Probus Dún Laoghaire Marine
Talks's Reports
Hon. Sceretary's Notes: 'Reporting from a Troubled Land'
Published on 25/02/2019

Apologies –

-Frank Sheridan (President)

- John Bolton (Vice- President)

- Paddy MacManus (Treasurer)

- Donal Denham


The immediate Past President Myles Duffy opened the meeting and welcomed all members to the 8th meeting of Probus Marine Dunlaoghaire for 2019. Myles also welcomed returning guest Colm T.C. Wilkinson and Donal Duffy who was attending on the first day of his retirement.

In welcoming Michael Brophy, Myles referred to his long career as a mediator of public opinion and as an industry leader through an era of transformational change in the print industry. Myles handed over the floor to Jim Farrelly to introduce Michael to the Members.

Jim Farrelly in his introduction spoke of Michael as a great newspaper man of whom the saying “They say of all great newspaper men that he was born with ink in his blood” was certainly true of Michael.

Jim spoke of the great stories that Michael was involved in, including the siege of Monasterevin a story that involved daily reporting of what was happening at the scene where Dr. Tiede Herrema who had been kidnapped was being held and the shock resignation of President Cearbhaill O’ Dalaigh. Michael was also the first journalist on the scene at Russborough House and met Sir Alfred and Lady Beit who had been injured during the course of the robbery of their home when many paintings that were national treasures were stolen.

Jim outlined the many roles Michael had during his long career, features editor with the Irish Independent also night editor, editor of the Evening Hearld. He was the founding editor of the Irish Daily Star, Managing Director of the Sunday World, Chief Executive of Independent News and Media of Northern Ireland.

Michael was also Chairman of the adjudicating body for journalistic awards, he was a member of the committee that founded the first Press Council currently Michael is chairman of Hume Brophy Communications which is a European Communications group based in Brussels.

Michael ended what Myles described as a very entertaining and insightful talk with a recitation of the Poem the Ballad of William Bloat by Raymond Calvert-

In a mean abode on the Skankill Road Lived a man named William Bloat; He had a wife, the curse of his life, Who continually got his goat. So one day at dawn, with her nightdress on He cut her bloody throat.

With a razor gash he settled her hash Oh never was crime so quick But the drip drip drip on the pillowslip ‘ Of her lifeblood made him sick. And the pool of gore on the bedroom floor Grew clotted and cold and thick.

And yet he was glad he had done what he had When she lay there stiff and still But a sudden awe of the angry law Struck his heart with an icy chill. So to finish the fun so well begun He resolved himself to kill.

He took the sheet from the wife’s coul’ feet And twisted it into a rope And he hanged himself from the pantry shelf, ‘Twas an easy end, let’s hope. In the face of death with his latest breath He solemnly cursed the Pope.

But the strangest turn to the whole concern Is only just beginning. He went to Hell but his wife got well And she’s still alive and sinning. For the razor blade was German made But the sheet was Belfast linen.