Beannachtaí na Samhna do gach duine a bhfuil spéis acu sa Ghaeilge, i gcultúr na hÉireann nó i mbréagnú na raiméise!
I recently had a go at Cassidy and some of his cronies, who posted reviews of one another’s books on Amazon without giving any indication of who they were. This is an immoral thing to do, in my opinion. It’s not against the law, though it is against Amazon’s own rules: “…family members or close friends of the person, group, or company selling on Amazon may not write Customer Reviews for those particular items.”
I had another look at some of the comments surrounding Amazon reviews of Cassidy’s work. One of the strongest critics on Amazon.com was D. Norder, who made a spirited and entirely sensible attack on Cassidy’s lack of methodology and total incompetence. Norder made the minor mistake of talking about Gaelic rather than Irish – if it is a mistake. After all, Cassidy frequently dragged in Scots Gaelic when he couldn’t find what he was looking for in Irish dictionaries and the term Gaelic can be used to cover both languages (and Manx).
Among those who criticised Norder was a person calling themselves M.M.. Referring to this supposed lapse by Norder, M.M. had this to say:
Seems from the other comments that D. Norder has been outed as not knowing his/her facts. But those of us that have studied Irish history are well acquainted with revisionists that try to gloss over or completely discredit facts that do not align with their agendas.
This comment is nasty, irrational and entirely inappropriate. Cassidy’s book is so full of lies and inaccuracies and grandiose crazy claims unsupported by any evidence at all, while Norder is dealing in a couple of genuine facts like the origin of bunkum. To pretend that this is about revisionism is showing scant respect for those who genuinely oppose revisionist rewritings of Irish history. As I’ve said here before, Cassidy was a revisionist (revisionism means rewriting history, whatever the political slant). His work was obviously nonsense. Open any page at random and you will find a piece or several pieces of demonstrable rubbish.
Worse still, M.M. is pretending to be simply a concerned citizen defending Cassidy because they think he was right.
However, if we look at M.M.’s profile, we find that she (I think it’s a woman) was: ‘the student coordinator for an Irish Studies Program at a private University in San Francisco’ and that she was ‘very involved in the Irish American community.’ I may be wrong about this, but I think the only Irish Studies Program in a private university in San Francisco was the one at New College of California, which would mean that M.M. was a close associate of the late Daniel Cassidy. In other words, far from being an impartial observer with a love of truth, this is a partisan scumbag who is determined to gloss over or lie about any facts which don’t align with her twisted agenda of defending a worthless buffoon who she happened to consider a friend.
You will probably be able to find out who this particular scumbag is by looking at Irish Studies and New College of California on Google and searching for someone with the initials M.M.
Of course, if these people had any shame at all, they would be tormented by a deep sense of self-disgust and self-loathing as they skulk around the Internet depositing arrogant, dishonest crud like this. However, as people like M.M. and the rest of the Cassidy Cargo Cult seem to be without the slightest glimmer of shame, we’ll just have to do the disgust and loathing for them.
I found an interesting piece on Niall O’Dowd on Ed Moloney’s blog, The Broken Elbow. You can find the whole thing on this link: http://thebrokenelbow.com/2014/05/03/niall-odowds-bile-explained/. It seems that I am unable to reblog it properly but I hope Ed Moloney will forgive me for quoting the piece below and asking visitors to this blog to check out the original.
“As regular readers of Niall O’Dowd’s Irish Central website will know, the said Niall has been devoting a lot of time and space on ad hominem attacks on myself since the arrest of Gerry Adams.
While basing his attacks on the claim that the Boston oral history archive was set up by myself to undermine the Sinn Fein leader … there is a subtext which explains the real reason for the animosity.
Essentially I found him out stealing my by-line and my articles, written for the Sunday Tribune in Dublin, to use in his Irish Voice newspaper back in the late 1980’s. It was a dirty, cheap thing to do and I confronted him about it (I chose not to go the legal route since that would endanger innocent people’s jobs) and demanded that he pay me a proper fee in future for using my journalism. He had no choice but to agree but our relationship was always a tense one, marked by mutual dislike.
I wrote about it in some length on this blog when O’Dowd first editorialised against myself and Anthony McIntyre and below is a reprint of the relevant part. But he is right about one thing: I dislike liars and will always use my journalism to expose them, whether it be lies from Niall O’Dowd, Gerry Adams, Ian Paisley or Margaret Thatcher.”
