Scumday World

Gerard Hodgins with a piece highly critical of reporting by the Sunday World.


When a media outlet decides to denigrate and deliberately lie about an individual there is very little we can do about it. To sue a newspaper you would need to have at least a couple of hundred thousand pounds to pay the legal costs and then even if you did win there is no guarantee of compensation, nor indeed costs. Therefore, an impecunious pot-smoking, ex-hunger striker has no chance of justice against the corporate tabloid press. The purveyors of lies are above the law – unless you’re exceedingly rich.

I have never met nor spoke with Paula Mackin. She did not contact me to notify me that she was doing a malicious hatchet-job on me. She does not know me, but feels eminently placed to write a dangerous fictional history of me as a leading dissident, thief, robber and general all-round no-gooder. Reading her storey, I didn’t even like myself!

Paula should have contacted me and I could have regaled her with genuine stories of smoking pot on Irish and Scottish off-shore islands while watching the sun slide down over the Atlantic, or on the sunny drive in an open back taxi from Anacapri the couple of miles to Capri Town under a blazing Italian sun; or even the couple of spliffs sitting around St. Peter’s Square in that bastion of Catholicism, The Vatican.

Or we could have discussed the therapeutic effects of a much maligned naturally growing weed on the human condition and the need for some regulation so the medical fraternity can avail of the profound beneficial effects of this substance. There are even other anecdotes closer to home about the Holy-Warriors-Against-Drugs we could equally discuss. That’s an open invitation Paula: if you want to follow up on certain people engaging in inhaling rather than just blowing it back out a-la Bill Clinton.

Freedom of the press is a licence for second rate unscrupulous propagandists-for-hire to meet in The Duke of York (Dear Leader was once the barman here), or some other establishment with Sinn Fein black-propagandists and concoct tissues of lies, threats and denigration against people who don’t “fit in”. I don’t “fit in” and that’s possibly why Paula Mackin thought it rewarding to write dangerous lies about me – despite not knowing me.

In the wake of the phone-tapping scandal the British Government set up The Leveson Inquiry to investigate and make recommendations for fairer regulation of the press. The Government immediately ditched the Leveson Report on learning its recommendations and the corporate media circled the wagons to fight off any control being exercised over their powers to lie, deceive and slander. R.I.P. the Leveson Report.

The small man and woman has no chance of a fair hearing when it comes to corporate media aligned with political interests. Organs like The Sunday World will always be around to do the bidding of the paymasters who feed them the lies to print behind their “anonymous sources” and their own lack of ethics.

Paula Mackin constructed a history of me which is completely fictitious and offensive, during The Life of Gerard Hodgins in Mackin’s account I have variously been an officer in the Continuity IRA before robbing them and moving on to a leadership position within the New IRA; along the way receiving the proceeds of multiple robberies of drugs and money and Iiving it up like a Playboy. There is even an “anonymous source” from within the Dissidents wondering why I should be his leader: whoever you are (if you do indeed exist) I am not even in your organisation let alone your leader!

Far from leading a lavish lifestyle I actually live on benefits and just about make it from one week to the next; indeed I have an outstanding bill with an undertaker for burying my mother and am in no position to cover it yet. It’s a few years since I bought any new clothes, life on benefits is not like life in the money class. I rarely leave my home and just about manage to look after myself and my dog, let alone run a revolution with all the organising and running about that would entail. And then have to attend to my criminal/drug empire.

The last time I was arrested was in January 1990 (nearly 24 years ago); since 1996 when I got out of prison and parted company with the Provos I have never been a member or associate of any organisation, grouping or party, dissident or otherwise. I have been critical and questioning of republicans who think that if we are not in a state of perpetual war we are somehow lesser republicans. I have never endorsed any armed dissident grouping nor encouraged anybody to get involved in such organisations. But hey, why let little things like facts get in the way of a good storey?

Over the years I have often spoken with academic researchers, journalists, students and others with an interest in our recent history. Some of these people have grown to know me and none have ever implied they don’t accept my bona fides.

