Nobody told me there’d be days like this.
Strange days indeed.
It has been an honour and a privilege to have been so warmly welcomed into the weird and wonderful world of Broadsheet. It represents the best of Ireland. I have enjoyed working alongside John Ryan more than I can say. There are few in Irish media who possess an ounce of his heart, guts or punning ability.
Since Covid, I have looked upon my profession and despaired at what it has become. Seeing former journalistic colleagues calling for a witch hunt of the unvaccinated on national television is something I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime. Yet here we are.
When I began posting on this site in 2018 the world was a lot different: I loved promoting new Irish music in my daily You May Like This music posts. And the weekly Friday music quiz caught the imagination of the faithful Broadsheet commentariat in a way that gladdened my heart.
I want to thank our sponsors Golden Discs and Currys for their invaluable support which allowed the competition to become a much loved staple of the site.
I also want to thank our readers for encouraging me to continue with the format even after the vouchers ran out; that was a truly heart-warming show of solidarity that I won’t forget any time soon.
I also want to thank the various press officers who sent me so many great videos over the past 4 years (including Pete Murphy, Emma Harney, Ciaran Savage, Sheena Madden, Kevin Murray, Colm Slattery and Michelle Whitehead: I write their names out in a list).
And I want to thank the artists themselves for managing to create such powerful music even when circumstances locked down their dreams. I know this much is true: the Irish music scene has never been in such robust health.
Then Covid happened and everything changed. Although I continued with the music, popular culture and social history posts, I found that I could not stay silent on a subject which affected me so profoundly.
As a vaccine-damaged person who knows first hand the devastation that a pharmaceutical needle can inflict on a person’s health, I felt compelled to warn of the dangers of the jab.
The response to our posts on this subject proved to be polarising in a way that was as regrettable as it was unavoidable. Keeping silent on this issue was simply not an option. If you have a problem with the concept of freedom of speech, then maybe Western Civilisation is not for you.
Broadsheet, to its eternal credit, was the very embodiment of this sacred pillar. Alas, in Ireland it was essentially alone in a cultural landscape that has become gripped by an hysterical conformity to pre-approved narratives handed down by globalist bureaucrats who I suspect may not actually have our best interests at heart. A crazy idea, right?!
Alas, the zeitgeist has moved so far from a commitment to core democratic principles that Broadsheet came under a ferocious and sustained attack in the comments section by both honest and dishonest actors. I want to thank those commenters who rallied to our cause day in and day out. We could not have endured as long as we did without you.
To the honest commenters who virulently disagreed with us, I say this: we are just regular people who sincerely felt that our friends, families and the general public were in great danger. And we used this platform to sound the alarm. That’s it in a nutshell: we were never paid a penny to push any opinion. We pursued our editorial line because it felt like the right thing to do.
For the reasons mentioned by Bodger in his Closing Time post, eventually the excruciating war of attrition, on top of our normal financial and legal woes, took its toll. We had nothing left in the tank.
It’s a bittersweet moment for me. I am immensely proud that this website kept its head – and heart – when all around were losing theirs.
It was a rollercoaster ride for sure, but I loved every minute.
See you hopefully further on down the road.
Previously: Closing Time