Tag Archives: Strokestown


From top: The farmhouse in Strokestown, County Roscommon; Monday’s and Tuesday’s Irish Independent

Further to media coverage of events last week in Strokestown, County Roscommon.

Paul Dalton, In The Roscommon People writes:

Such has been the bias displayed by certain quarters of the traditional print and broadcast media in the last few days that as a former national newspaper editor and foreign correspondent in the UK and Ireland for 25 years, even by the standards of ‘fly by your pants’ journalism, I’m shocked and disgusted by my colleagues, and it takes a lot to say that.

Almost within hours of Sunday morning’s events, The Irish Independent had already fingered “dissidents” as being responsible for the revenge attack against the security personnel shipped down from the North.

As someone who’s edited these kind of stories, it was bewildering to see that The Indo had no evidence for its claims, nor any clarification as to whom these “dissidents” were. Republican, Loyalist, it didn’t matter.

The same newspaper within a day then extrapolated its bias by wheeling in a “notorious crime family” as being part of Sunday’s dawn attack, again with no evidence other than unnamed and not even quoted Garda sources, and further cemented its claim of “dissident” insidious control of events.

The aroma of creative license began to waft in the air. To a lesser extent, The Irish Times and broadcast media, especially RTE News, tried to play as straight a bat as they could. But hidden beneath their coverage, there was still a sense of them putting a perfumed handkerchief to their noses as they surveyed the “mad Rossie culchies” out West.

…within hours, the Irish Daily Mail, for which I once worked, condemned everything that had happened at Falsk as protest masquerading as “criminality”….

…Ironically, it was the often derided tabloids, The Irish Sun and The Irish Mirror who gave the fairest and most accurate accounts, as far as they could, of what took place, and the real sense of outrage many of us in rural Ireland feel.

In fact, it was only these two tabloids who even reported the now notorious moment when one of the security personnel boasted about being “British” on a video clip in response to why he was helping evict an Irishman from his own home, a clip that has gone viral.

So, there have been calls to boycott The Indo, which is fair enough, and their reporters have been told to “f**k off back to Dublin” while reporting from outside the Falsk premises.

In fairness, and I’ve been there, it’s not the individual journalists’ fault. I know from experience that, when a publication has a mindset riddled with bias from the very editorial top, at times you have to fall into line.

It ain’t pretty, and might leave a bad taste in your mouth of which you’re not proud, but it does help pay the bills at the end of the month. [More at link below]

‘An out of touch media elite’ (Paul Dalton, Roscommon People)

Previously: The Other Guys

Resent Thy Neighbour

Thanks Murph

This morning (11.30am)

Anna Kavanagh, Of Athlone Community Radio, reporting on the latest developments from Strokestown, County Roscommon

Anna writes

Reliable sources tell me Garda Commissioner Drew Harris is going to Roscommon and the men arrested yesterday may be questioned by Gardai for up to seven days

Earlier: The Other Guys

Strokestown, County Roscommon

This morning.

Via The Irish Independent:

Although some of the individuals involved have links to dissident groups, gardaí are satisfied the main motive behind the incident was to show how unhappy they were with the decision to give the security work to personnel, some of whom were based in Northern Ireland.

Others were locals, who joined in as a protest without realising that the incident was likely to turn so violent.

“This appears to be largely a case of teaching a lesson to the outsiders because of their selection for the job, rather than a protest over the eviction of the family from the house the previous Tuesday,” a senior officer told the Irish Independent.

Right so.

Gardaí believe WhatsApp group organised violent attack (Tom Brady, Independent.ie)

Yesterday: Meanwhile, In Roscommon

Pic: RTÉ

Last night

Via Matt Carthy MEP:

The McGann family from Strokestown, County Roscommon, who were subjected last week to a forced eviction by a Northern Ireland based security firm acting on behalf of KBC Bank, have issued a statement in response to the deeply distressing events they have been forced to endure over recent days:

“Our family has been overwhelmed by the levels of support we have received and we wish to pay special thanks to our neighbours and friends who have greatly helped us during a very traumatic time.

We would also like to pay tribute to the people from across the four corners of Ireland whose sympathy and solidarity has been of great assistance in our time of need and to the people who travelled long distances to stand in solidarity with us.