Paula Mackin’s agenda was to undermine any credibility I might have. Her scurrilous article contained only two facts; I am a pot-smoking ex-hunger striker. Everything else was the propaganda of Sinn Fein in Belfast desperate to impugn my character because I have the audacity to speak about my past with honesty, and critically about the merry-dance Adams and Co. led us down to the land of a few bob and a few houses for the few.

If Paula Mackin in any way believes the shite she wrote about me I would be happy to accompany her to a police station in the company of my solicitor where she can furnish all the “facts” at her disposal to the relevant authorities who will then be obliged to investigate. I have absolutely nothing to hide and nothing to fear.


  1. There is a world of difference between a Journalist who would go
    out of the way to get a story-[ we all deserve to hear/read the truth-]-and a hack who is just interested in attacking a person with untruths and innuendo- its a pity that we sometimes mix the two up-

    The Sunday world also runs sex adds in their paper whilst demeaning anyone caught up in a sex yarn-only a dirty old man/woman could be a owner/editor of such filth and not look for changes to be made-they should put their own house in order before they throw wild accusations about-

  2. Disgraceful treatment of a decent man fully in line with the treatment of others who've experienced the same garbage being ferried about them by this rag. Good job no-one buys that piece of shit but the real problem is such felon-setting can lead to arrest down the line as we've seen the past few days. They've learned well from their masters, truly sickening that Sinn Fein are now in bed with the Sunday World with Paula and Bobby working in tandem to discredit political opponents. Smacks of the horrible methods used to discredit Carmen Proetta for challenging the narrative around the Gibraltar ambush of Dan McCann, Mairead Farrell and Sean Savage. They are no better than the Brits. Gerard sorry to hear of your troubles

  3. Yes, I read that article and thought it was the typical rubbish produced via that rag.
    Even if somebody did smoke weed, which I happen to support the legalisation of and it's medical use. There is not really a big deal.
    According to the rag the UVF are at war with the Russian Mafia!
    There is no stop to the level they stoop to.

  4. Superb reply Gerard,Can we take it that since you are either to spaced out or engaged in all sorts of nefarious activities or both that you have enlisted the help of either Zebedee or Dylan from the Magic Roundabout to script your eloquent reply, or is it possible that indeed you have met the bold Paula but you cant recall either because 1,you were to spaced out,2,or counting the profits from your criminal enterprises, 3,or both, if this is true there is a place for you and people like you , its called Connolly House Anytout rd,it well frequented by pot smoking crims, on the other hand maybe as an outspoken critic of the justice system and those who control it you are like the rest of us an easy target, that being the case dont bogart that joint a cara ..

  5. Great point Mickybroy (oh fuck its hard to admit that) but our resident Quisser has a valid point about the Sunday Worm ,they are happy to take money to advertise the sex trade,then they moralise about it ,I,d say that is sheer hypocrisy.

  6. Gerard

    You highlight the ease with which, lets say marginalized people, can be compartmentalised from having any rights or voice because they are cut off from general principles and fundamental rights; Ms Mackin's article gives impression of having an informed 'excessive proximity' contrary to what you have detailed above. Your background and vocalising of your politics, to Ms Mackin, seem to negate your private or legal realities that she would not dare to infringe had you any money. I think you have presented a worthy rebuke to Ms Mackin's version.

  7. Gerard,
    I didn't see the article because I don't buy that paper.
    To most people taking a persons character away based on nothing would be horrendous but not to the likes of Paula Mackin.
    You spoke out publicly about their leader, no chance of getting away unscathed with that!! No chance !!
    Danger times Hodgies and you know that more than most.

  8. Gerard, you are man with unbreakable principles, a man who stayed true to his beliefs regardless of the consequences an inspiration to all. This reporter is what exactly? at best a gossip monger at worst a vindictive reprobate with an agenda. They do not even deserve your rebuttal.

  9. Gerard,

    I doubt even if she had interviewed you the malicious yarn would have been any different. That particular rag relies on the sensational rather than the factual.
    Obviously someone was paid a few Bob to enhance her claims and naturally filled her head with we white sweetie mice.

    Pot smoking seems trivial in comparison to being a raging alcoholic. I wouldn’t read that rag but I am surprised that she didn’t toss in you are a drug kingpin.

