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Sunday 1 October 2006

A birthday present for Newshound

WHERE can you find, nestling together in complete agreement, the following: fundamentalist Christian Orange evangelists, Danny Morrison, Ed Moloney, who lifted the lid on the IRA, the father of a child murdered in the Omagh bomb, Irish-American supporters of republican dissidents, the head honcho of the Andersonstown News group, which has just had to bury Daily Ireland - and me, who danced on its grave?

Along with several others who have given modest financial support, we sit together on the patrons' page of Newshound (www.nuzhound.com), which celebrates its tenth anniversary today. Our hero is John Fay, who lives in Bray, and who has justly been named by Irish-America Magazine as one of the 100 top Irish-Americans.

Fay's wife and children hate Newshound, not least because 365 days a year Fay rises early, and before heading for the day job, spends around 90 minutes scanning more than 30 newspapers for all things Irish. His objective is to make available the fullest possible range of news, analysis and opinion: I've never heard anyone accuse him of bias.

Fay's site now attracts around 65,000-80,000 visits a month. Fay saves journalists, officials and politicians an immense amount of time and ensures people have a balanced view of a highly emotive subject. His family might be placated if his working time was cut by the miraculous extension of broadband to Bray and if more users showed their gratitude by coughing up a few bob to make the site financially viable.

It's Newshound's birthday, for heaven's sake: if you use the site regularly and contribute nothing, get that credit card out now and do something useful with it.

Ruth Dudley Edwards

© Ruth Dudley Edwards