cool? Who funded the shindig?

        1. Damian Gavin

          Another pro-baby killer with head up bottom. You dont have to have rosary beads to dislike the chopping up of unborn humans! You just need to be human.

      1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

        You’re welcome Petey
        I find the omission puzzling for a blog site that threatens to bring us all the news as it happens every 15 minutes

          1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

            Gwan out of that its best discussed and out in the open

        1. Tony

          They gave up that 15 minutes codology years ago Jackie. Keep up. Plus this was never a news site. Lost bikes, funny videos, where would you get it’s and news maybe.

    2. Truth in the News

      They should have and its not too late, no point in giving out about the non coverage by the media of Water Tax protests, when there was no mention or photos of Saturdays March.
      Has Regina Doherty taken up where Joan Burton feared to tread, even Trump or
      Ceausescu would not have tried this….and the Government knows nothing about it.

  2. Owen C

    Two garda officers went from Pearse Street to Dublin airport, probably hung around for a couple of hours trying to find you (they can’t have known where you would be at any particular time), to “caution” you for an undeclared crime (a complaint about what, cautioned for what?), and you don’t have any names or badge numbers? Forgive me if i’m a little skeptical at all of this…

    1. The redundant Mickey Twopints

      At least two representatives of London-based Verrimus would probably find Catherine’s version entirely credible.

    2. Feckssake

      We don’t know how long they wee there and that has no bearing on the person’s ability to get names and badge numbers while caught by surprise and worried about missing a flight. I’m going to assume it is true as publicly making up a story like this about the gardaí would be a very unwise thing to do.

    3. blueswannabe

      Being sceptical isn’t a bad thing, but you’re wrong in this case:

      “Fine Gael minister confirms complaint lodged with gardaí against political blogger… “A complaint has been made to the gardaí, however it would be inappropriate to comment as Garda inquiries (are ongoing) and a Garda investigation is underway,” the spokesperson told ”

      http://www.thejournal.ie/catherine-kelly-regina-doherty-gardai-3477559-Jul2017/

      So Blueshirts be Blueshirtin, yo.

  3. blueswannabe

    You can take the party out of the blueshirts… but you can’t.. you know how it ends!

  4. Tom

    (repost of my comment on the original blog)

    I looked through @sanepolitico’s (Catherine Kelly’s) Twitter account – over 500 Tweets mentioning Regina Doherty since last year (“raising the issue” indeed). Between that and the blogs, even if it is her right, it’s looking quite obsessive and creepy.

    We live in a democracy. Whether you think it is healthy or not, blurring the lines between free speech and intimidation is not doing anything to heal it.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “We live in a democracy.”

      If the state’s hired goons are trying to intimidate critiics of government ministers, it’s debatable whether we’re living in a democracy.

    2. realPolithicks

      “We live in a democracy.”

      Do you? Have you heard of the concept of free speech? If a person can be “cautioned” by the police for writing tweets about a politician then it doesn’t sound very democratic to me.

      1. Cian

        I’ve heard of the concept of free speech. It’s in the constitution, but it’s not free free:

        “The State guarantees liberty for the exercise of the following rights, subject to public order and morality: –
        i The right of the citizens to express freely their convictions and opinions. The education of public opinion being, however, a matter of such grave import to the common good, the State shall endeavour to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State.
        The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”

      2. Rob_G

        Free speech doesn’t obviate the concept of harassment.

        If Regina Docherty felt that she was being harassed*, she can go the Gardai, same as any other citizen, and the Gardai are obliged to look into it.

        *which is not to say that Kelly’s tweets actually constituted harassment

        1. ahjayzis

          You’d agree harassment should be proven before a policeman cautions a citizen on behalf of a cabinet member, right?

          Can you spot the harassment in that article? Please point it out to us.

          How can writing an article harassment unless you post it through someone’s letter box every day and knick-knack the doorbell? Why isn’t Vincent Browne in prison for the last 40 years if so?

          1. Cian

            A caution can only be issued *after* an arrest, in a Garda station, by a chief super, and on an official form – effectively when you accept the caution you are pleading guilty to the offence but that you’re really, very sorry. And then it all goes away.

            So I strongly doubt that she was cautioned.

        2. realPolithicks

          “Free speech doesn’t obviate the concept of harassment.”

          If there was harassment, then she should be charged with that. What was the basis for this “caution”? Is it simply that a politician doesn’t like having her dirty laundry aired in public so sends the police to sort it out. This is clearly an attempt to silence Catherine Kelly and the only harassment I see here is on the part of the police.

    3. anne

      Are the blogs not about her politics?

      If they are, as I suspect, that’s what you should be allowed discuss living in a democracy.

      Anything you find creepy besides the number of posts? What limit would you find acceptable?

        1. Owen C

          Take a look through her Tweets. I would suggest some of them become a bit too adversarial. There’s a back and forth with Councillor Dermot Lacey recently where he’s reasonably polite in trying to answer her original question, but she just keeps asking him more and more questions. He eventually suggests its going nowhere.

          1. anne

            Adversarial is not allowed is it?
            Where are we living, some back water corrupt little cesspool of gombeens or something?

          2. Owen C

            Uggh. I’m pointing out that there is the potential for them to have strayed into what someone else may have deemed to be harassment (the whole thing is highly subjective). If you tweet about someone 500 times, AND you have an adversarial attitude, its not that unlikely. As noted above, free speech actually does have limits when it encroaches on someone else’s freedom.

            Anyway, my actual guess is this whole thing never happened – the story of gardai confronting her in the airport to caution her (which can’t happen like that) seems bizarre.

          3. jusayinlike

            Harassment me bum.. she’s a public figure.. to be accepted or critiqued, calling in her blueshirt trolls shows that this lady pushed a sensitive button, fair play to her, Regina is a clown..