In fairness to Niall O’Dowd, I should say that he denies Moloney’s version of events. However, I have no reason to doubt Ed Moloney’s word. Niall O’Dowd, on the other hand, has been responsible for publishing and republishing all kinds of lies, nonsense and rubbish on his IrishCentral site, including the ridiculous articles by Brendan Patrick Keane about Cassidy’s insane theories, so I know who I believe!
I have previously criticised the crony friends of Daniel Cassidy, charlatan and fake etymologist, who have been responsible for artificially boosting Cassidy’s reputation and selling his irritating and insane drivel to Irish American suckers.
It is interesting to look at the way some of these cronies operate. Let’s just look at the particular constellation of cronies who founded the Irish American Writers and Artists back in 2008. According to that organisation’s website this historic event took place at a literary festival in Charlottesville, Virginia. After the session, Peter Quinn and T.J. English, ‘historian and author Daniel Cassidy’ (!!!), New York Times columnist and author Dan Barry, and Maureen Dezell, all adjourned to the pub and founded the IAWAA. I am not criticizing the supposed aims of the IAWAA here. Insofar as there is any genuine radicalism among these people, I would support it. We know that Cassidy’s radicalism was completely fake, of course. I mean, what possible justification could you give for taking a job as a college professor without even having a degree, or faking Ivy League qualifications to claim such a job? How is that serving the cause of social justice? It’s not as if straight chalk-white Christian dudes like Cassidy are under-represented at the highest level in American society!
However, if we look at the reviews on Amazon, we find that Cassidy’s book was supported by a certain paquinn47, who gave it a rave review and five stars.
“Cassidy’s thesis isn’t going to go away and overwrought denunciations should give way to the work of grappling with the certainty that Cassidy has started a revolution of Copernican dimensions.”
The same paquinn47 also gave five stars and a rave review to Dan Barry’s book ‘City Lights: Stories About New York.’
In neither review does he give the slightest indication that he is Peter A. Quinn the novelist or that he knows the authors. In one case, of course, he wrote the introduction to the book he’s reviewing, which is a pretty big vested interest. Another reviewer of Dan Barry’s book is a certain Daniel P. Cassidy, who tells the reader to ‘Buy this book. Then buy another and give it to a friend. Read it and feel renewed.’
Again, there is no indication in the review that these people knew one another. In the case of the Barry book, there are only six reviews on Amazon. The reviews from his two mates, Cassidy and Quinn, are one third of the ratings.
Daniel P. Cassidy also reviewed Peter Quinn’s book Hour of the Cat, again without revealing anything about the relationship between himself and Quinn, such as the fact that a character called Danny Cassidy is mentioned in the book or that one of his later books was dedicated to him. ‘Hour of the Cat is flat-out one of the best books I have read in a dog’s age’. Daniel P. Cassidy only wrote three reviews on Amazon. One for Dan Barry, one for Peter Quinn, and a hostile one about a book which Cassidy criticises as being full of ‘wing-nut etymologies’. Talk about pots and kettles!
The question is, is it wrong to review books by your cronies without giving any indication that they are cronies? It certainly isn’t illegal but I think it’s completely unethical. After all, people read the reviews to find out whether to buy the book. If you are the author’s best friend, you should really declare that in the review. It isn’t enough to give your name. How many people would know that paquinn47 is Peter Quinn or that he is a friend of Cassidy and Barry? (As opposed, for example, to the Irish Peter Quinn of Belfast Media Group, former GAA chairman, who was involved in the purchase of the Irish Echo in 2008, a paper which allowed Cassidy to write a column on his ‘discoveries’ just before his death.)
Some of you will remember the Orlando Figes incident a few years back, where the expert on Russian history, Orlando Figes, wrote scathing reviews of his rivals using the false name Historian. Figes apologised and claimed that he was suffering from depression at the time. I believe him. People do strange things when they’re depressed and his actions were so pointless and ultimately damaging to his reputation. He was and is a successful historian and didn’t need to resort to tactics like that.
Cassidy, of course, wasn’t a talented historian. He wasn’t even an historian. He knew nothing about anything, and without his loyal cronies spreading nonsense about what a great book How The Irish Invented Slang is, it is unlikely that he would have sold many copies of this truly dreadful piece of garbage.