Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Jerome Quinn launches record attempt - for MOPEry!

It's evidence, not blank sheets of A4 paper. Honest!

The acronym ‘MOPE’ is well known in Northern Ireland. For the uninitiated, it stands for ’Most Oppressed People Ever’ and both ’communities’ here regularly vie for the title. Though, even by our tortured standards, this story just about takes the jammy dodger!

Ex BBC Northern Ireland sports presenter, Jerome Quinn, has taken his former bosses to a fair employment tribunal, alleging ’religious and racial harassment’ because he is Irish (yep only in Ireland eh?). In addition he claims that the Corporation favours ’Protestant supported sports’, like …. the North West 200!

Fans of the Northern Ireland football team will remember that Quinn has a history of taking offence. In 2001 he decided to wear a Tyrone Gaelic football jersey to a home match against Iceland at Windsor Park. Unfortunately the resultant article is no longer online, but some feedback still survives thanks to the BBC website’s archive. (It has been found - thanks Buckie).

Quinn obviously thought that he would provoke a reaction, but alas no-one said boo to him at the game. He decided to construe silence as oppression anyway and alleged that Northern Ireland supporters were giving him the cold shoulder because he was the ’fella who commentated on the GAA’.

So, at least one group of sports’ fans will not be surprised to find Quinn in front of a tribunal alleging that “less favourable treatment than if I was Protestant, British and not associated with the GAA” had led the BBC to replace him with, erm, ‘Orange’ Austin O’Callaghan from Sligo.

For the record, the Beeb sacked Quinn for using its computers to post anonymous criticism of his employer on GAA websites. Whoops!
Happier Times? Jerome is oppressed by Northern Ireland fans.


Anonymous said...

He'll win or lose on the technicalities.

Presumably the BBC already knew what he was up to and just pounced when they had the evidence of his hostile blogging.

But if they were working up to a dismissal because of his sour MOPE mode they could be in diffs.

I note he is not investing in a barrister nor has the Equality Commission stepped in behind him, so some signs are not good.

CW said...

There may be an element of MOPEry here,( playing the “racism” seems a bit far-fetched for a start) but Jerome was within his rights to highlight BBC NI’s inadequate coverage of GAA events. With gaelic football being the biggest spectator sport in NI in terms of match attendances this should be reflected proportionately in the local media. During the ‘90s BBC NI’s GAA output was excellent, but this has deteriorated in recent years, presumably due to a change in management. Admittedly, using your employers’ computer to slag them off isn’t the smartest thing to do, but he had a point. Reading between the lines it seems there was some kind of campaign being waged against Jerome by the powers that be. The allegation that the sports personality of the year was rigged in 2008 (no coincidence that this was the year Tyrone won the All-Ireland) so it wouldn’t be a GAA figure would appear to be bear this out. BBC NI has lost a fine sports reporters as a result. Although he made mistakes Jerome’s an amicable kind of guy and doesn’t deserve to be treated like this. Good luck to him in his appeal.