Sunday Times on shut down of El Paso Times

El Paso Times shuts its doors after legal threats.

Last week El Paso Times announced it was being forced to shut down its operations after being served with “very serious legal documents�. It followed a series of vicious attacks on Cathy Maguire, a local singer-songwriter

22 Responses to “Sunday Times on shut down of El Paso Times”

  1. simon says:

    What do you make of it

  2. Damien says:

    Bloggers are not above the law and the outrageous attack and sarcastic apology which called her family all sorts of names is not on. It brings blogging into disripute. I guess it shows the best and worst about blogs in one action. Blogs can be anonymous and this is great for the likes o whistle blowers. It gives more power to get a message out but at the same time it can be abused.

  3. simon says:

    Do you think it might expand to more then just El paso’s outrageous stuff to more mainstream stuff

  4. Damien says:

    It’s happened before and from what I’m told there is going to be legal action against other blogs from pissed off entities. The Digital Rights Ireland guys might have some insight into what McDowell is planning for the defamation bill and whether there is going to be anything in ir for online matters.

    I don’t know is it just me but the more groups and individuals try and treat blogging as something mainstream, the more it will become so. Having offline laws applied to it might give it some validation. No such thing as badnews might also apply. The more talk of blogs and the more press around blogging the more people might try it.

  5. simon says:

    Anyone pissed off at me?

  6. It’s not a matter of being mainstream; it’s a matter of being Googleable in the context of the brand or the person that you blog about. Bloggers can give Google Juice to anything they write about and that power brings problems along with the publicity.

  7. MJ says:

    And it’s not just you, but also your comments.

    Those evil bastards at Infurious for example could take offense at being called evil bastards if I, you know….wasn’t one of them.

    How long will it take for “evil bastard infurious” to come up and do you think I can up the google rank to be in the top 10 for “evil bastard”?


  8. auds says:

    I checked out the apology last week following a link from irishblogs. I was shocked at the non-apologetic nature of the EPT apology – I do think that was a little too dicey.

    Also, EPT writes more about local people and events, which does make it quite specific and also more likely to say something in isolation that could be viewed as libelous. Writing about technological advances, political policies, music, arts or what makes you want to rant on a daily basis seems a little more sanitised and secure.

    Libel and blogs is interesting also from the issue of how many people will actually read a particular possibly scurilous piece. Unlike RTE or 1 of the big dailies, libelous statements are not going to reach a large audience – would/could that be reflected in reasonable court judgement?

  9. Dick OBrien says:

    Unlike RTE or 1 of the big dailies, libelous statements are not going to reach a large audience – would/could that be reflected in reasonable court judgement?

    Irish libel law says that the statement has to be only of the type that would lower someone’s reputation and doesn’t take into account whether it has actually done so. Looking at it that way, the size of the audience could be seen as irrelevant.

  10. auds says:

    I appreciate that Dick. But in terms of settlement amounts/damages would the smaller audience make a difference?

  11. These kinds of things rarely go to court because damages are sorted beforehand. And if the only thing the EPT has received is an electronic threat, who is to say it actually came from a solicitor? It might have been spam sent by a competing blog who wants the Dundalk beat.

  12. Simon McGarr says:

    Awards are at the court’s discretion. The size of a readership would only be one of the factors it could take into account.

  13. Dick OBrien says:

    Auds, I wouldn’t as well up on how damages are calculated. I suspect it could be a factor, but so too could be the nature and frequency of libellous comments. From what I’ve heard about the El Paso Times, it’s widely read, particularly in Louth. It could be seen by as many people as a local paper for example.

  14. Dick OBrien says:

    Simon got there before me!

  15. Bernard says:

    1. el paso has made a statement about this womans relatives, about the kind of person they are, and (their words) always will be.
    They cannot prove this. Therefore this woman should be allowed to sue them (El Paso).

    2. Anonymity: This does not help. If they can prove the damage El Paso is doing will affect this woman (she is currently in the US), it is possible they can get Google to reveal information about El Pasos owner.

    3. Saying intruths in a blog is as bad (almost-due to the marginalality of blogs at the moment. This is changing) as saying these things in a bar, on the street, in a newspaper.

    4. In the eyes of the law, they are a publisher. It doesn’t matter if the defamation was in a comment or came fromthe keyboard of the contributor. They published it.

    5. Every time Google serves up a result including the offending content, in the eyes of the law El Paso has published the content.

    Theres one thing of writing something that is true and hurtful, and there is another thing of writing something that is hurtful, and unproven.

    El Paso: remove, apologise and go on.


    El Paso should remove the post they have insulted her with, give an apology and go on.

  16. Dick OBrien says:

    The El Paso Times said its annoucement was an April Fool.

  17. Damien says:

    Just read it there.

  18. Bernard says:

    Who was supposed to be the fool?

  19. Twenty Major says:

    If it is it’s a real classic. heh.

  20. If the facts are as EPT say, the fool is the mainstream media editor who ran a half-page story without fact-checking in either Nashville and Dundalk. You can always get a ringback to potential court appearances unless you’re holding a live wire for a stage act. I was looking for the “unavailable for comment at press time” trailer on the Sunday Times piece and wondered if it was cut for space or not part of the original piece.

  21. Twenty Major says:

    Notice the letter from the solicitor (was it a solicitor) appears to be gone now.

  22. David Carroll says:

    Over a year now since all the El Paso episode! It seems that all the parties have done well except The El Paso Times.
    The radio guy was real and forced the authorities to attention.
    I was able to locate the radio programs and network with no problem.
    El Paso was posting things using Ted Randal’s name.
    Randal took action I am told.
    Brian Johnston went after them and nailed them!
    El Paso backed off rather quickly!
    All is well! blogging is still here!
    El Paso is a thing of the past!