'Dear Madam, a mystery Twitter account subverting The Irish Times editorial regime? Is this a record?'
The Irish Times has a history of rooting out information, but an anonymous twitterer within its midst is stumping even the most experienced investigative journalists.
On 4 June, a Twitter account masquerading as one belonging to The Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy appeared online, and the newspaper's Tara Street HQ has since been rife with speculation as to who set it up.
It is believed that someone from inside The Irish Times, or as one journalist put it "someone with a death wish", created the Twitter page to take pot shots at their editor. The username Madam_Editor under the pseudonym 'Gezza Kennedy' has been tweeting almost live about daily events at the newspaper from the point of view of Kennedy, with a satirical and unflattering slant.
Madam_Editor began tweeting 10 days ago, with her second tweet declaring, "I do like Fridays. No sign of Fintan today, which makes life that little bit more bearable. Also, I have a skinny latte" and quickly began to clock up online fans, or as Madam_Editor put it, "My The Twitter followers are flooding in now. It's like the opposite to what happened to sales after I took over. Encouraging development."
The mystery tweets have been met with guffaws from journalists in other newspapers, and nervous titters from The Irish Times staff on Twitter whom the fake Kennedy often addresses directly.
Although it appears remarkable that someone within the paper would take such a risk to ridicule their boss, most inside the newspaper strongly believe that the twitterer is among them, or perhaps someone who used to work there given the detail in which it reports daily events within the paper.
Many of Madam_Editor's tweets are of course fabricated, such as, "Myers is still writing me letters under a false name. I could recognise that pretentious scrawl anywhere. He's as bad as Fintan". She also offers opinions on other media outlets including the Sunday Times, "Murdoch-owned, Eurosceptic, right-wing", RTE radio, "Terrible socialism on display on Marian Finucane this morning. I had to have three cigarettes and a poptart just to calm down".
While the fake account may offer plenty of laughs, the real Madam Editor is said to be not at all amused at her new unasked-for web presence, and briefly mentioned the fake account in an editorial conference earlier this week.
Many staff are speculating that should the culprit be unearthed, their actions would most likely be a sackable offence, but are still none the wiser as to who it actually is.
Madam_Editor was still tweeting up to the time of writing, this time about journalists stealing her prized Jammy Dodger biscuits from the table outside her office.
Calls to The Irish Times on Friday were not returned.
Hold the front tweet: the wisdom of Madam_Editor
* Fintan says I like hobnobs because they're dry and wizened like me. He thinks I don't hear this back on the grapevine, the nitwit.
* I do like to have a nice coffee with a hobnob and a cigarette before my polls come on the news. A guilty pleasure for me, are hobnobs.
* Anyway, I hope you will all tune into the nine o'clock news for news of my latest poll. It should finish off Dame Enda for good.
* Mark Hennessy on the phone from London. Trying to get me to do my world-famous Joan Burton impression. In a good mood, so I obliged.
* Pondering asking Keena to do a Ganley job on that Eamon Gilmore. We can't let this happen to the country. There must be KGB ties somewhere.
* Based on what the tabloids are saying, perhaps I should support France in this #worldcup . Doing the opposite of them is usually good sense.
* There was just a huge massive cheer from the newsroom below me. Has the Independent finally gone bust?
* I regret to say tomorrow's poll shows an uncomfortable amount of "Gilmore for Taoiseach" nonsense in the populace. Have we lost our minds?