Freedom of speech and expression is a vital part of a healthy, functioning democracy.
With such freedom, comes the right of others to express opinions which might not be what one might consider to be consistent with what is commonly understood to be within the parameters of 'good taste'.
Good taste is difficult to define, and I will defend the right of anybody to express genuinely held opinions. However, that does not mean I will forgo my right to criticise those opinions where I disagree with them.
I disagree with much of what was posted on this website yesterday following the announcement of the death of Shane McEntee. In order not to promote the 'thread' in which the comments were made, I effectively avoided posting in the thread.
Members of this site, as opposed to casual observors, have access to a feedback section of the site - this allows us to comment on issues relating to the site, but these comments remain invisible to those who have not 'signed in' to the site. This section of the site was used by many to express disgust at what was said yesterday. Many of us are embarrassed and disgusted today.
This, however, results in a catch 22 for posters who wish to publicly distance themselves and the site from comments - by commenting on the publicly visible thread, they provide oxygen to the less than tasteful comments made by some posters.
On my own behalf, I wish to apologise for the offence caused by this site yesterday. I issue the apology on my own behalf because I cannot speak for others. However, I feel a duty to speak up and use my freedom of speech to make that apology, because as a user of this site, I have a duty to ensure its proper running.
Doubtless, there will be people who try to use this thread to give effect to their freedom to spread their bile. For this reason, this will be my only comment, other than to 'bump' the thread where necessary.
If people agree with this post, I would ask that they merely post a +1 and do not return to the thread (perhaps other than to bump it).