Below is a very rough timeline of the Willie O’Dea affidavit story as it appeared on politics.ie. Largely ignored by the national media (the Mail excepted), the story was raised, bumped, updated and persisted by a number of posters on politics.ie.
It was very much a collaborative effort, involving posters who clearly had differing backgrounds, locations and motives (for anyone who has read the Wisdom of Crowds it had all the best aspects to be a successful campaign).
D’tinternet, and this site in particular, can make a difference in shaping political events, but one of the key lessons I realised from this story and others is was how many politicians read informative anonymous emails but do not respond to them (which is probably good policy).
There are also a number of commentators, journos and politicians who read this site regularly, even if they (sensibly) keep their identity hidden (perhaps many do not join – a good reason of itself to allow open access).
Please highlight any other contributions to this story on the website, or any post and posters left out which shaped this story.
1. 10 March, 2009
The story is broken on p.ie by Islands.
This thread had 101 replies and 7049 views.
2. 10 April, 2009
Story is bumped by Draiocht23 as it is announced Quinlivan is to sue.
3. 1st November 2009
Keithm bumps thread as Mail “breaks” the story that O’Dea mislead the High Court.
4. 1st November, 2009
A poster by the name of Willie watch posts his 4th post (he/she above all has been tenacious)
This thread had 252 replies and 13803 views.
5. 6th December, 2009
Bumped by me asking for any update.
6. 21st December, 2009
Gabha Oir bumps thread with report that O’Dea’s lawyers have been in Court to settle case.
(This is the first day politician become involved as Sen Eugene Regan issue hard hitting press release, but topic is ignored by media Taoiseach must get explanation from O?Dea on issue of perjury - Regan | Eugene Regan ).
7. 28th December, 2009
Willie Watch post scanned image of Mail (annoyingly it is not available online)
(Thread trundles along – the lack of enthusiasm/sceptism of certain anti-FF posters is interesting).
8. 7th January, 2010
New thread started as other one has become too long and cumbersome (although I admit I did take best of other thread). No sensible person is going to read 252 posts).
This thread had 164 replies and 5468 views.
9. 2nd February, 2010
Eugene Regan raises issue in Order of business on Seanad floor, note similarity of references (did he look on site or was he emailed).
10. 7th February, 2010.
Picked up by non-Mail Nation media as Justine McCarthy publishes it strong op. Ed.
62 posts, 2180 views
11. 12th February, 2010
Kerry North notes that Eugene Regan raises it for the second time in the Seanad, the day after the crucial FG parliamentary party meeting after George Lee’s resignation, and it is believed that a number of TDs were contacted about the Willie O’Dea situation.
13th February 2010.
Kerry North posts on Sunday Times going with story two weeks in a row.
This was the biggie, 1014 posts, 30,784 views.
12. 14th February 2010
Michael Clifford raises story in the Tribune.
Michael Clifford - "Roy Behan gave false evidence to preserve his life. Willie O'Dea's false evidence was for a few grubby votes for his acolytes...."
13. 16th February 2010
Another thread asking for specifics. Posters copy and paste to politicians.
10 replies and 663 views.
14. Threads become numerous until this:
and then to add insult to injury
The story is not over yet, as a garda investigation into perjury has begun. This has already being commented on by the Garda Commissioner (and if no action is taken an application to the Garda Ombudsman is possible).
So the last question is: who’s next?