Monthly Archives: September 2015

Niall O’Dowd and Peter Quinn

Recently there has been a spike in the sales of Cassidy’s ridiculous book, How The Irish Invented Slang. A quick check online showed that the most likely reason for this spike is that IrishCentral has once again republished a truly awful article by Brendan Patrick Keane which praises Cassidy’s stupid and indefensible ideas. Personally, I find this kind of thing impossible to understand. Cassidy’s work has been slammed by all the academic authorities who have bothered to comment. It has been mocked by Irish speakers, myself included. It was originally to have been published by an academic publisher but was rejected because an Irish academic warned them of its worthlessness. You can open any page and find something stupid and demonstrably wrong. And to top it all, we now know that Cassidy was a fraudster who claimed to have degrees from high-status universities, while the reality is that he had no degrees from anywhere and was not entitled to the status of a professor.

So, why would Niall O’Dowd and IrishCentral publish this rubbish again? I decided to check out the names of Niall O’Dowd and Cassidy’s arch-crony Peter Quinn on Google. Within two minutes, I had the grainy picture above, taken at a Flax Fund Dinner in NY last year. There they are, the person who runs IrishCentral and the man who described Cassidy as his ‘best friend’. You can draw your own conclusions, just as I have done. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a vile conspiracy among a bunch of arrogant and over-privileged Irish-American cronies to protect the reputation of Daniel Cassidy at all costs and in spite of all the evidence that he was a worthless fraud. There are other possibilities. Perhaps it is just down to stupidity and groupthink. Or perhaps Niall O’Dowd cynically realises that dumbass conspiracy theories sell better than the facts.

And of course, he’d be right about that. Blogs like this or the attacks on Cassidy on Language Log will never attract as much attention as Brendan Patrick Keane’s ignorant, badly-written tripe on IrishCentral. However, if I could attract a million hits a week by saying that Cassidy was right, I still wouldn’t do it. I’d rather get fifty hits a week and tell the truth than get a massive following by promoting lies and nonsense. I guess that’s just the way I’m made.

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Life, The Universe and Everything Else

I have just discovered this set of podcasts. It’s maybe not everybody’s cup of tea, but it certainly appeals to me. It consists of a slightly nerdish but very good-humoured debunking of various misconceptions, conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific claims. So far, I’ve listened to three of them and really enjoyed them, so give it a try!

LUEE

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Hall of Shame Special: Colin Carroll

The most recent addition to the Hall of Shame is an idiot from Fermoy called Colin Carroll. A month ago, he published a foolish and badly-written article on his own blog, tellingly called Irish Empire, which seems to be a rip-off of the equally egregious IrishCentral. He simply ignores every critic of Cassidy and states that Cassidy’s controversial book is correct, though it is far from clear that he has even read it.

Among the howlers is the claim that seod is Irish for ‘king’ and that sách úr is Irish for ‘big cat’. This is a man who was raised in County Cork and claims to speak Irish! He talks about brogue coming from Irish, as if this is something that Cassidy discovered. Of course, all the dictionaries have always accepted this, including the OED. As we have stated before, swell doesn’t come from Irish, glom doesn’t come from Irish. This is all nonsense.

He implies that there is a controversy about Irish derivations from English which is unconnected to Cassidy’s work, and then gives four of Cassidy’s stupid claims like the one about jazz coming from teas as evidence of this debate.

The article is also very badly written. Here’s part of his attack on the Oxford English Dictionary: ‘Although the OED loftily purport to record the meaning and development of the English language. But is that British English or global English? And how more plausible is it that they get to cherry-pick what word is a dictionary definition?’ Huh? The first sentence isn’t a sentence and the last one doesn’t make any sense at all. And this man claims to be a writer!

The fact is that Colin Carroll seems to be very similar to Cassidy himself. He is absolutely desperate for attention and will apparently do anything to keep his name in the public eye, such as trying to become the first Irish sumo wrestler, hence the rather disturbing picture at the beginning of this item.

However, I suspect that even he has finally realized that not all publicity is good. Colin Carroll’s latest ‘ghost-written’ book (under the name Louis La Roc) has garnered a lot of attention and for all the wrong reasons. It is called Numb, and claims to be based on the diaries (or dairies as it’s written twice in an article by Carroll on the ironically-named writing.ie) of an English war correspondent identified only by the false name of Buckby who got a little too embedded in the stories he was covering, torturing an IRA man in Belfast and raping a teenage girl in the Balkans, amongst other horrible things.

Various people suggested that the story of Buckby was probably untrue because of factual inconsistencies in the text, but it took one lone researcher called Donal O’Keeffe (give that man a medal!) to unearth the truth. It turns out that Carroll gave an interview five years ago where he mentioned a novel he was writing about a foreign correspondent who is also a psychopath. In a radio interview recently (at https://soundcloud.com/irishtimes-culture/war-story-the-absence-of-female-literary-critics) La Roc/Carroll was put on the spot and got a right royal and well-deserved roasting by Hugh Linehan.

It is easy to understand why a talentless, publicity-obsessed nobody like Carroll would give a good review to an equally talentless publicity-obsessed nobody like Cassidy. Shame on the pair of them!

A Night Out For The Cronies

It has been several months now since my last contribution, so I thought it was high time I gave a brief update. Cassidy’s ridiculous book is still being sold on Amazon. Most of the time, the sales are sluggish, but occasionally some poor schmuck, impressed by the rave reviews from Cassidy’s crony friends, buys a few copies for his relatives and the book’s rating goes up again.

I found this picture on line. Here we see several of the worst of Cassidy’s cronies at a night out in New York in April. There is Peter Quinn, Joe Lee and Terry Golway, all of whom were quite happy to praise and support this crap, in spite of the fact that it is obvious nonsense. As far as I am aware, none of them has ever recanted, retracted, repudiated Cassidy or apologised for helping to sell this garbage to unsuspecting people (even after it was revealed that Cassidy was an academic fraud with no degrees). Well, what the hell! It’s their reputations which are being dragged through the mud and the longer they refuse to do the right thing, the shabbier and more ridiculous they look.