The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Nameless, Faceless
An apology to our readers

Have the courage to stand over what you say.

Carrie Twomey, Editor • 02.06.03

It has come to our attention that a recent contributor to the Blanket, "Adam O'Toole", is in fact a pseudonym. The Blanket has a long standing policy of not publishing anonymous articles, and of discouraging the use of pseduonyms, especially in polemical articles that attack named persons, unless there is a legitimate reason for needing a pseduonym. The person using the name "Adam O'Toole" was made aware of this policy when confusion arose over the authorship of the piece he was submitting ("Stake Knife turns out to have blunt British blade") to the Blanket for publication, which has been previously published in the online edition and newsletter of An Phoblacht under the name "Mick Griffith". In addition to this, the piece was submitted to the Blanket using an email address which was the name of a possible third person. "Adam O'Toole" asserted authorship of the article and claimed that the name "Mick Griffith" was mistakenly used in the online edition of AP/RN and said he would alert the editor of AP/RN to his error. At no time did he indicate that "Adam O'Toole" was a pseudonym and in fact he strove to present "O'Toole" as a real person.

It now transpires that neither "Adam O'Toole" nor "Mick Griffith" exist and both names are in fact pseudonyms. What is more, the article "Be Neither Shocked Nor Awed", which was first published in An Phoblacht and then submitted to the Blanket and published in both under the name "Mick Finnegan", was in fact written by the same person. This article was submitted to the Blanket using a web-based emailer and it was only after we discovered "Adam O'Toole" was fictitous that we made the connection between the two and confirmed that emails purporting to come from "Mick Finnegan" and "Adam O'Toole" in fact came from the same computer used by the same person who is neither "Finnegan" nor "O'Toole". As it turns out, this same person has written for the Blanket before, again using a different false name, "John O'Leary" (see the Letters page). Each time, using different names, he falsely presented himself as a real person, not a pseudonym.

We had no problem whatsoever publishing the material submitted to us - that we published it should bear this out - but we do have a problem with the author misleading our readers into thinking that the articles were written by different people, and non-existent people at that; not to mention the deception perpetrated upon ourselves, who carried the work in good faith. This continual deception makes it harder for us to accept material from others who submit it via email in the future. We have asked "Adam O'Toole" for an explanation but as of yet have not received any further correspondence from him. We are aware of his real identity but choose not to publish it at this time.

While "O'Toole/Griffith/Finnegan/O'Leary" rails in the pages of An Phoblacht under a variety of false names against the use by legitimate journalists of "nameless, faceless" sources, it strikes us as a most brazen form of hyprocrisy - a case of the nameless, faceless pot calling the nameless faceless kettle black. It undermines his colleagues at An Phoblacht who have the courage and fortitude to write under their own names and makes the uphill battle An Phoblacht - which is basically a party propaganda newsheet - faces in terms of its credibility even harder. It is no small scandal that the party An Phoblacht works for is chastising the media for relying on nameless sources when its own newspaper publishes articles from the same, giving the false impression that more people support its arguments than actually do.

We apologise to our readers for not catching this earlier and for publishing his deceptive articles. In knowingly deceiving us he also deceived our readers and because we took him at face value ultimately we are at fault for publishing his deceit. Whatever else may be said about the Blanket, a "Coward's Corner" is something we have endeavored since day one that we would never become.








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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



I have spent
many years of my life
in opposition, and
I rather like the role.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Index: Current Articles

2 June 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Nameless, Faceless
An Apology to Our Readers

Carrie Twomey


Hypocrats Accuse West Belfast Man of Being RUC Tout
Anthony McIntyre


Connolly and the First World War: Political Lessons for Today

Liam O Ruairc


I Got Your "Stake Knife"
Brian Mór


Hey, Fugheddaboutit
Brian Mór


It Wasn't Me
Brian Mór


The Chessboard: Another Great Game

Davy Carlin

The Last Time I Saw Mu`ab
Annie Higgins


30 May 2003


Andersonstown News Moves to Censor The Blanket
Anthony McIntyre


Security Lapse Endangers Republican Prisoner

Martin Mulholland


Britain's Dirty War in Ireland

Irish Republican Information Bureau (IRIB)


Story with rusty British blade has Irish adherents
"Adam O'Toole"


Wishful Thinking

Liam Clarke


Shade of 1984
Kathryn Johnston


Stop Attacks on Bus Drivers

Sean Smyth


Spooks are not so easy to spring from their closets

Eamon McCann




The Blanket




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Index: Current Articles
Book Reviews
The Blanket Magazine Winter 2002
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