The forced eviction from our home has left our family shocked by unforeseen events that were thrust upon us. Our ordeal has been further compounded by the inaccurate and ill-informed media coverage of our eviction, and the subsequent events that have occurred.

We wish to make clear we condemn all forms of violence and want to see the rule of law upheld but we have also been deeply upset by the use of inflammatory language that has characterised much of the media reportage.

We believe our plight has been exploited by some wishing to further their own narrow agendas and we were particularly disappointed at comments made today by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil.

His remarks, we believe, are a deliberate attempt to deflect attention from some of the very serious issues relating to our eviction.

He has yet to adequately respond to the actions of unidentified security personnel who forcibly, and with considerable violence, removed our family from our home in front of a massive Garda presence that oversaw the eviction nor has he responded to concerns about the legality of the eviction notice.”

The McGanns have asked the Taoiseach to refrain from making comments that further compound their distress and in conclusion to their statement they say their case is with two firms of solicitors who are now acting on their behalf and that matters relating to their eviction will be heard before the courts in due course.

Meanwhile they appeal for their privacy to be respected as they resume their preparations for Christmas. As this is now a legal matter the McGann family or anybody connected to them will be making no further comments it may be prejudicial to future legal proceedings.

Yesterday: “It Was A Very Highly Organised, Highly Violent, Vigilante Attack”

“It Doesn’t Take Very Long For Your Balaclava To Slip”

Monday: ‘The Family Has Returned Home’

Cause And Effect

Drone pic via RTÉ

UPDATE:

This morning.

Retired history teacher Anna Kavanagh, who has been reporting from Roscommon for the past week, has posted a new video on Facbeook in which she:

Explains how Matt Carthy came to release the statement from the McGann family.

Criticises the Irish Times, top, and other media outlets’ coverage of the matter and says claims that dissident republicans or the IRA were involved in the post-eviction violence last Sunday morning are wrong.

Criticises Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and asks him to step down.

Tells a funny story and asks for a spin to Dublin Airport.

Anna Kavanagh (Facebook)

Yesterday morning and all last week.

Anna Kavanagh, from Longford, who volunteers with Athlone Community Radio, reported via Facebook on events from Strokestown, County Roscommon.

Her videos here, here and here have had close to a million views so far.

Further to this…

Last night Anna posted a letter she wrote to the Irish Farmers Journal in 2016 about the difficulties that farmers are facing when it comes to meeting their loan repayments.

Anna writes::

I predicted in April 2016 that we were about to see a land grab in Ireland not seen since Cromwell and I called on the Government to put a contingency plan in place to prevent this happening.

I’m very shaken by what has happened in Roscommon this week and my reporting from the scene of the eviction has taken its toll on me. I do not want to see any further breakdown of the rule of law and order in this country. We are a democracy and I believe in the power of the ballot box.

I’m pleading to Leo Varadkar, Charlie Flanagan and Drew Harris to restore the rule of law to the courts, the Gardai and the body politic because history teaches us that the alternative is anarchy. I’m unable to respond to all the requests for the moment and I appeal that you continue to keep your comments respectful.

Many thanks to you for reading and for your support.

Anna Kavanagh (Facebook)

Thanks Johnny Keenan

UPDATE:

Anna writes:

“I’m live on air at 3.20pm to bring you breaking news from Roscommon eviction. You can listen live on the net at this link. Please share and let others know.”

cup

‘cup?

Woodland Walk,  Strokestown, Co Roscommon.

Mary Cooney writes:

If you are in Strokestown House and Woodland Park, Co. Roscommon during the Summer, be sure to check out the fantastic outdoor sculptures created by post primary students from the Midlands and Western region for Strokestown’s annual School’s Sculpture Competition.

This year’s theme is “Ireland, the Land of a Thousand Welcomes”. Visitors to Strokestown Park can stroll through the picturesque woodland walk and see the students’ sculptures which are dotted along the path. Visitors can then vote for their favourite piece on return to the reception desk.

Above is the entry from Ardscoil Phádraig, Granard, Co. Longford which is a giant wooden 8’x4′ mug of tea, complete with open half door. You can look inside the mug to see a little room with a table set for tea in typical Irish Country Style. And what would make you feel more welcome than a giant mug of tea…

Strokestown House and Woodland Walk is open to the public all Summer. Entry is free.