Thebrokenelbow.com hereby declares its support for Niall O’Dowd in his efforts to resist attempts to censor or close down his site, Irish Central, or parts of it, over an article alleging gross overpayment to the head of an Irish charity.
This site strongly believes in the First Amendment right of free publication of information judged to be in the public interest and it does so despite the fact that Mr O’Dowd has not only failed to support our campaign against the PSNI and US government’s attempts to subpoena the Boston College oral history archive but has attacked myself and the researchers for their involvement in that project.
The efforts to subpoena the archive will have a chilling effect on attempts by others to collect the truth about what happened during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a consequence that the PSNI must have been aware of when they embarked on this course.
In effect the PSNI, along with their allies in the US and UK government were and are attempting to censor the free collection of truth and history concerning the Troubles in Northern Ireland and that is why this site expresses common cause with Niall O’Dowd.
We do not expect the owner of Irish Central to reciprocate and announce his conversion to our cause but what is happening to him may afford him the opportunity to reflect upon the reality that when the democratic rights of one party are threatened then the rights of all are put in peril, and when the rights of one party are defended then the rights of all are being safeguarded.
In such circumstances, the Pastor Niemoller doctrine demands the maximum solidarity and unity; when one outlet is menaced or silenced then all are threatened. Niall O’Dowd is learning that lesson right now, the hard way. A pity he hadn’t recognised this truth much earlier.