The main Irish-American print newspapers of note are The Irish Echo and The Irish Voice. In terms of e-media, the main Irish-American outlet is IrishCentral.com, which is a “sister-publication” to The Irish Voice.
Traditionally The Echo and The Voice have been seen as competitors — The Voice is published by Niall O’Dowd, and The Echo owned by Belfast Media Group, with former Sinn Féin Finance Minister Máirtiín Ó Muilleoir listed as the publisher.
Broadly speaking The Echo and The Voice cover many of the same stories, with similar left-of-center viewpoints. While readers assume they are two separate companies, these entities are actually intrinsically linked.
In May 2016 Máirtiín Ó Muilleoir’s Belfast Media Group was part of a group of investors that bought IrishCentral for €3,000,000. Belfast Media Group also owns Andersonstown News, and several other local publications, allegedly Republican in nature — though they collect generous funding from the British Government through subsidies.
Anybody who knows the inner workings of Sinn Féin knows that such an operation is not actually privately owned and operated by Ó Muilleoir.
So in addition to the papers owned in Belfast, Sinn Féin vicariously owns The Irish Echo and IrishCentral. Bear in mind that Niall O’Dowd still has an interest in IrishCentral, and his paper The Irish Voice is a “sister publication” to IrishCentral, so they syndicate each other’s articles, ergo, Sinn Féin’s approval is likely needed for articles in the Echo, Voice, and Central.
You can find articles on him before he accused the Adams clique of turning down a deal for the Hunger Strikers before the death of Joe McDonnell.
What about the case of Tony Taylor, whose internment of over 1,000 days drew silence from Sinn Féin? Never mentioned.
If you were to believe what is written in these publications you would believe that the Good Friday Agreement solved all problems in Ireland, and now it is a happy liberal paradise. No mention of Sinn Féin’s endless hypocrisy, ie. Mary Lou McDonald’s call for social housing but opposition to it in her own neighbourhood.
The fact that Sinn Féin makes money off the writings of Bobby Sands through the “Bobby Sands Trust” against the wishes of the Sands family is certainly not going to be found.
This past May, when it emerged that Bobby Sands’s burial wishes were disregarded by the Sinn Féin leadership, it was not reported in the United States. The list goes on.
Years ago there would have been many Irish-American print newspapers who felt compelled to educate the exiles of Éireann on what was happening “at home”.
Their content was real — they gave political updates, they published both sides of debate, and most importantly, they were Nationalist. They did not apologize for their culture and they are the reason why Irish-Americans to this day are proud of their heritage.
Compare this with IrishCentral. On the 105th anniversary of the Easter Rising, what was the top story? “Donald Trump stiffs bodyguard for $130 worth of Big Macs.”
Yeah. Number two article? “Why either Hillary Clinton or Matt Damon should be the next Ambassador to Ireland”.
I am not joking. If you wanted to find anything relating to the Rising, way down the page you could find an article on the gay people of the Easter Rising. Sin é, because we would never have had a rebellion if it wasn’t for the sexual orientation of a couple of rebels. Nothing against them, but the reporting represents a false reality.
While this approach seems laughable, it is really just disappointing because it alienates much of the diaspora. Especially in America, Irish-Americans, like all Americans, are Nationalists. Walk through any ethnic neighborhood and you will find flags of home countries.
When Irish-Americans look at their premier Irish-American news source and find nothing pro-Irish, nothing to do with their actual heritage, but instead find “Sex-starved Irish males finding lockdown more difficult than females” (again I’m not joking), they do not want anything to do with such stupidity, hyper-sexualisation, and glorification of Democrat deities like the ice-queen Hillary Clinton, who even the staunchest liberals don’t like.
This is all part of Niall O’Dowd’s endless effort to stay hip; he consistently jumps on every possible liberal bandwagon cause. However, this doesn’t seem to be working too well for him. It is a humorous irony that this capitalist promotes socialism in his paper, but then expects donations from capitalists to help him pay his bills.
An appeal by IrishCentral for donations due to their lower income brought about by the pandemic showed the true feelings of its readers. A substantial number said they would never donate to the “liberal rag”. One person suggested saving time by donating directly to the DNC. While its following might be large, it seems they are only there because there is no other option.
Things aren’t going well financially for the Ó Muilleoir camp either. In 2019 it was announced that he was looking for a buyer or a partner for his media group. Failing to find one, in March 2021, Belfast Media Group began rebranding as Meáin Feirste and changed its incorporation to be a non-profit social group, thereby possibly being eligible for more public funding.
Whether this decline is due to the death of print media or the rubbish they have been printing, one thing is certain — Snowball and Napoleon will keep promoting socialism, while remaining some of the most successful capitalists in their field.