‘What Are You Afraid Of?’


Journalist and presidential hopeful Gemma O’Doherty at Sligo County Council today

Earlier today.

At Sligo County Council.

Where the council heard from several presidential hopefuls seeking a nomination…

Marese McDonagh, in The Irish Times, reports:

Ms [Gemma] O’Doherty clashed with the Cathaoirleach, Fianna Fáil councillor Martin Baker and officials who had asked an unidentified person filming in the public gallery to stop or to leave the chamber after strong objections from Fine Gael councillor Hubert Keaney.

She said the public was entitled to see what is happening “in our chamber” . “What are you afraid of?” she asked.

After the would-be candidates finished their contributions and withdrew from the chamber, Councillor Keaney said he had asked that the rules be observed and he did not want the impression to go out that the council was against free speech.

Seán Gallagher asks councils to nominate other candidates (The Irish Times)

Yesterday: Mid Morning Presidential Matters

Pic: Gemma O’Doherty


78 thoughts on “‘What Are You Afraid Of?’

  1. Arthur Bogan

    Can see what Gallagher is doing but if O’Doherty gets on the ticket, she’ll do well. This is the Age of Trump and Brexit after all

  2. Harry Molloy

    I see that Gallagher asked for councils to nominate other candidates in the interest of democracy.

    Credit where it’s due, yes?

  3. Gabby

    I like the floor mosaic of Sligo CoCo. If not elected to the Arus, she can always retire to the Lake Isle and live alone in the bee-loud glade.

  4. Johnny Keenan

    Ah here!
    To the hacks that refuse to see an honest and decent Irish presidential candidate that is at the mercy of a corrupt political system to get a nomination.
    And to look at all the independent senators and TD’s who don’t seem to think that Gemma O’Doherty is worth a nomination for democracy sake.
    It really baffles me.
    This is unbelievable. But when you look at how this country and it’s people is represented it’s not really that difficult to believe.

    To the trolls and shills.
    Ye’re weak weak people that can’t even acknowledge a concerned citizen when she is standing right in front of you and single handedly facing down FFFG majority councils demanding them to #EndCorruptionNow.
    The same county councillors that rezoned the country with their property developer mates and when the crash came they jumped on the gravy train of NAMA. That gave us vulture funds and this property crisis.
    So the woman that dared go into the lions den to challenge them eye ball to eye ball is now the number one enemy of the state.? Weird!

    She should have went in like the other 3 nominated candidates and ignored the elephant in the room.
    That’s the typical old Irish mentality of keep your head down and say nothing, don’t rock the boat, Shur we’re all doing alright now. Don’t be bringing trouble to our door.
    It’s engrained in us never to question authority. Just look at our history.
    And when one brave soul dares to speak up for the greater good of the decent Irish people she is torn to shreds.
    Because we don’t have the balls to stand up behind her.
    Instead in pure Irish begrudging fashion she is called out as mental, lunny, mad, unhinged, crazy. These are only some of the words used repeatedly on social media to describe a human being who has always shown to have the concerns of the Irish people at the forefront of her mind.
    In the same week we had suicide prevention day this behavior makes me think I can really understand why some people would just call it quits.

    Not Genma O’Doherty though. She knows that this is a battle of inches. She has being around this corrupt society long enough to know she will be vindicated in the end.
    Let’s not forget the Disclosures Tribunal report is due soon.

    For all the trolls and government shills on here that are getting paid to bully intimate label and discredit Gemma O’Doherty ye know exactly what ye are.
    Ye are exactly like the scum that kicked in the door in Fredrick St last evening.
    Faceless nameless and paid government goons.
    There is absolutely no way that decent Irish citizens would so vehemently go out of their way to discredit an independently minded citizen who speaks for the have nots and the ordinary decent people of this land. Ourland, Ireland.

    The thought of someone like O’Doherty getting even nominated is a sign that she would shake up this poxy corrupt system.
    So which side are you on lads?
    which side are you on?

    We already know how many slum landlords are in this country and where their allegiance lies and lies.
    If you’re not part of the solution then you must be part of the problem.

    Remember now, before you attempt to put me in my place.
    However you discredit me for speaking up for the underdog it will only reflect negatively on you for showing allegiance to the corruption that pays you not to think for yourself.

    I can’t say this enough,
    If you have a problem with Gemma O’Doherty, a crime journalist that has been exposing corruption over all areas of Irish life for the past 20 years then it really isn’t the potential president you need to have a problem with.
    Wake the Fuck up #Ignoreland


    Natalie Merchant – Which Side Are You On

    1. ReproButina

      I have a problem with GO’D for her HPV vaccine scaremongering and her repeated attempts to dodge questions on it.

