Tag Archives: Eoghan Harris

Eoghan Harris

This morning.

Political advisor and columnist Eoghan Harris has responded to critics following his firing from the Sunday Independent over an involvement with a fake twitter account.

In a letter to The Irish Times, Mr Harris writes:

A 78-year-old man with terminal cancer can still learn this life lesson: my cancer is not as malignant as the manipulations of Sinn Féin whose hand is heavy behind the current campaign to cancel me.

Sinn Féin trolls, in their thousand, used Twitter to spread the smear that I sent Irish Examiner journalist Aoife Grace Moore multiple sexualised private messages from multiple accounts.

Moore’s original complaint was about two public tweets on the Barbara J Pym account. The first tweet of which she complains refers to her lauding Mary Lou McDonald, and simply says: “So that’s what turns you on?”.

This is a common figure of speech meaning “So that’s what you like?” and has no sexual connotations for most people.

The second tweet of which she complains says: “Moore thinks she’s sniping safely from behind Derry hedges, but she’s actually sniping from an ROI hedge in the Examiner, and her SF backside is sticking up in the air”.

Moore’s version of this changed its tone: “The account sent me sexualised messages about whether Mary Lou McDonald ‘turned me on’ the size of my arse and called me a terrorist from the month I started at the Examiner.”

By changing “SF backside” to “the size of my arse” it is not me who is sexualising the message but in retrospect, I regret the crudity of “backside”.

Finally, there is no tweet in the Barbara J Pym account calling Aoife Moore a terrorist.

Sinn Féin has mobilised its social media army to gender a political issue and ruin my reputation by depicting me as a misogynist.

Two of your columnists, Kathy Sheridan (Opinion & Analysis, May 12th) and Finn McRedmond (Opinion & Analysis, May 13th), seem to think these allegations of abusive misogyny against me are proven. They are not. Should these allegations be considered in a court of law, I will welcome the opportunity to refute them.

Speaking of which, solicitors for the complainants, clearly under the delusion I run them, have repeatedly tried to link me with nine other suspended Twitter accounts.

I have only one Twitter account, Barbara J Pym. I suspect the other accounts were suspended because they supported my anti-Sinn Féin views.

In fact I only know two of these suspended account holders, both strong women, who share my loathing of Sinn Féin and are well able to articulate that abhorrence.

One is my sister, Bridget McIntyre, the other is “Dolly White” who tells me she’s soon going public because she’s sick of the misogynistic smear that she is really me.

Why did I set up an anonymous account – and admit to it when asked?

The short answer is that my column could not concentrate on Northern Ireland and I was desperate to find a wider platform to reach out to unionists and fight Sinn Féin.

Barbara J Pym was no trolling account. About 90 per cent of the tweets were about Northern Irish politics. It blocked followers who used the word c**t.

One of the reasons I used a pseudonym was because my own name would filter how my tweets were received. I wanted to be read with an open mind.

Fintan O’Toole recently wrote that “for a political columnist working in a democratic society, anonymity is a betrayal” (Opinion & Analysis, May .12th).

I disagree. I strongly believe journalists should be allowed to use a pseudonym to fight Sinn Féin on social media.

A recent Twitter statement says: “Pseudonymity has been a vital tool for speaking out in oppressive regimes, it is no less critical in democratic societies.”

That applies in Ireland. Irish democracy is under siege from Sinn Féin, a party with a military wing – and most journalists are in denial about the danger.

In the limited time left to me, I wanted to be honest. That is why I honestly unmasked myself as Barbara J Pym. Likewise I honestly believe any tweets I sent to women journalists were neither sexual nor abusive but political in aim.

Yes, I accept women journalists are often unfairly targeted online – but this does not make them immune to criticism. Political journalism requires a level of robustness. Aoife Moore has a strong public platform in the Irish Examiner and over 42,000 adoring Twitter followers.

Apart from this Irish Times letter, I have been offered no public redress. Sinn Féin trolls can say anything they like about me. And do. Like swimming through a sea of sewage.

But I will not meekly follow the standard script for the cancelled – abject apology and pleas for free speech. I make no apology for my Twitter account – and Sinn Féin doesn’t believe in free speech.

I will not go gently to my grave. I will fight Sinn Féin fascism with my last breath.

Eoghan Harris.

FIGHT!

Irish Times Letters

Meanwhile…

Previously: Not Fair Game

Out Of The Mouth Of Babs

Former Sunday Independent columnist Eoghan Harris (left) and Belfast Telegraph crime correspondent Alison Morris

This afternoon.

Previously: Out Of The Mouth Of Babs

RollingNews/UTV

Update:

Irish Examiner journalist Aoife Moore initiates action.


Tonight.

“This account was set up in February 2020 under the name of Barbara J Pym, mostly posting tweets about aspects of Irish politics.

“Many of the views expressed – such as opposition to ‘Sinn Féin pressure for a united Ireland’ are in keeping with those articulated by Eoghan Harris in his Sunday Independent column.

“Eoghan has accepted that he was one of the founders of the account. He has also stated to me that he was ‘one of a group of people that contributed to a Barbara Pym entity’.

“Having reviewed the account this week I found it frequently went far beyond what I would describe as fair and reasonable comment. Under no circumstances would such material have been published in our newspaper or on Independent.ie.

“We regard Eoghan Harris’s involvement with this account as a betrayal of trust and as such his contract has been terminated.

“Eoghan has been synonymous with the Sunday Independent for two decades and has been one of its sharpest and most distinctive opinion writers. While we have sometimes had our differences, I have also enjoyed working with one of the most unique voices in Irish public discourse.”

