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!