THE OIRISH TIMES
INTERNET ADVISOR ARTICLE NOVEMBER 2001
"Readers' Web sites - Surfing on Eire
Warren Donnelly set up a site to satirise the way the media portrays the Irish. So there'll be no fights or drinking, then, asked Internet Advisor?
It is a truth universally acknowledged,' wrote Jane Austen, 'that a young man in possession of a personal computer must be in want of a site. Probably about pornography. Or football.'
All right, so we paraphrase somewhat. But for Warren Donnelly, a native of Balbriggan, Co Dublin, nature took a different course. Having toyed with - and rejected -the idea of naked ladies ("doesn't every red-blooded male?") and Sheffield Wednesday ("too dull to sustain the interest of even the most ardent fan"), the 26-year-old decided to set up his own site -devoted to newspaper clippings.
"I've always had a sad interest in the strange cuttings from regional newspapers that I found," he explains. "So I thought: why not put them on the Web so even sadder people can be amused!"
And so The Oirish Times was born. Slanted and surreal,
it runs the gamut of Irish life - from the drunken Irishman who ran
over his wife, then got straight back in his car to drive her to the
hospital, to the... er, drunken Irishman who started a riot in a pub,
under the mistaken impression that the civil war was still on.
Mmm. Not exactly beating off the national stereotypes with a stick, are you, Warren?
"Well, it's all very tongue-in-cheek, It's meant to be a satirical look at how the media portrays the postcard image of Oireland. I target everyone for abuse, and give a two fingered salute to political correctness wherever possible." Translation? "Yes, it does fulfill a lot of old Oirish stereotypes." Ah. But there is one part of the site that definitely belongs to the modern world. The Oirish Times features its own dedicated - and very funny - section devoted to Pat Kenny, presenter of RTE's Late Late Show, and a man strangely reminiscent of another, fictional. chat-show host.
"He is Alan Partridge," exclaims Warren. "Crass, ignorant and abusive to guests. He once said to Dawn French at a fashion show, 'I'm sure some people would pay £10,000 so that [you] wouldn't get out of bed for work.' Idiot."
And that's a sentiment of which Jane Austen would surely have approved."