I’ll shed no tears that the O’Reilly monopoly on Irish journalism is no more.
The resignation of Gavin O’Reilly as MD of Independent Newspapers ends an almost 40-year period when the family dominated the Irish media – and dragged it into the muck.
The O’Reillys, led by father Sir Anthony, had very specific agendas. All the newspapers opposed Irish nationalism and were neo-Unionist on editorial approach.
This led to a viciously anti-peace process attitude when it started up.
Fact is, the Sunday Independent newspaper, in particular, did its level best to destroy the Irish peace process.
In one horrific instance, the Sunday Independent printed no fewer than fifteen articles against Nobel Laureate John Hume because he dared to meet with Gerry Adams and set the peace process in motion.
The anti Nationalist bias is continued even today, after the overwhelming success of the peace process.
It is as if Ian Paisley did not make his peace with Martin McGuinness, that the violence has not stopped and that no inspirational message to the world has gone out.
Regardless of the amazing success story, week after week the Sunday Independent stable of anti-nationalist columnists continue their screeds.
One can only imagine their consternation at this week’s Irish Times poll showing Sinn Fein now as the second largest party in the Irish Republic.
The likes of columnist Eoghan Harris appear to think that the war is not yet over and must be fought, like that Japanese soldier long ago who emerged from the jungle years after the end of hostilities.
The Independent group under O’Reilly picked favorites.
They beat the drum for the Celtic Tiger, even when it was clearly on the decline and gleefully celebrated the excesses of the property developers and others as if they were Ireland’s saviors.
Now they point the finger of blame at those same people, shameless to the last.
Hopefully the new broom will put responsible journalism back on the agenda at Independent News.
Denis O' Brien is a man deeply respected and admired in American business and philantropic cirlces, who has reached out to distressed countries such as Haiti in remarkable fashion.
He will have little time for the petty vendettas the Independent pursued under O'Reilly.
There are many fine journalists there and their input is badly needed..