    Another case of dangerous creative writing by another irresponsible so called journalist there is no wind in her sail but the real hatchet job is trying to frame you as a leader without any factual evidence it is dangerously unethical as it clearly sets you up but that seems to be the point of her yarn.

    It becomes self explanatory as one fact she probably is aware of is that you don’t have the money to take her and that rag to libel court.
    It is a case of goliath’s revenge and the powerful giants crush the small inferior people in any manner they choose.

    Fortunately nowadays we have an outlet to expose the truth and your response reads like a psalm from the bible honest enough to admit the minor sin of toking on some weed.

  10. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia thingy...

    Sunday Sport is a British tabloid newspaper, published by Sport Newspapers, which was established in 1986. It prints plainly ludicrous stories, such as a double-decker London bus being found frozen in the Antarctic ice, or a World War II bomber found on the moon...

    Sunday World is the Irish equivalent...

  11. Honestly Hodgies, the Sunday World is a paper most would deny buying...

    "Did you read thon in the Sunday World?"

    "You don't buy that rag do you?"

    "Erm, well no, I read it in the pub, some pervert left a copy in the toilets."

    "What was in it anyways?"

    "Oh the usual sh..."

    "No. I mean articles. What articles of interest?"

    "Er... The Duke of York gets 5 pints for for the Black Stuff and another 5 for the side o' the mouth stuff...If you know what I mean?"

  12. There seems to be some who think that the sunday world is the lords
    day version of AP/RN-a quick glance at it and other sunday papers and you will see their knifes out at Sinn Fein-blunt knife to be sure-but the fcuks try their best to but a boot in-


    There are a couple of feminists who work for the sunday world-[ plenty of men also ]-who never report about the snide telephone sex guide that they work for-the sex trade pays there wages just like any pimp would-feminists my arse-

  13. A few years back a list containing names of alleged dissident republicans was scattered about the streets of west Belfast which i am sure a lot of people on this site will recall, And at a guess a few regular posters were also named on that list,Now a certain female journalists brother was named on that list as an alleged dissident republican, that journalists brother was arrested after a female made a very serious allegation against him, i am just wondering why it never made the rags front page given that he was named as an alleged dissident republican and the seriousness of the allegation that a female was making?

  14. The worst thing about the libel procedure is that it is such a gamble and it is nervewracking. I have several times been in the position where I have been publicly described as a paramilitary or former paramilitary. I know that sounds daft to most of you, but it is potentially damaging and endangering. Three times I went to law over it and took damages from the offender. This has cost me nothing apart from the stress of worrying that costs might mount up and I could be landed with part or all of them.
    Others have gone to law against me. The West Belfast Festival initiated a suit against me for something I said on Talkback about the IRA. The BBC weighed in behind me and the thing dragged on. Then one day the WBF's lawyer phoned up and said, OK, let's drop it; let both sides cover their own costs and forget about it.
    At that point the BBC were happy to take a sting for, I think, £15k. I had the option of going ahead and bearing my own costs and though I still thought it likely I would win, the gamble was too high. What if I ended up with a jury that agreed with WBF?
    So, Gerry, the point is that you can get into this game with little or no money and if the paper thinks it can't defend the action, it will settle, sometimes with a derisory offer. They know that you will be under strong pressure to accept the first offer. If you refuse it and a judge later thinks it was fair, you get landed with costs.
    There is another concern for you; the question of whether a court will accept that you have a reputation to defend. If I claim- even dishonestly - that a convicted paramilitary used violence, a court may rule that since he has form his reputation is not damaged by my lie.
    Shinners are up against this one from time to time and don't fight, but they could argue that they have reputations established since the start of the peace process, political careers and so on. They might argue that reasonable people would think less of them if it was alleged that they were helping the dissidents; and they might win cases like that; though lawyers may say the risk isn't worth it.
    The other thing that happens when you go to law is that you expose yourself. The other party gets the right to explore your background. One lawyer - very senior now - advised me not to sue because disclosure might bring out embarrassing info about me. I can only guess what secrets he thought I might have.
    The important thing is that people should not have the right to tell lies about you, whoever you are.