    2. SOQ


      She makes a very valid point that you cannot be in 5 places at the one time and even on here she is told that she doesn’t understand the democratic process? Why is this potential candidate getting such a hard time over all others? Maybe the answer is in plain sight. She is an independently minded journalist. Let the people decide.

      That is real democracy.

      1. rotide

        She makes a very valid point that you cannot be in 5 places at the one time

        And yet theres already been one candidate who’s managed to get nominated.

      2. DaithiG

        Being a conspiracy theorist is not the same as independently minded. She is anti-vax, anti-choice, ant-science and prone to complete nonsense. The Veronica Guerin debacle is really only one of many thinks that is alarming about her.

        I would love a genuine anti-corruption candidate in office that would speak to power. I would love someone to buck against the status quo about housing, healthcare and the nepotism and cronyism this country is prone to, but I don’t think someone that’s a stark raving lunatic is doing those causes any good.

        Also, she’s running as an anti-corruption candidate for the most in-effective public office to do anything about corruption. That means she’s looking for a cushy, good paying job and a nice pad in the Phoenix Park paid for by the tax payer, or she genuinely has no idea of the constitution role of the Prez. At least if she just admitted she was the former some might respect the transparency.

        1. SOQ

          If she is what you say then let her defend your list. I, like many others, are just asking why she should not be allowed on the ticket?

          1. rotide

            I am yet to see anyone anywhere say she should not be ‘allowed’ run. This narrative is a complete invention of hers and usefull idiots like Johnny.

            She is currently endevoring to get a nomination in the exact same manner as the others are. No person or public body is standing in her way

          2. Johnny Keenan

            rotide when I was talking about paid govt trolls you know I was thinking of what you actually look like.
            It’s scary!
            Your crowd, let’s just say the establishment. Comprised of FFFG are actively working hard to make sure (with help of tools like you) that GO’D will get nowhere near the presidential ticket because they know that the greater Irish public would vote for a true candidate that would represent the need of the people and not the greed of the elite.
            The corporate establishment that you and your cronies represent. The same crowd that bleeds this country dry on a daily basis.

          3. rotide

            Am i missing something? Since when did disagreeing with someone equate to actually stopping her from doing anything?

            Like I don’t think she should be president. I also don’t think Gallagher should be president. The only ACTUAL way I have of ensuring that is by not voting for them. Which I won’t be doing.

          4. DaithiG

            She isn’t defending the list though. She has a twitter account which is my exposure to her, I presume she has a facebook account. She (despite her saying the opposite) has been given platforms to make her point or to rectify the criticisms against her, including the Piers Morgan/Donald Trump style puff pieces she gets on this website,
            but as we learnt with Phillip Boucher Hayes the other day she made an eejit of herself.

    3. Harry Molloy

      you’ve changed my mind, I’m voting for yer wan who listens to Jim Corr and was missing the day they taught corroboration at journalism skool

    4. rotide

      It would take about 3 hours to quote and rebut and pick apart the absolute and complete nonsense that this post is so I sure as hell am not going to bother. Maybe my paymasters at FFFG HQ will dock me some pay. It’s worth it though to avoid reading that junior cert paranoid drivel again.

        1. Clampers Outside!

          I’ll give mine…

          Joan Freeman – At first when I heard she was running, I thought ‘cool’, but I haven’t warmed to anything since. The bit about her claiming “Knock cured my eczema” is a big no, no for me. I’m not anti-religious but I am anti-spiritual-miracle cures. Maybe a third choice for me… maybe.

          Thumbhead – Not on your nelly, dont trust him. And I defo dont think he is Pres material nor a suitable candidate.

          Gemma O’D – I haven’t made up my mind yet. Not looking good, but I’ll keep an open mind on it. I dont believe she’s an anti-vaxer, I believe she is advising caution with regard to the trust put in drug companies (I came to that conclusion after a RTE Radio 1 interview last week), and there’s nothing wrong with that. [On HPV, I believe it should also be given to boys. And I’ve read the only reason it is not is down to cost.]

          Miggledee – So far, still gets my vote.Proved himself very suited to the job, and an excellent choice for representing Ireland in what is largely a diplomatic role.

          I had to google who the fifth was… no feckin’ way is that Gavin Duffy getting my vote :)

          1. millie st murderlark

            I think you pretty much nailed it on the head there Clampers. Could you maybe link that Gemma O’Doherty interview if you have it? I wouldn’t mind having a listen to it

  5. Miggeldy

    Very well put Johnny, good man for standing up and speaking up. As somebody mentioned at the weekend, Maurice McCabe was treated abominably too, for a long time, before his truth was laid bare. The other presidential candidates aren’t getting a fraction of the drilling that Gemma currently is, over issues that have nothing to do with presidency, deflection on a monumental scale.

