The Irish Echo does not normally respond to attacks on its news coverage or editorial positions. In fact, like all serious newspapers, we believe our readers have a right to their opinions and thus provide a forum for dissenting views. However, when such an attack, wherever it appears, distorts or flouts the truth, we are compelled to set the record straight.
Last week’s Irish Voice, a weekly newspaper that competes with the Echo in parts of our circulation area, contained an editorial highly critical of an earlier Echo editorial. Our offense? We had the nerve to urge the various factions in Irish republicanism to accord each other a measure of respect in their debate over the upcoming May 22 referenda.
In typically ham-fisted, facts-bereft fashion, the Voice accused this newspaper of, among other things, once suppressing a “column” written by Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president. Since opinion pieces by Adams have appeared in this paper on more than one occasion over a period of years, we must question the Voice’s motives in foisting this canard upon its readers. No submission by Adams – not during the Voice’s infancy nor in its current adolescence – has ever been rejected by the Echo.
As for charges that the Echo is a late-comer to republicanism, and that it did not support a visa for Gerry Adams, we must remind the Voice, if not our readers, that we’ve long been a steady, uncompromising and forceful advocate for the peace process, for a united Ireland, and for an Adams visa – certainly since long before our local rival came to the determination that serving as Sinn Fein’s water carrier could work to its advantage. Indeed, our position has always been that Americans have the right to hear all sides of the Irish problem. We have, at the same time, tried to ensure that our editorial views on what we perceive as best for Ireland not color our reporting of the facts, however unpleasant they might be.
If, by reporting all the news and giving our readers a full range of opinion as well as honest, thoughtful and rigorous analysis, we stand in stark contrast to the Irish Voice, so be it.
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