  15. “Whatever question arose, a swarm of these drones, without having finished their buzzing on a previous theme, flew over to the new one and by their hum drowned and obscured the voices of those who were disputing honestly.”
    ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

    Viewed from this perspective isn't the vilification of Gerard rather predictable?

  16. Gerard,

    this is a very incisive piece that shreds the villification hurled at you. It is rare that an article is read so quickly by so many people. That alone is an indication of the interest people have in it. I also think that the support you have been getting adds up to a huge vote of confidence in you.

    One function of journalismm should be as a tool for holding power to account and not a bully pulpit from which people with power malign and smear those they think are vulnerable.

  17. Malachi,

    thanks for commenting here for the first time. You make some astute observations.

  18. HJ,

    it is a great quote that certainly sums up the way SF has behaved on the net for a long time.

  19. papers cant say what the like without impunity it seems. What I would like to know is, where did the get their hands on hodgies holiday snaps?

    I don't believe hodgie lives this playboy lifestyle. Im sure he is on the breadline. The one thing that must be awful for him though is the munchies :( poor sod having not the means to shop in marks and sparks must make do with a cornflake sandwich or devour a whole jar of beetroot :P jaysus that takes me back to my smoke days hahahah.

    ps - Mackers, lend us a bit for a joint, i'm on the dole here lol

  20. Mickey my friend you are a blind man - either that or a purveyor of disinformation or both. You've been all over the internet the last few months mouthing about the Societies using a strategy of independent republican candidates to disguise a perceived move towards party-political type activity. Right or wrong? You were so obvious from the day and hour I seen you start spouting that trash. It was plain as day there had been internal discussions and good old Michael Henry took it upon himself to help spread the manipulative lies of the party. It all began with a letter to the Irish News from someone pertaining to be a keen follower of the Societies agitating against getting involved in backing independents - pure and utter mixing from your party or do you think people are stupid? It went on from there to include your constant references and degenerated into the type of attack we just seen on Hodgie - which was carried out for the exact same reasons as your own activities. Open your bloody eyes man and put two and two together for you're not a stupid man. I'm not saying you're involved in what Bobby Storey and Paula Mackin get up to but you's are all serving the one purpose and it's all connected. So think about that Councillor before you blindly follow the diktats of the party, think about that before you dismiss the notion your party would not engage in clandestine manipulation using the gutter press, think about the effect this manipulative carry-on you's are at is having on an ordinary, decent man

  21. Gerard

    Look on the bright side, it's not every day you get to be portrayed in the media so handsomely in a nice pair of bourgeois whellies--sorry couldn't resist it.

    Fuck them, fuck the lot of them it is a badge of honour to have enemies like that.


  22. Sean bres-

    Don't know where most of your last comments are coming from as two Societies members are standing
    for election next year as independents-and good luck to them-its just the 'We have nothing to do with politics bit that I don't understand '-

    I have made it clear that I have no time for the way the sunday world operates but they still have a right to exist no matter what- they put the boot into Sinn Fein most weeks also-The Irish news has thrown a lot of dirt AM's way but I am sure that he would still want the Irish news to continue as a bringer of news to people-

  23. The point I'm making Mickey is there's clearly an effort to discredit people who pose a perceived threat in these elections - that's why this article was run. I'm not saying that's what you're at at all but what I'm saying is you're acting as though it couldn't originate with Sinn Fein because they too get stick in the Sunday World when the reality is a close relationship exists between a high-ranking member of Belfast Sinn Fein and Paula Mackin, everybody knows it. And so should you. Now judging by how you were all over the 'independents running on the sly for the Societies' angle as soon as that letter appeared in the Irish News it was obvious to me you's had discussed this internally and were attempting to attack it. You've made your comments - Bobby's done his thing. It's so obvious. What I'm saying to you is put two and two together and you'll realise yourself both are connected - the internal discussions about the Societies perceived election plans and the attempt to discredit Hodgie and others. Worse than the Brits. For the record the Societies follow neither a party-political or an electoral strategy, whatever someone wants to do in an independent capacity is their own business so long as they are not in breach of our constitution. It is not at ANY level the policy of the wider movement