    This country is riddled with liars and cowards that will never possess an iota of the courage Gemma does. Bought and sold cretinous lapdogs and sheep.

  6. Sibling of Daedalus

    Some Councillors are not coming out very well out of this.

    If McKee were a general curmudgeon it wouldn’t be as bad but a quick glance at his tweets illustrates he has no difficulty generously complimenting people such as bishops, lawyers etc.

    And although he criticises Gemma O’Doherty for arriving late (like a Christian brother, it’s ALWAYS you, or, as he says ‘u’) his own spelling is atrocious for a trainee solicitor.

    Dun Laoghaire Rathdown CC’s explanation for their failure to nominate is appalling as well. They might not be under an obligation to nominate but a power carries with it the responsibility to act fairly and I wonder if they can be said to have given the candidates a fair opportunity to be heard.

    Apart from anything else, Mr McKee’s tweets lack kindness. Like many of the young journalists ready to do battle with Gemma O’Doherty on twitter, he is at the start of his career. Perhaps he will learn more kindness as he grows older. It’s a virtue sadly lacking in the twitter commentary regarding this election.

    One of the saddest things about this commentary is the constant derogatory references to mental health, as well as the group assumption that people should not do things that other people disapprove of, and if they do they deserve a good kicking. This is just terrible. Have we learnt nothing?

    Would Gemma O’Doherty be a good President? I’m not sure. But I respect her determination and I think that no human being deserves the type of rudeness and cruelty that has been flung at her on twitter by tweeters ranging from former colleagues to people who have never met her. Just appalling. What has she actually done to deserve it, apart from demonstrate what some would say are ‘notions’? And don’t we all have these, to a greater or lesser degree?

    If this type of attitude continues to be shown, it will only encourage the people like me to vote in her favour, now or subsequently. Win or lose in this election, I hope she’s not going away.

    1. Lilly

      ‘What has she actually done to deserve it, apart from demonstrate what some would say are ‘notions’? And don’t we all have these, to a greater or lesser degree?’

      It’s fine to have notions, aka ambition, but be honest about it. Don’t dress it up as a desire to end corruption, when you know this is not an office that lends itself to much beyond pressing flesh and making florid speeches. Otherwise, I agree with you.

  7. Sibling of Daedalus

    Having played the interviews, I think she’s quite genuine in her desire to end corruption.

    I am very sceptical about the value of the Presidency generally.

    Win or lose I think her run for the Presidency has illustrated that Ireland has not changed very much in many ways from the era of the Magdalen laundries. We seem to just get into a sort of hivemind. Where is it appropriate to sling insults about someone’s mental capacity and state on twitter, and to request a candidate not to run on the faux basis that you are concerned about them?

    Her campaign so far has also shown up Irish journalism. The public are not imbeciles. We can read her work and make our mind up for ourselves without the likes of Peter Murtagh (remember his piece about Kate Fitzgerald) lowering himself by making jokes about her on twitter. And it’s not just one journalist who acts unprofessionally, it’s the whole lot of them. Kitty Holland (possibly the only one who could be excused, initially at least) not knowing when to step away from the keyboard. The big boys (Clifford, Cooper and Murtagh) having a chuckle. The younger crowd (Conor Gallagher, Hugh O’Connell) trying to impress the older guys and gain status. It’s all very unedifying.

    I am not talking about your comments Lily which fall into a different category.

    1. Lilly

      The Peter Murtaghs really showed their true colours; those tweets said more about them than ever could about GO’D. Maybe some good will come of it: a) the office is scrapped (preferably) or b) GO’D and her supporters succeed in changing the criteria for eligibility to run.

  8. ReproButina

    12 of the 31 county councils have given nominations (Gallagher 5, Freeman 4, Duffy 3) but does anyone know if councils have to give a nomination? If so, and they follow Gallagher’s advice, there’s every chance GO’D will get a nomination.

    1. Sibling of Daedalus

      They don’t have to nominate (though they are under a duty to exercise their discretion whether or not to do so properly).

  9. ReproButina

    I know it’s anecdotal but I’ve seen more negative comment about Gallagher on Twitter than about GO’D. He doesn’t exactly get an easy ride here either.

    Before anyone jumps in, I’ll not be voting for him and nobody paid me to post this.

    1. Sibling of Daedalus

      The level of negative comments about G O’D from journalists has been just incredible. I mean even if it was all true wouldn’t you think that it would be enough for just one person to say it rather than all of them joining in together. And the awful liking of one another’s tweets. Just pathetic. Schoolyard in fact.

      1. Lilly

        Since you believe her desire to end corruption is genuine, any idea what could account for the disconnect between that goal and the limitations of the office?

