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MacDonogh, Steve 1949-

MacDonogh, Steve 1949-

PERSONAL:

Born September 3, 1949, in Dublin, Ireland; son of Jack Albert Middleton (a minister and teacher) and Barbara Kathleen MacDonogh. Ethnicity: "Irish." Education: University of York, B.A., 1971.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Brandon/Mount Eagle Publications, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland.

CAREER:

Irish Writers Cooperative, Dublin, Ireland, chair, 1977-81; Brandon Book Publishers Ltd., Dingle, Ireland, publisher, 1982-97; Brandon/Mount Eagle Publications, Dingle, publisher, 1997—.

WRITINGS:

York Poems, Cosmos, 1972.

My Tribe, Beaver Row Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1982.

Green and Gold: The Wrenboys of Dingle, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1983.

A Visitor's Guide to the Dingle Peninsula, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1985.

By Dingle Bay and Blasket Sound, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1991.

The Dingle Peninsula: History, Folklore, Archaeology, with photographs by the author and maps by Jack Roberts and Justin May, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1993, color edition, 2000.

(Editor) The Rushdie Letters: Freedom to Speak, Freedom to Write, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1993.

(Editor) The Brandon Book of Irish Short Stories, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1998.

Open Book: One Publisher's War, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1999.

(Editor) Brandon Twenty-five, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Steve MacDonogh once told CA: "A major theme in both my writing and my publishing has been freedom of expression. In neither Ireland nor Britain is there anything even approaching the U.S. First Amendment tradition. I do not mean to suggest that either the First Amendment or U.S. society are perfect, but what is so important is the starting point. The British start from a monarchist model, with the citizen viewed as a ‘subject.’ The state takes upon itself enormous powers to suppress information, especially in the area of its intelligence services. This culture of suppression spreads widely through society, leading to a highly undeveloped acceptance of the citizens' right to know what is being done in their name.

"In Ireland, although the independent state which makes up twenty-six of its thirty-two counties describes itself as a republic, we have inherited many elements from the British; in particular, most of our governmental, parliamentary, and legal apparatus, structures, and traditions. Added to this, the formerly crucial influence of a very authoritarian Roman Catholicism has left us with a tradition of starting from the assumption that ‘if in doubt it is not permitted.’ Still in operation are wartime (1939) emergency measures suspending the right to trial by jury, and still on the statute books are draconian measures of political censorship of the broadcast media. In addition, our defamation laws have a strongly chilling effect on investigative journalism and prevent the proper scrutiny of the conduct of public figures. In the northern six counties, still under British rule, the particular Protestant traditions of the area have been at least as inclined to suppression as the Roman Catholic tradition.

"I have sought in my publishing and writing to challenge the pervasive censorship, and this has led to conflicts with the British government, the Irish government, and the Irish broadcasting authorities. Among my authors since 1982 has been Gerry Adams, president of the Sinn Fein party; for most of the time I have been publishing him, the public have been prevented by Irish and British government banning orders from hearing him speak on radio or television. However, by challenging the broadcasting censorship, we succeeded eventually in breaching the political censorship provisions. I have documented this struggle for freedom of expression in Open Book: One Publisher's War."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

MacDonogh, Steve, Open Book: One Publisher's War, Brandon (Dingle, Ireland), 1999.

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