  24. Oh Gerry dear, and did you hear the news that's going round?
    That cannabis is forbid by law to grow in Irish ground;
    April 20th no more we'll keep, it's herb cannot be seen,
    For there's a bloody law against the smoking of the Green

    I met with Jack Herer, and he took me by the lungs,
    And he said, "How's poor old Ireland, and how is her bud?"
    She's the most distressful country that ever yet was ever seen,
    And they're slandering men and women for the smoking of the Green

  25. Press freedom and personal speech were once a near absolute right in the interests of our democratic system`s progressive success. It was on this core basis which allowed free communication between a Government and its People in obtaining truth, justice, non-dictatorial administrations. It also had protective libel laws and restrictions on false, immoral or inciting speeches of Hatred etc .This has all changed with high levels of Govt censorship, withholding and publicising false information. Those ethics of seeking the nearest Truth through Journalism have deteriorated to low, false, immoral, and destructive level`s etc. Publishers or Newspapers who allow this form of printing creates an awareness to the personal character natures involved.

  26. What the fcuk

    I am begining to think that Paula Mackin has a serious hard on for Gerard Hodgins. She writes an article about some alledged drug dealer and uses a photo of Gerard doing nothing more or less than rolling what may or may not be a spliff.

    Do you have a problem with spliff smokers per say Paula or just Gerard? I personally smoke weed, I enjoy it. My local GP knows I smoke weed and he's cool with it. He also knows why I refuse his kind offers to push tramadol and other drugs on to me for a back problem.

    Here's a question Paula.. What if Gerard Hodgins hadn't of 'broke' ranks with the PRM.. Would you have penned the piece using his pic? I seriously doubt it and you know you wouldn't have..

    What's wrong with having a toke Paula? What is a pot-smoking renegade? Is Willie Nelson a pot smoking renegade? Or are these people pot-smoking renegades in your eyes?

  27. I wonder if Paula Mackin is related to Leigh McIlroy

    Who got asked to leave the Hudson Bar. The story made it's way to The Irish Examiner.. and the Management reply was first class...

    Leigh McIlroy

    "AVOID!!!!AVOID!!!!AVOID!!! Oppressive bouncers whose sole purpos is to protect their coke selling setup and throw out those genuinely having a good time. Toilets full of people snorting coke. Add to that the awful sound system. Without a doubt, the most horrid nasty bar in Belfast. Even if they get good acts in, you'll regret not giving this place a wide birth.

    The Hudson Bar

    "Hi Leigh,

    "Firstly, thank you for your review. We appreciate all feedback, be it good or bad. Without these insights from our customers, we couldn't improve our business.

    "I'm sorry that you have fallen foul of our bouncers coke ring. As you no doubt understand, the business of selling coke is a highly lucrative one and our door staff guard their cartel jealously. Business is good for them at the moment it seems as you have witnessed the toilets full of people doing coke. Again, I can't apologise enough for this.

    "The sound system could be better, in fact it is a very good sound system. The problem is, the speakers are full of coke. That's where the bouncers are keeping their stash you see. The bags of powder muffle the speaker cones and it seems to lead to a poor aural experience.

    "It's something we have been working on, but between the internal turf wars, the kidnappings and now the fucking Colombians, to be honest —we're finding it challenging.

    "We nearly had a grip on it a couple of months ago, but since then the bouncers have hired an actual dragon which can shoot thunderbolts out of its eyes. It's pretty intimidating and we don't want to go near it. It is said that the dragon may be slain if it is struck by a magical sword by one who is pure of heart. We've sent several of our bar staff on a quest to find this sword but their journey will be long and fraught with danger, it could be many months before they return.

    "Even if we get good acts in, it is not safe to visit with us until this horrible dragon and his coke peddling masters are sent back to the underworld from whence they came.

    "Go easy traveller, and pray for our deliverance from this pestilence.


  28. More shoddy journalism from the Sunday World...

    The piece is about Joseph Murphy who was shot and killed during the Ballymurphy massacre... Yet their headline reads ''Bloody Sunday' victim can't be exhumed'..

    Don't people who work for the Sunday World check facts, proof read?