The following is a very important statement. Máiréad has exercised her right in editorial control of her forum. We have always told her and all of you that it is her forum even though it is not an official instrument for her. We received an email from her regarding the negative commentary by some of our members off site and also on a post in the messages section of her forum. This needed to be addressed promptly. With regard to comments off site please read the previous blog post here entitled "For The Record". Forum admin Mike Brown has issued an official statement in the messages section of the forum. We deeply regret that Máiréad has been upset by the comments she has read when she has been so supportive for these almost four years of our service to her. We also regret that her charity of choice was brought up in the discussion as well. Finally, we regret that negative comments about her employer have been connected to her forum. To all of the above we offer our sincere apology that the forum and the artist's name have been used in inappropriate ways. We have taken a scan of the forum's off site support arms on Twitter and Facebook and it appears no issues have occurred there. The forum is endeavoring to check itself internally as well. Here is a statement from departing admin Scott Manke:
"It is with humble heart that I offer this apology to Máiréad for what has been said and done in her name or that of her forum. The rhetoric off site and to a lesser degree on site I accept full responsibility for. The forum was built to honor the artist and we took great pride in the community built and the positive things its members have done to build the base of support for Máiréad, and in support of each other and her charity of choice.
My own opinion on the operation of the forum was to be light handed and allow a bit of latitude. This was based upon my experience on other sites that ran a far tighter ship. But with that freedom also comes responsibility and consequences. These things happened on my watch and I am as guilty of the criticism as any. The forum membership and its remaining leadership team should not be tarnished by my mistakes. While I was light handed internally, I was heavy handed externally. No person or operation is without flaw. There is a Christian parable that is worth a paraphrase. Basically, don't criticize for the speck in someone else's eye when you have a plank in your own. This applies to individuals, forums, and companies.
No matter how often it has been stated that comments off site are not statements by the forum, it seems that some will always take it that way especially when uttered by one of its leaders. Knowing that, I attempted to step down earlier this year. The replacement was short lived as she discovered she did not have the time in her busy schedule. I stepped back in but should not have and should have done what I did recently and that was to create more global moderators to assist Mike and Dave.
Leaders are like everyone else and at times have great success and at others great failure. Patton, MacArthur, LBJ, Nixon, etc. all had to accept responsibility for errors in judgement. While I am none of those, they are examples of all too human leaders who had to make statements of apology. At no time have the things I have said off site been official statements by the forum. I apologize for any statements that have given offense to the artist.
I acknowledge the accommodation shown myself and the members over the past three years by the management beginning in Wilkes-Barre for the first MáiréadFest in 2009. The artist herself has been most gracious with her fans and her forum and deserves better than this particularly at a very important time in her life and career. They have granted several requests to the benefit of forum members over the past three years. I apologize that this has been lost in all of my personal commentary off site.
Again, this all has been my responsibility as the former leader of the forum, and I accept that and apologize to Máiréad, the owner and creator of her forum, the membership, the charity, and the artist's employer. Mike and the team will see to it that there are no additional issues internally or on any of the forum sites."
Mr. Manke has stepped aside and we hope that the forum family will once again be a positive place for Máiréad to enjoy in the future. We thank her for her continued indulgence throughout this challenging year and previously. We thank her for taking the time from her busy schedule to contact us so that these matters could be properly addressed. Once again, though, off site comments by people who happen to be members are not supported by or are statements by the forum. We will do our best to keep the in house operations free of controversy. We thank the fans for their support of the artist and for being part of this small segment of her fan base.
Forum leadership team