The history of Independent Newspapers has been a long an inglorious one of vilifying and slandering the left and workers movement both in Ireland and further afield.
It was William Martin Murphy, owner of the Irish Independent, that was to lead the charge of the Dublin bosses against the working class of Dublin in the 1913 lockout.
1916 & the execution of James Connolly
James Connolly was executed for his participation in the rising on May 12th 1916. Two days before this the following editorial appeared in the Irish Independent with a picture of Connolly beside it demanding:
“the worst of the ringleaders be singled out and dealt with as they deserve.”- May 10th 1916.
It was only after Connolly’s execution did the paper call for clemency.
Support for fascism in the 1930s
For much of its history the Irish Independent was a right wing socially conservative newspaper.
On the fascist dictatorship of Hitler they wrote:
‘Europe should be grateful to Herr Hitler…But for him even we here in Ireland might to-day be living under a Soviet flag’. (Irish Independent, 14/08/1935)
The Irish Independent were enthusiastic supporters of Franco’s fascist forces during the Spanish Revolution:
“On the one side is a so-called government which has abandoned all functions of government to a Communist junta bent on the destruction of personal liberty, the eradication of religion, the burning of churches and the wholesale slaughter of clergy. On the other side are the Patriot army, gladly risking liberty, property and life in defence of their Faith – fighting the same fight that our ancestors fought for centuries for the same cause.” (Irish Independent, 11/08/1936)
Supporting Shell multinational
Independent News and Media (INM) sought to vilify the struggle of the community of Rossport in its battle against the multinational Shell when it was building a hazardous pipeline and refinery in North Mayo.
On 8 October 2006 the following headline appeared in the Sunday World which is part of INM:
“How the Shinners hijacked Rossport- IRA take control of protests”
The article started off by saying:
“A gang of thugs associated with the Shell to Sea/Rossport five campaign have been accused of conducting a campaign of intimidation against local people support the Corrib gas project”
Attacking public sector workers:
INM has been to the forefront in attacking public sector workers and seeking to divide them with workers in the private sector:
“The private sector has already had a reality check, it’s time for the public sector to step up” (Irish Independent 5 October 2009)
On another occasion they wrote:
“our public sector’s motto is really less work, more pay” (Irish Independent, 21 September 2009)
When public sector workers went out on strike to defend their living standards against austerity they were attacked as militants whose:
“privileges must be protected by industrial muscle at home threatening grievous bodily harm to the country’s reputation abroad” (Irish Independent 7 November 2009).