Anorak

Anorak | Gay Perverts In Ireland

Gay Perverts In Ireland

by | 10th, June 2008

GAY Sex in Ireland and the Mayo Echo:

Gay sex, moral crusades and Desperate Dan: the Mayo Echo row has it all, writes Joseph Sexton

A popular community-based website in the west of Ireland was forced to cease operating last week in the fallout that followed the publication of an inflammatory article in a local newpaper attacking alleged gay ‘perverts’.

The article, penned by Tony Geraghty, editor and proprietor of local freesheet, the Mayo Echo, provoked widespread debate on Irish web forums. This quite startling front-page article, which reads like a bad Onion spoof, told the story of a recreational area in Castlebar, Co Mayo being transformed into a latter day Sodom, with hundreds of men visiting on a weekly basis to have anonymous sex with strangers, propositioning young boys, and getting their rocks off whilst thumbing through children’s magazines. Perhaps most horrifying, the article described ‘drooling perverts getting off whilst watching children’ playing at an adjacent playground.

‘Castlebar lake attracts hundreds of perverts’, read the headline. Mr Geraghty’s appeal to outrage, spread across several pages, contained terrifying conclusions, noting these sordid shenanigans ‘might lead to sexual attacks in the future’. Not content with such bristling polemic, Mr Geraghty decided that the public interest would best be served by the publications of photographs, which included one of an alleged ‘pervert’; a car, which, lest the reader be short of sight, was accompanied by a close up of its registration plate; and the truly gruesome sight, sure to shock befuddled of Ballinasloe, of discarded condoms and tissues lying close to pages from a ‘boys’ magazine’.

Men, the reader was informed, were travelling from as far afield as Galway and Donegal, to cavort in the bushes in broad daylight, just yards away from a playground, in the west of Ireland’s number one cruising spot. The Irish police force, the Garda Siochana, we were told, had been conducting an undercover operation for many months, leading to several recent arrests, and had received numerous complaints (although clearly not as many as our intrepid reporter). But more on this later.

Castlebar.ie was a tremendously popular local website, receiving as many as three million hits per month – or at least it did up until last Saturday, when the site announced on its main page that it had been ‘forced to cease operation after more than 10 years of publication [due to] threats of legal action received from a commercial publication based in Castlebar’, which it identified as the Mayo Echo. Editor Geraghty had objected to critcism of his article, and him, on the site’s very active forum. Indeed, an email from Mr Geraghty, previously available on Castlebar.ie, read:

‘I would like to express my utter disgust at postings placed on your website www.castlebar.ie on the ‘Online Forum’… There is lengthy discussion of an article published in the Mayo Echo this week, and some of the comments are completely unacceptable, untrue, and completely defamatory to myself…

‘I am completely in favour of the principle of a free press, freedom of expression, and the free exchange of ideas, but with such rights come responsibilities, both legal and moral.

‘I hereby formally call on you to ensure the following:

‘That the offending postings are removed immediately.

‘That at the first opportunity, a mutually agreed full and unequivocal apology be made to myself, and to the Mayo Echo, admitting that the comments made are unsubstantiated, untrue and are withdrawn forthwith.

‘I am also seeking any information or data that might identify those persons that contributed these postings, IP address etc. I am also requesting the identities of the moderators that monitor and vet the postings.’

The offending posts were removed, and, it is understood that the website issued an ‘unreserved and unequivocal apology’ – the first time in its history it had done so. But the unremitting cloud of legal threats finally forced that site administrator’s hand into shutting the site down entirely.

There’s more...

Spotter



Posted: 10th, June 2008 | In: Reviews Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink