To risk being pedantic: if no other good comes from the supergrass trial that began in Belfast yesterday, at least the practice of referring to informers as ‘informants’ will have been dropped. Or I hope so. I don’t read all the papers but those I do, if they have to use the i word, it’s been ‘informer’. Why was ‘informant’ ever used? Because ‘informer’ has resonances that ripple back through Irish history and the authorities didn’t want it to trigger the contempt it did.
to continue reading.