          4. anne

            Potential? Potential for what..feelings to be hurt? It’s not subjective. And being adversarial is not harassing someone. TD’s policies and how they behave have to be allowed to be criticised..in very strong terms.

            Grow a pair or consider a career change. Regina might consider taking up receptionist work perhaps..or maybe catering or retail. She might be good at one of those.

    4. Coles

      Actually only 26 tweets mentioning Regina Doherty since January 1st 2017. Is that excessive? I don’t think so.

        1. Coles

          No, must be the contents rather than the quantity because 26 tweets in six months is not excessive, certainly when you consider the tens of thousands of tweets from that account.

  5. Optimus Grime

    FG really have it in for the twitterati these days. Josepha Madigan was sounding off about “menacing” tweets the other day surrounding the Jobstown verdict. She was fearful for her safety.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      And yet Ms Madigan admitted we do not know if social media had an influence on the jurors, but she said we needed legislation to protect juries from outside influences

      Cops lied their faces off, but Twitter and Facebook are the real problems! Politicians, eh? Clueless lúdramáns.

      1. ahjayzis

        They’re not clueless, they’re diverting attention from yet another example of how bent the police force is.

  6. Frilly Keane

    Does anyone know if the approach was made after security – like in the Departures

    Or just in the check-in / drop off zones

  7. Murtles

    Very trusting there Catherine to sign something you didn’t read from people who’s names you didn’t get.

  8. Anomanomanom

    Its hard to believe this happened, if she’s even half as educated as she seems to be then no way would she sign something without reading it. And why would you not just ask to see the badge/id again and ask for both person id.

    1. delacaravanio

      Yeah, and garda cautions don’t happen on the hop like that. You’re brought to the station, and the caution is then formally given by a garda superintendent.

          1. jusayinlike

            Yet here you are offering everything under the sun in opposition of her..

            Not a mention of Regina’s awful financial record..

          2. Owen C

            Her financial record actually has nothing to do with this. Its either a case of abuse of power, an incredibly thin skin and ridiculous garda overstep, or a made up story from the blogger. The rest of it is meaningless.

        1. Feckssake

          So maybe itbwasn’t a formal caution. Doesn’t mean it is a lie. Guards tell people to stop doing stuff all the time without formally cautioning them. It is funny though that you seem to think the guards always follow the correct procedures when it has very clearly been established over the last several years that they do not.

          1. Owen C

            But if they didn’t give her a caution, then all they did was speak to her. So she wasn’t signing anything but an acknowledgment of this. But this then downgrades everything else – if the gardai merely approached her and spoke to her, will their version suggest it was far less “an interrogation” and just a conversation about the issue? And if that’s the case, this is more in the realms of stupid overreaction (from all concerned, including the gardai and especially the Minister) rather than “a chilling” interrogation and intimidation of a blogger. They all need to cop themselves on.

  9. Ciaran Goggins

    What else does one expect of a corrupt and nepotistic de facto police state? Who murdered Eddie Fullerton? A dichotomy within the law, if you or I owed 60,000 Euros to the tax authorities we would soon be arrested.

  10. Percival

    Lots of little Blueshirt shills on here trying to make it seem entirely normal that this would happen.

    Anyone who has had any link to or knowledge of people in the political left in this country knows and expects the state police to harass them, follow them, spy on them, falsely arrest them, frame them, shame them, spread rumours about them, etc.

    This has being going on for years and it’s all about keeping socialism and left leaning parties out of government no matter how much support they get from the public.

    You can rest assured that if there was a real chance of a socialist government forming in this country, all hell would break loose at the behest of wealthy interests and a fake civil war would ignite.

    Don’t for one minute think that wouldn’t happen.

  11. Owen C

    Alright, this is bonkers now. If she’s really made a Garda complaint on the basis of that article, and encouraged the Garda to do something as has been claimed, she should be sacked as chief whip. There would need to be a history of continued targeting by Kelly to justify a Garda complaint, never mind whether that would justify the alleged caution.

  12. MoyestWithExcitement

    Bootlickers make me sick. There is nothing they won’t excuse. “Harassment”? Mindless slogan chanters gagging for a chance to vote for an Irish Trump.

  13. sparkilicious

    “I then informed the interrogator that I am a Professor of Political Science at an American University.”

    According to Ms. Kelly’s LinkedIn page, she has some sort of instructor’s post at Western Connecticut State University. Her profile page suggests she has a Masters but that she is only a doctoral candidate at SUNY at this point in time i.e. she does not have a Ph.D. It is interesting that she has managed to attain the status of “Professor” with this level of educational attainment. Unfortunately, my attempt to find any reference to Ms. Kelly on Western Connecticut State University’s website drew a blank.

    With the caveat that it is impossible to say for sure what happened, Ms. Kelly’s account bears all the hallmarks of a situation where someone was given a warning from the gardai to back off or they would proceed with a prosecution under section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997. This is the normal course of action in such situations. She says she signed the garda notebook. A signature in such situations would generally be relied upon by the gardai in any later prosecution to show that they have given a warning to someone to desist from particular behaviour and that the person has understood it.

    1. marty

      Yes, deflect attention to the complainant and normalise the incident as trivial.

      Excellent work.

    2. The redundant Mickey Twopints

      So, criticising a crooked politician via Twitter warrants being “given a warning from the gardai to back off or they would proceed with a prosecution under section 10 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997” Is that your view?

      Or did you deliberately miss the point entirely?

      1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

        I think you missed it. KELLY is trolling Regina

  14. Paul

    Another day another loony left blogger plays the victim card. Post Jobstown the Gardaí will, rightly, be taking a great interest in publications that indirectly threaten politicians.

  15. afraid to give it

    why cant they investigate perjury that happened at the jobstowns trial recently?

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