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John Caruth
Northern Irelnd
Retired journalist with a forever young feeling
Interests: Reading, blogging, walking, talking, music and that means Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, Marshall Crenshaw and all the oldies like Buddy, Elvis, Johnny and talking again ... keep smiling
Recent Activity
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Thought I put up photographs of smiling faces... one from a Christmas party with the Monday Club participants and the other call themselves the Teletubbies which is a bit unflattering but the Telegraph's sports boys along with Walter Macauley from... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2021 at TheCopyboys
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Number 181 ..and still going with contributors making their occasional comments ... we have survived the pandemic so far...today's image features three people I know (knew in the case of two of them)... Graham McKenzie, our President still, Roy Lilley,... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2021 at TheCopyboys
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Well here we are, Graham and Billy ...we've, sorry I've managed to keep this blog the copyboys (all lower case) alive and going to reach this quite high figure... ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY ... and we've have to wonder why...... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2021 at TheCopyboys
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A regular reader of the blog was telling me that he still enjoyed viewing what's being said and seen around here but that really, he missed the regular appearances of our late, great chairman Billy Simpson ....I told him he... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2021 at TheCopyboys
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Here's a photo of Ian as he was when he worked at UTV.... it went along with the tribute in the Belfast Telegraph This site is about journalism and journalists ... so we must pay tribute to Jane Loughrey, a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2021 at TheCopyboys
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It is still .... 2021....and it is still Mr Hack 177 which few people seem to have noticed... I wonder sometimes what our late creator of the blog, Graham McKenzie would think of how we are progressing....my second thought tells... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2021 at TheCopyboys
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It's that time of the year again when we wish each other Happy Christmas and a pleasant and successful New Year and this time also a healthy New Year and we mean that most sincerely, believe us. The card below... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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WA It was what was described as a 'facility trip' .....a fun time out at someone else's expense...a Press party...Now it has become a mystery trip to look and wonder what the names of the journalists present were called...Now we... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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Apologies .... I got distracted and forgot about the blog, like a lot of people.....the pandemic, Van Morrison's latest three songs, the weather and life in general so here is Mr Hack 175 and I am wondering again about the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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We've had this photograph for quite a while and it's maybe in one of the albums but the history behind it was a mystery ... Keith Baker and Albert, face to face at the stone and there's laughter in all... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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The original Rowel Friers cartoon ....minus names. The revised McGlade family copy with names added. I got an email one day from Sean (John) McGlade and it read: <i>John, Being housebound now due to the COVID virus, I find that... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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Things happen which makes us change our mind ... so a photo I was going to use can wait for another day because events have happened which deserve coverage here...First, yesterday on publication day we disocovered that the Co. Down... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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In case I can't find a pic of Tommy for the Remembered section, here's a photo sent to me by Mitchell I thought worth changing the blog to accommodate: This is the only picture I can find . Northern Constitution... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2020 at TheCopyboys
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There are two new books out for sale ... Trinity by the late Colin McAlpin, his sixth book, I think ... the other is Shooting in the Dark: iconic images of the Troubles and the stories of the photographers who... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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December ... a time for joy and thoughtful reflection and a time to wish people you know the complimets of the season .. So Happy Christmas to everyone who looks in here and a Happy New Year, too ... Keep... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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*The cover of one of Billy's humourous joke books and our Chairman with his best friend, Billy Graham. *A day out.... Daph and Billy were born for each other. This announcement is not unexpected. Our illustrious and best Chairman ever,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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a To explain.... the joke is a pun on the hit recording by Bob Marley and Eric Clapton, I Shot the Sheriff .... Another joke and then just as good we think as the one we used with the two... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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It's been a busy time on the blog with time marching on rapidly for some and others wondering what time it is for them so I thought this image was smart and funny for some anyway. A new Mr Hack... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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EDDIE McILWAINE FUNERAL Eddie McIwaine would have liked his funeral. He would, indeed have loved the attendance at St. Catherine’s Parish Church at Killead near Crumlin. His place there sitting in the church was the back row along with Irene, we heard. It is the first funeral of a journalist that I know where they had to bring in chairs for cope with the crowd of relations, friends and ex-colleague who wanted to say a final goodbye. The service was taken by the Rev. John McClure, a big man and humorous too. He told us when he arrived to be rector at the church he received a phone call. It was from Eddie who was asking for an interview. Why, John asked did he want to interview me? Because you are my rector, he was told and I want to see what you are like and if I will take to you. John replied to Eddie that he didn’t know if he was going to take to him! They did hit it off and became friends. That story was partly the tone of the service....religious and laughter ran together and laughter was loud and frequent as Eddie’s story was told. The Presbyterian minister at Crumlin Rev Derek Weir assisted with his humorous memories of Eddie. Among the journalists present that I could spot was Ivan Little who read one of the lessons that Eddie had requested be read. Also present were John (May McFetridge), Noel McAdam, Eddie Sterling jnr. Colin McMullan, Betty Adair, NewsLetter’s Mervn Pauley sitting beside former Belfast Telegraph photograph Brian McMullam. Also there in the congregation Ivan McMichael, Sammy Hamill, Robert Fenton, Peter Rainey, Don McAleer, Deric Henderson, Alf McCreary and former Telegraph News Editor Paul Connolly. There were also two former editors Roy Lilley and Martin Lindsay and the present editor of the paper, Gail Walker. So many people and we apologise if someone’s name has been left out. Must not forget the man who was invited by Eddie’s wife and family, Zara and young Edward to make the main address, the tribute and ‘biography’ of the man we had all come to say ‘farewell’: Robin Walsh who recalled starting his journalistic career at the Fifties weekly, the Larne Times and he was beside and learning, he said from Roy Lilley and Edward McIlwaine. Robin’s remarks were delivered with panache. We are happy to give it an audience here to: I think it appropriate to start when Eddie first found his name in print. It was, of course, the birth certificate of one EDWARD McILAINE, born above his granny’s shop in Carnmoney on Marh 25, 1936. He was the first of three children to proud parents Jock and Martha whom I was to know uears later as the most delightful of people. It comes as no surprise that Eddie became a journalist. AS a boy in short trousers he was introduced to newspapers – and in particular his beloved Belfast Telegraph – in a rather fanciful wauy. The paper used to store gian rolls of newsprint in a stable at Carnmoney Presbyterian Church where his father was caretaker and one of the drivers used to give him a ride to and from the paper’s headquarters in Royal Avenue. Back at the stable he would perch on one of the rolls, pretend he was a reporter and scribble out stories. And, of course, being Eddie, tjere was an authentic story when a Spitfire just happened to crash out of control in the village. And so to the inevitable: his first job as a reporter in the old Larne Times in the mid-Fifties. I was to join the paper before the decade was out and learn at the feet – or rather the fingers – of two young masters: Eddie McIlwaine and Roy Lilley. They taught me so much – but whose style of writing would I try to replicate. Was it Eddie’s brash, more conversational style which allowed him to frequently split infinitives and use prepositions to end sentences with. I can still hear him read aloud as he tapped the typewriter keys. Or was it Roy’s impeccable prose, his syntax straight from the text book. In truth, neither could be replicated. I was to learn of other things. On my first day Eddie sent me to the shop next door for some goodies for the tea break. I seem to remember there were bars of Bounty and Crunchie and a packet of new biscuits he said were just on the market and which I’d never heard of. Since we are in church, I shall leave it to you to figure out what it was a packet of. They were certainly not biscuits – and remember I was 17! All eyes in the crowded shop bore down on me as the shop assistant said I should try Hall’s the Chemist next door. It was my first experience of a wicked sense of humour that Eddie no doubt inflicted on many people here today. Eddie loved headlines, festooning a wall in the reporters’ office with cutting after cutting. His favourite was of a disaster in Italy. THOUSANDS FLEE AS PO BURSTS. We once had a competition for an imaginary headline which would sell most papers. Eddie won hands down: POPE ELOPES. And, of course, the poker schools. Believe it or not, Eddie had difficulty in mastering the art of bluffing and Royi’s glasses steamed up every time he had a good hand. It was fun. Alas, all good things just come to an end and Eddie was off to Head Office: the Belfast Telegraph. But he left behind one tradition he had started = our bearing of gifts on Christmas Day to an old folks’ home in Islandmagee. He was always a generous man. At the Tele, he was the absolutes all round reporter. He could sniff a story a mile off and write it like a dream. And he was equipped with all the tools of the trade: his shorthand was as the wind, his touc of typing simply stunning. It was why he was given a front row seat at some of the biggest set piece stories of the early Sixties. For example, there was the week-long trial of Robert McGladdery, the last man executed in Northern Ireland for the murder of a young woman in Newry. Eddie was to become the last man to see a judge don the Black Cap. And