It ran for 41 editions and was a talking point in many an office, shop floor or classroom. And then, sadly, in 2006 Pure Derry - a satirical online newspaper which took no prisoners - shut up shop leaving us bereft of a bit of craic and the chance to laugh at our own.
But now the man behind Pure Derry is back - six years older and, he says “six years wiser” and ready to take on the great and the good of the City of Culture again with a brand new presence on Facebook. Already the new Facebook page has more than 1,600 followers after just two weeks online and the word is spreading fast.
But why did Mr Pure Derry (who has asked that we withhold his real name) decide now was the time to resurrect the old site?
“People have asked me loads of times since 2006 would I think of bringing the site back and until now I have always said no,” PD said. “But there is just so much happening in Derry at the moment that it seemed like the perfect time to relaunch and make the most of what is coming out of Derry - the positive and the negative. With the City of Culture just around the corner, I know there will be a lot of material on offer.”
PD said the main reason the site closed in 2006 was that he simply had to “try and concentrate on getting a real job”. Contrary to popular belief, he never made a penny out of the original Pure Derry format and, indeed, he still has no intentions of making the site a commercial affair.
“The emphasis is on satire - to take an ironic spin on things. I don’t think that would marry well with going down the commercial road. At the moment I just want to interact with readers and get a bit of craic going.”
PD said he has noticed much has changed in the last six years. And as well as his fans from the original site the new Facebook page is opening Pure Derry up to a new generation of readers.
“In the old site we put together a full edition - perhaps 15 or 16 articles - at a time. Now things move much quicker and people want that mix. Some will want to read longer articles - others want a quick laugh, so we have to cater for all that.”
The site has already found that some of their posts including a mock cover of ‘Fifty Shades of Greyhounds’ and their own take on the Ulster Bank crisis have gone viral.
And according to PD, this time around as with last time “everyone is fair game”. “Of course we are going to poke fun at Derry stereotypes and take on the issues of the day.
“We want to broadcast the city’s sense of humour,” he said, vowing that all content on Pure Derry will be 100% original.