NEWS: SF forced to deny boycott as their targeting of the media gathers pace

NEWS: SF forced to deny boycott as their targeting of the media gathers pace

Sinn Fein’s press officer Sean Maguire has been forced to deny that there is a Sinn Fein boycott of the Nolan show, amidst increasing pressure on the party over their aggressive targeting of the media and contrived social media campaigns designed to intimidate journalists.

The Sinn Fein campaign against the Nolan Show was orchestrated by Sean Maguire and Conor Maskey, and whipped by Sinn Fein surrogates such as Belfast Media Group’s editor Robin Livingstone and other gullible low level journalists desperate to gain favour with Sinn Fein.

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Robin Livingstone is the overall editor of the Andersonstown and North Belfast News. He is perhaps the only editor anywhere in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland that uses a fake social media account @Squinteratn to troll and abuse people. Could you imagine Gail Walker, Noel Doran, David O’Dornan, Chris Sherrard or Alistair Bush using a fake social media account to troll other media outlets, and dish out vile abuse, in their spare time? Below is one example of  Mr Livingstone’s twitter contributions…

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Unionist Voice was the first to highlight that Sinn Fein are behind the #BoycottNolan campaign, a fact that was confirmed by Jim Gibney’s astonishing column in the Irish News, which demanded that the Nolan show adopted their style to be “more like Talk Back”, in order that they could be more helpful to the political process.

After Sean Maguire’s public denial that Sinn Fein were involved in the targeting of the Nolan Show, prominent senator Niall O’Donnghaile then proceeded to target Frank Mitchell. The UTV man had committed the heinous anti-peace process ‘crime’ of daring to state that young footballers should play for Northern Ireland, the team he supported. This, according to the permanently offended Short Strand man, was in breach of the Belfast Agreement.

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The trolling of well known sports fan (including passionate GAA supporter) Frank Mitchell continued with scores of republican activists whipping themselves up into a frenzy. Sinn Fein deployed exactly the same method as they used when trying to bully Stephen Nolan into compliance.

Ironically the targeting of the Nolan show centred on the fact he dared to have unionists on the show. The republican movement demanded that ‘unacceptable’ unionists were to be censored and inundated the BBC with complaints. At no stage did they make any mention of any nationalist or progressive commentator, or ask for any of those contributors to be banned. This omission gave the game away and exposed that Sinn Fein’s targeting of a free press is not only an attempt to bully the media, but that their campaign has a strong sectarian undercurrent. It is designed to not only force the press into compliance, but to demand the censorship of any unionists voices that do not provide a politically ‘helpful’ analysis, as far as Sinn Fein is concerned.

The National Union of Journalists have been silent on Sinn Fein’s targeting of the Nolan show, and other media outlets, and indeed some prominent members have acted as cheerleaders for Sinn Fein’s attack on a free press.

A free press is essential and journalists should be free to do their jobs without fear or favour. It is time society stood up to Sinn Fein’s bullying and their wicked attempts to single out and target any journalist or public figure that refuses to buy into their carefully contrived political narrative.

Sinn Fein used their #BoycottNolan campaign as a laboratory to test out bullying tactics. They then moved on to Frank Mitchell. What media outlet will they target next?

First they came for Nolan, but I am jealous of Nolan and raging he doesn’t have me on, so I stayed silent…

Then they came for Frank Mitchell, but I need to gain favour with Sinn Fein, so I stayed silent…

Then they came for RTE, but that’s down south, so I stayed silent…

Then they came for the Belfast Telegraph, but I don’t work there, so I stayed silent…

Then they came for Ben Lowry, but Sean Maguire told me I mustn’t like his views, so I stayed silent…

You know how the story ends.


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Unionist Voice than ever but unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can.

The Unionist Voice is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias. No one edits our Editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.

f everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as £1, you can support the Unionist Voice– and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

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