        1. Miggeldy

          Lilly, time you transferred your unhealthy and uncouth dogging and slandering of Gemma to all the other candidates. In the interest of balance and fairness, make damned sure you descipher every facet and increment of their careers and life journeys, away you trot, the clocks ticking …

          1. Sibling of Daedalus


            Just some ideas

            In relation to how running for presidential office is compatible with a genuine desire to remedy corruption:

            i. gives her a platform to discuss the issues involved
            ii. communicating them to people who would not otherwise be aware of them
            iii. demonstrates the limitations and bias of our current MSM (imo she has already done this)
            iv. creates a sense of possibility and removes the fear of other people against being attacked
            v. empowers other people to stand up even where they may be subjected to harsh criticism for doing so.

            Her election would be a strong statement against corruption and an assertion that the Irish people want to move on from documenting system abuse and are prepared to be proactive in changing it. I think it would give other people courage to be proactive in fighting corruption and take away their fear of being personally attacked if they do so.

            To give you an example of how the fear of personal attack may discourage people from speaking out.

            As a result of my commenting on this site an anonymous email (from guerilla mail) was sent to my employers containing details of my involvement with Broadsheet, personal life, allegations that I was not doing my job properly, suggestions that I suffered from a communicable disease and a threat to throw battery acid in the face of someone close to me.

            Because of this email, I withdrew from commenting online as I felt it was too much hassle.

            I now realise from the response to Gemma that if anything is going to change we are going to have to stop being afraid and therefore I am back commenting. Sorry for making this response about me but it is just an example of how people can be made afraid to speak out.

          2. Lilly

            Thanks for the reply Sib, good to see you back commenting. That chimes with a point made by Parka the Otter a few days ago, that it’s more about the election and the statement of intent than it is about the actual office.

            There are some abusive cretins online alright – we don’t have to look too far! – glad they didn’t succeed in silencing you.

          3. Miggeldy

            @ Sibling

            What happened to you for commenting on here is disgusting and terrifying. Good on you for deciding to come back onto BS, bullies and Intimidators cannot win out.

            When I was younger a sales rep I had to sign off paperwork on- on his advertising gains – was putting ads through free of charge but pocketing the money. I had to report it because I could have been implicated, subsequently I was bullied by the manager and other colleagues stopped talking to me, I’d no choice but to find another job.

            Years later I spoke up for a new employee that was being bullied and treated in a derogatory way by an established member of staff, the manageress did nothing, the same as other colleagues who witnessed the bullying on a daily basis, nobody said a word. I don’t understand how people can witness this sort of behaviour and do and say nothing.

            Thanks for the insight into your experiences, it would be good to see other people open up about their experiences.

          4. bisted

            …great to see your name appearing again lately, Sibling…sorry to hear you were subject to such abuse…you have easily been one of the best contributors to this site over the years…

          5. rotide

            Holy crap, is that for real sibling? I assume you checked all avenues with Bodger?

            The thought of someone going to the bother of tracking you down and sending that sort of email is mind boggling. I always assume the further out people here are either trolls are just a bit soft. Sobering to discover otherwise.

            Anyway, Don’t agree with you a single bit but welcome back!

          6. Sibling of Daedalus

            Thanks very much.

            I think group bullying is the worst and it occurs a lot. What I have seen happen a lot is that the person who stands up for the person being bullied then gets bullied themselves.

            I think there is a lot to be said for encouraging kindness.

  10. Truth in the News

    Why don’t Sligo County Council webcast their meetings live on the web, you’d have to be amused
    about their objection of them being filmed as the same Councillor Mr Keaney is constantly pictured
    in the local Sligo Newspapers…..in fact he should be in the Guiness Book of World Records as the
    most photographed personage around.
    Exactly what goes on at County Council Meeting…..is it not time that there is a recorded video and
    audio archive of the proceedings…..Imagine Yeats casting a cold eye on some of the members of
    Sligo County Council…..did Joe Queenan attend

      1. SoLo

        I asked a councillor once who was in favour of webcasts. She said those who opposed said it would be too expensive.

      2. Otis Blue

        It would make sense that Councils allowed meetings to be webcast given that meetings are open to the public generally.

        The Local Government Act, 2001 gives the public and the press a general right to be present at local authority meetings. However, if the council has a special reason for doing so, it can decide by a resolution of at least 50% of its total members to hold the meeting in a private committee but it must be in the overall public interest to do so.

      1. ReproButina

        County Councils don’t meet 24/7. The houses of the Oireachtas are televised, why not County Council meetings? Transparency can only strengthen democracy.

  11. Otis Blue

    I’d be happy to see Gemma in the race however her ‘all guns blazing’ approach is hardly conducive to winning the hearts and minds of conservative councillors.

    Contrast that with Gallagher who knows the game and talks their language.

    The Council route is a numbers game and she simply doesn’t have them.

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