A warm welcome then to the local entrepreneurs who have dipped their toes into the journalism/publishing world by reviving the Strokestown Democrat.
At the Roscommon People, we wish the venture well. After all, we’re committed to supporting local enterprise. And Emmett Corcoran, Phelim O’Neill and their supporters have shown some courage in re-launching a newspaper which was last published 70 years ago.
Possibly less enthused than others will be Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy, who doesn’t appear to be flavour of the month in month one at the Democrat.
We’ve only seen a couple of issues, but we’ve seen enough to establish that there will be some heat on Deputy Murphy.
One article that initially appears to commend Deputy Murphy’s stance on post office closures finishes by isolating him, mischeviously speculating that the Strokestown TD will put it up to Micheál Martin and perhaps go against his party on the issue. Expect the Democrat to return to this subject in due course, as it checks in on how Murphy is faring in signing up to the position the Democrat imagined he should take. It was essentially fair enough comment. By contrast, decidedly more hard-hitting was Phelim O’Neill’s blistering attack on Deputy Murphy, where the TD is accused of playing the sympathy card, having no shame, whinging, etc. (Deputy Murphy isn’t named, but the attack is not of the thinly-veiled variety).
Probably no surprise then that Deputy Murphy told Corcoran: “I will not be making a comment to your publication at this stage”.
No doubt readers in Strokestown are intrigued by this turn of events as the long-dormant organ bares its teeth. There are political dimensions abounding. Phelim O’Neill is a solicitor with a Fianna Fáil background. Emmett Corcoran is a former Independent candidate and previously worked with Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice. Earlier this year Mr. Corcoran issued a joint press statement with former councillor Tom Crosby, saying he was opting out of running in the next local elections, and would instead by endorsing Mr. Crosby.
Meanwhile, the Democrat has slightly grandiosely proclaimed that it will not be accepting political advertisements (mind you, it does carry an ad for local election candidate Mr. Crosby…in his capacity as a businessman).
We look forward to the next thrilling instalment of this war of the Rossies in Strokestown…