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Does He Mean Us? Yes, He Does

Do they mean us? I think they do!
Do they mean us? I think they do!

At the start of December last year I wrote a brief post marking the achievement of 400,000 views of An Sionnach Fionn in the two plus years of its existence. I also mentioned one other aspect of this website’s success, the apparent ire of newspaper columnist and former RTÉ producer Eoghan Harris at the online growth of progressive Republican politics and opinions in Ireland as represented by ASF and others. He wrote:

“… it seems clear to me that one of the main causes is the manipulation of the internet by the agents of atavistic nationalism.

Increasingly, internet political sites are infiltrated by a band of anonymous fanatical nationalists.

But it won’t be long ironed out if IRA apologists are able to have a free run on the internet…”

And this:

“…there is no sign that the State, the national broadcasters or civic leaders have enough interest acting in loco parentis on the moral side, particularly when it comes to protecting young Irish people from the propaganda of the Recurring IRA which is peddled on the internet.

Right now most Irish adolescents receive their historical education from the internet. By and large, it is dominated by a toxic nationalist lobby…”

Now we have this article in today’s Sunday Independent newspaper by Harris restating (as he does almost weekly) the claims of the discredited Anglo-Canadian historian Peter Hart which contain’s the following:

“Hart was the first historian to fully probe the sectarian dimension of the IRA’s campaign in Cork. This makes him a bogeyman for ultra nationalists. On one website they denounce his work as “central to the ideology of a hardline rump of Neo-Unionist and Pro-British apologist writers and journalists in Ireland”. As I am sure that includes me…”

Which of course is a direct quote from my post here on the controversies surrounding the 2013 publication of the collection of historical essays by David Fitzpatrick. However it’s good to know that I can count Eoghan Harris and co. amongst my loyal following.

8 comments on “Does He Mean Us? Yes, He Does

  1. Maith thú a Shionnaigh. Good to see that the views on this site are on the radar of the wider media… hopefully more of the analysis here and in other places can get into the general national discourse.


    • Go raibh maith agat, RG. It seems the only place for views like those expressed on ASF is online. But then the “dead tree media” has had its day.


  2. Sharon Duglas

    Maith thú, a Shéamais!! Buaileann an muiscít diabhalta arís!

    Níl mé gan ainm, a Eoghan Harris. Is mise Sharon Douglas ag

    Labhróidh.mé thú, aon am!


  3. an lorcánach

    múineann gá seift! — saw that article last night (and Sunday Indo’s spread on the Blessed-Lucinda, for the countless time) and it’s obvious you’ve riled him, sionnach: internet is now only outlet for non-conformist voices and Eoinín doesn’t like contrary opinions! @


  4. Jorge Miguel

    Peter Hart was one of the most contemptible historians of recent years. It was lovely to see his slander debunked.


    • I tend to agree in relation to his most controversial writing. His earlier stuff, the study of local Volunteers and their socio-economic backgrounds, provided much valuable research and information. The man deserved praise for that. But then he let politics and vanity overrule his academic training. A sorry end for a promising start. But then he is not the only historian to slip. Step forward Orlando Figes.


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