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The secret life of the Irish blogger

2006-11-06__mg_6390-m.jpg Haydn Shaughnessy’s article on blogging in Ireland is in today’s Irish Times. It’s a lengthy 3/4 page read and in the Arts section so it covers the artistic side of blogging more than the political or mainstream – photography, podcasting and video blogging are the main aspects of blogging that he treats.

Unfortunately the online version is subscriber only but here’s what he wrote about us photobloggers:

In fact, Irish bloggers excel at photography, and two of the most outstanding are the O’Caoimh brothers. Their record of changing Cork city and county are the kind of document we might look back on in a decade with some gratitude. The photographs of Ryan Whalley, meanwhile (, logging the Cork countryside and coast, are exceptionally well staged works of art and draw attention from around the globe.

In each case it’s their self-taught skills that make blogging a superior distribution mechanism than, say, the local photographic gallery. Is the Irish blogging scene vibrant and creative, as the photography suggests?

Ryan’s Glassey Alley photoblog, and my brother Donal’s blog are referred to above. One of the photos in the article is this one I shot at the Ceili Mor several weeks ago. If this is your first time to this site feel free to browse around and visit again. There’s a new photo here every day!

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

9 replies on “The secret life of the Irish blogger”

Hi, sorry for bothering you.
My name is Linnea and Im working on a school project about Ireland.
By looking at your blog I guess you live there. 🙂

Im supposed to write about abortion and homosexual relationships. I though that I should interview some Irish citizen to find out what they think about it.
So… my question for you is what do you think about abortion and gay marriage?

I would be so greatful if you’d answer!
// Linnea, Sweden

Linnea – you’re likely to get quite a diverse range of opinions. Speaking for myself, I don’t care who gets married. If they’re in love, why not? And abortion is a necessary evil. One I don’t like.

Hi Linnea – I’m gay myself, so my opinion is biased. Anyway… I 100% believe that two people, no matter what sex they are, should be able to benefit from marraige. I don’t think religion should have anything to do with it though. I’d rather a civil union, because I’m not religious, and even if I was straight I still wouldn’t want to get married either in a church or by a priest. To be honest, I’d rather the freedom to walk hand in hand with my partner than any of it.

As for abortion, I think that each individual is entitled to make whatever decision they like about their own body. It’s not up to me to make the decision for them, or the state. Therefore I think the choice should be allowed here.

Linnea: great name! Anyway, I don’t know if this would be any help but by way of background there are a few old opinion polls out there on abortion and on legal recognition of gay relationships.

I haven’t looked at the questions, or the methods used, so you ought not simply take the results as truth. And certainly not as truth for 2009. But they are better than guessing as to general opinion.

One more thing: bloggers are easy to find but not entirely like everyone else. Apart from being very opinionated, they tend to be younger and to have had more years of education etc than most people. So they are more likely to share relatively liberal Donncha’s attitudes than the population at large.

As for my opinion, I’m a bit odd. I’m happily married but tend to believe that the State should get out of the business of licencing relationships – gay or straight – altogether. I don’t know why us married people get a huge tax break subsidised by unmarried people, whether they’re gay or straight or single or in a relationship. We should just have legal recognition and inheritance rights for people who live together for x amount of time plus some subsidies for child raising. After that we should leave whatever ceremony, if any, people choose to go through to publicly announce their love and their promise of commitment to each other up to the churches, social clubs, druidic societies, or whatever-you-have that those individuals belong to. Privatise marriage in other words. Now, this is not a common opinion in Ireland.

And on abortion, as Bill Clinton said, It should be freely available and very rare.

Hi Linnea – I’m not gay but I’d hold very similar opinions to Sinéad up there!
Personally I believe that two people should have the freedom to get married, no matter what gender they are. Love isn’t about conforming to a social norm of one man one woman one big white dress, it’s an expression of love and commitment between two people!
So marriage for everyone, that’s point number one.
And on abortion, I absolutely believe in a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to carry a baby to term. I mean, it’s nine months of your life that you’re giving up, and the State shouldn’t be allowed to dictate whether or not you have to go throught it.
So! Pro any gender marriage, pro abortion. =)

Hi Linnea, – I’m not gay but would wholly support the right of any two people to marry, or, as Sinead previously said, the freedom to walk hand in hand in public. Its more an acceptance thing than anything else I think. When two gay people can walk down the road together and not feel self-concious or that they have to be careful about what they do, show affection to each other, etc… then the situation will be much closer to an ideal. Once that happens then I believe that marriage and all that comes with it should be an obvious extension. Hopefully we would see a move away from gay rights to just human rights, with the need for a distinction gone forever.

As for abortion, personally I don’t like it, but thats a personal feeling rather than what I believe should be allowed. I would support the right to choose, and the freedom of the individual, over enforcing my own view on someone else.

Things have improved a lot here in the last few years, but there is still a good bit to go. Hopefully my answer has been some help instead of just me rambling. Good luck with the project 🙂

HI Linnea, I think if you want to get a true idea of the opinions of Irish people about these matters then the blogosphere is probably not the place to get it, simply because the Blogging community tends to be more liberal than the general population. I think it’s also less likely that people will offer there views on a sensitive subject in a public forum, especially if they don’t agree with the majority of people there.
If you really want to find these things out I’m sure that some research has been done or you could distribute your own survey with Polldaddy or something like that. Just my 2 cents.

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