even more exacting was the highly acrimonious court hearing of the Belfast Telegraph takeover by Lord Thompson with every line of the coverage poured over by his current and prospective management. His reportage was flawless. There was time for relaxation. He rang me in Larne to say he’s bought four tickets for a dress dance and would I mind accompanying an attractive young woman whom I would meet on the evening in question. A chunk of my week’s wages was spent hiring my outfit and I duly presented myself at our meeting place: McGlade’s Theatre Lounge beside the Tele. I was to be greeted with the loudest chorus of laughter I have ever heard led t a very casually dressed Eddie. Everyone was in on the secret: there was no dance. That was Eddie and there was only on thing to do: have a pint and join the laughter. And so to 1965 – and the national scene wth the Daily Mirror. It was ready-made for a man with a sharp sense and an equally sharp pen. Or it seemed so. The so called Troubles were soon upon us and Eddie had his fair share of traumatic experiences, not least with the IRA. It was to take its toll as he watched at close quarters the community he loved dearly tearing itself apart. He found himself in a pretty dark place as he struggled o make sense of the senseless. He was later to admit he was on the verge of a total breakdown. There were two beacons of light that led the way to a new life which was to span over four decades of unbridled happiness. The first – and by far the more important – was the delightful Irene. Their meeting and marriage over 40 years ago changed Eddie’s life completely and he rejoiced in the happiest days of his life. His son Edward nd daughter Zara completed the perfect picture. All that was required now was professional fulfilment. It was to be found, of course, in that building he first visited in short trousers and for which he never lost his love. When old friend Roy Lilley, now the most distinguished editor of the Belfast Telegraph, invited him back to Royal Avenue, Eddie’s new lfe was complete. A new career beckoned and he took it in both hands... on the one hand, the weekly delight of the Ulster Log; on the other, the show business correspondent of the paper. Eddie was to make the Ulster Log the most avidly read column in the paper: his forte was ‘human interest’, unearthing facts about people no one knew; his every sentence willing you to read the next. As Ivan Little put it in his excellent tribute in the Belfast Telegraph: “The role was custom made for Eddie who could make a story out of nothing and frequently did. He could make a witty piece just as impressively as he had done with emotional Trouble stories in the past.” And as the present editor of the paper, Gail Walker wrote:”His Ulster Log captured something about the unique charcter of the city, it environs, its personalities as well as it eccentrics, oddities and memorable tales. His characteristic Ulster sensibility meant that his writing belied the image of a place which was otherwise making dark headlines across the world.” Eddie’s cast list of showbusiness friends was endless and star-studded, born out of a long and close friendship with the late Jim Aiken, in his day Ireland’s top music promoter by far. That mantle has now been taken over by Jim’s song Peter who tells us that Eddie was indispensable in keeping the music alive here during the Troubles. Eddie was to sign off his Ulster Log in December 2017, thus ending the career of one of our greatest newspapermen. He’d always threatened to write his best story of all: his own. Alas he never did. Finally, a thought from dear Eddie himself which I have never quite forgotten; indeed, so memorable that, heaven forbid, I thought I must have plagiarized it. However, having scoured Google without success I figureit must have been original. We were both bemoaning the death of a close friend when he looked at me and said:”You know, memory is the only true friend that grief can call its own.” I have to tell you that Eddie’s favourite comedian was Bob Hope whose theme tune was, of course, Thanks for the Memory. Thanks for the memory, Eddie
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2019 on FAREWELL, EDDIE ... FAREWELL at TheCopyboys
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Eddie McIlwaine has died after a long illess in the early hours of Tuesday, July 30, 2019... Eddie McIlwaine. What do we say or know about Eddie McIlwaine? I’ve known him for years. Worked alongside him at the Belfast Telegraph.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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Another Mr Hack....Number 167 and I think we're still attracting comments from friends and former colleagues ... this latest joke illustration sort of sums up a lot of my skills with new technology ... though I have not got so... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2019 at TheCopyboys
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John Caruth has shared their blog TheCopyboys
Jun 14, 2019
Another comment I'd like to put up is a complaint about the BBC's latest idea to raise money by forcing people over the age of 75 who aren't on some benefit or other to pay a licence fee. I've been paying from the age of 25 and am now over 75 and paid mine bill but then asked for a refund and surprisingly got most of it back. I am hoping to not have to pay it again so here's hoping for a change of mind (they don't have hearts at the BBC, I think). Or maybe the next Prime Minister will interefer in the hope that it will win him votes.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2019 on Mr HACK 166 at TheCopyboys
We have been having problems with the blog comment section because our master typepad has been having a problem with its system so this is to alert readers that they need to sign in to open the comment box if they wish to leave a message or complaint etc. Hopefully this will help.
Toggle Commented Jun 14, 2019 on Mr HACK 166 at TheCopyboys
I don't have a copy and I'd be surprised if it was mentioned there.
Toggle Commented Feb 20, 2019 on Mr. HACK 164 at TheCopyboys