Alan English , editor of The Sunday Independent this evening.

Absurdly harsh.

Or not harsh enough?

YOU must decide.

Eoghan Harris dropped as Sunday Independent columnist over fake Twitter account (Independent.ie)

Meanwhile…

Update:

This morning.

771224222

Most men I know are fans of Clare Daly at two levels. First, of course, she is a very attractive woman, especially to men who have moved beyond the blonde bimbo stage, but not in a way that immediately interests younger men – and I know because my male film students don’t respond to her looks, but most of my contemporaries do. Clare is what the French call ‘jolie laide’, and if she were conventionally pretty it would diminish her power to make men of the world pay attention. The key ingredient is the energy she exudes, and that is always sexual at some level.

 

Eoghan Harris’ thoughts on Clare Daly’s housekeeping skills and typing ability are yet to be revealed.

Exclusively in today’s Herald.

Via: Niamh Puirseil, The Anti Room

David Norris’ former senate colleague Eoghan Harris went on RTE R1’s News at One with Gavin Jennings to defend the embattled candidate.

Eoghan Harris: “Well I hope he doesn’t pull out of the race. I don’t like mobs, even when the mobs is in the right. And this time I think the kind of mob is, or the media mob is being a bit harsh on him. David Norris’s partner is not running for president, David Norris is.

And when you strip away all the controversy and all the comment, what is his crime? I mean his basic crime is that he pleaded for mercy for a friend, for a partner, for a former lover, and eh, now that might have been unwise or inappropriate or any kind of media judgmental word you want to use but, em, you know the Greeks always – the Greeks had another word. They invented a lot of words to describe things and one of the great words was empathy – to identify with another person. So  we have to ask ourselves, what would we do in that situation? And I think we would tell our lover, friend, son or whatever that he was in the wrong, but we would also plead for mercy. And that’s his crime.

The real problem for Norris at the moment is the context, because the child sex abuse controversy, because everything is context. You know, 20 years ago if you pleaded on Seanad notepaper or Dáil notepaper for somebody, or ten years ago, eh, there’d be no problem. That context has changed. The child sex abuse thing has changed, because we are now more sensitive about it. We have a higher standard of kind of behaviour on it.

But I want to say one thing: There’s one person, like, in terms of that standard of behaviour, like one person could not have run for president in the present context and climate, and that’s Patrick Pearse. You know he wrote a poem called ‘A mhic bhig na gcleas’ Lots of historians think he was, not a paedophile, a pederast – somebody who’s attracted to young adolescents.

And the lines go like this: ‘There’s a fragrance in your kisses that I’ve not yet found in the mouths of women. Lad of the grey eyes, that flush in thy cheek would be white with dread of me could you read my secrets.

Now Patrick Pearse certainly couldn’t have run for president in the present climate. Or maybe he could, I don’t know. Maybe the Irish people would be wise enough and broad-minded enough to know, as long as he didn’t act out his erotic poetic fantasies, as long as he understood it was wrong, that like, we all have fantasies. Male heterosexual fantasies wouldn’t bear the scrutiny of the light of day. And I just think it’s very very wrong – and I think the Irish people knew a lot that David Norris was gay. They knew he had said very unwise things and inappropriate things in the past, but they still seem to want him in the polls and I think that’s because they appreciate his intelligence, his wit, his gaiety, literally, that he added to the gaiety of the nation, and they wanted a president that was full of beans and smart and bright and intelligent.”

Gavin Jennings: “You were heavily involved in previous presidential election campaigns – election campaigns that turned out to be quite nasty – within the last 20 years. The fact that his campaign team didn’t know about this letter of clemency, and now some senior members of that campaign team have resigned en masse. It’s not good for David Norris, whatever about people’s opinion about the rights and wrongs of him having written the letter in the first place. The fact that his campaign team didn’t know is very damaging for him.”

Harris: “Well and I’m not arguing about the damaging part of it. Like, I mean, we all know, like, he’s in difficulty. Some of the campaign team – I wish the campaign team hadn’t done that. I notice his campaign director Liam McCabe, who’s a very tough – mentally tough, physically tough – guy, mountain climber, very intelligent man. He has stood by him.

I think the campaign team – some of them are gay and, like, they have, they are very sensitive. If you’re gay you’re actually under scrutiny and gays particularly are terrified of any imputation that they’re not strong on the child sex abuse thing. I think it was premature of them. I think, like, that David Norris could have a genuine case for not believing that a letter of mercy on behalf of a friend and partner didn’t count as a major event.”

Jennings: “If you were advising him now – and he hasn’t spoken publicly, with the exception of course of his comments to the Sunday Independent – what would you advise him to do now?”

Harris: “My understanding is that he’s going to hold a press conference. I’d have that on reasonably good authority.”

Jennings: “When, do you know?”

Harris: “I believe he’s going to hold it tomorrow. I can’t, wouldn’t go on oath on that. I believe that David Norris is basically a fighter. I know that David Norris is not a paedophile. I know that he hasn’t done any of the things that he might talk about in the abstract thousands of years ago.

I mean the Irish people have just, you know, sent the pope’s men packing mentally.  It’s a new people here. It’s a very kind of sensitive and intelligent people. And maybe at the end of the day they decided that his judgment is so suspect they can’t make him president. And let them decide. If he’s not allowed to run for president, it will leave a very bad cloud over us. We will not feel good about it.”

RTE R1 News at One (RTE.ie)

MEANWHILE:  Norris Acted Wrongly But Should Not Be Scapegoat (Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times)

(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)