Tag Archives: censorship

00129072Senator Lorraine Higgins and Pat Rabbitte TD

Further to Labour Senator Lorraine Higgins’ controversial proposed  bill to combat criticism cyberbullying.

Former Labour communications minister Pat Rabbitte has published his own bill , The Public Electronic Communications Networks (Improper Use) Act 2015, which proposes:

“On convicting a person for an offence [sending ‘grossly offensive’ messages], the court may, in addition to any other penalty imposed for the offence, order any apparatus, equipment or other thing used in the course of committing the offence to be forfeited to the State.”

That’s your tablet that is.

Mark Malone writes:

… imagine you send a tweet sugggesting Pat Rabbitte was a bit of a hypocrite condemning political organisations with links to paramilitaries who murdered people, given his own political history. Granted that might be hard to fit into 140 characters, but imagine it was possible for the sake of an example.

And say Pat Rabbitte was a litigious sort of character who didn’t want to be publicly associated with any of the murders, bank robberies or lots of stuff the Official IRA was involved in when he was member of the Workers Party, the political wing of the OIRA.

I guess you’d be into a couple of tweets now, something that might be construed by Rabbitte and his expensive legal team and barristers as “persistent and without legitimate cause”.

It probably might not matter that you feel it important to public discourse that many younger people ought know that that a former minister – responsible for promoting austerity and a gagging law – was once a member of a politico-paramilitary organisation that murdered people.

You might even infer that the Stalinist tendencies embodied in WP/OIRA back in the day could be found in a bill that seeks to quash public online political dissent today by actually making it illegal to be a political nuisance.

So you are taken to court and found guilty. Say your day job was a graphic designer, or architect or any other job that requires a laptop and/or mobile phone and access to the net. Your ability to earn a wage (or get donations) relies on these things. Rabbitte’s bill allows for a judge to remove that wage earning ability by seizing the tools of your trade….

More here: 8 Reasons Why We Need To Stop These Labour Censorship Law (Mark Malone, Soundmigration)

Previously: What Are They Playing At

(Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland)

13/12/2010 Labour introduces four new candidates.

Labour Senator John Whelan

Labour Senator John Whelan was a contributor on RTÉ’s Late Debate, presented by Cormac O’hEadhra, on November 5.

During the interview, there was this exchange:

John Whelan: “I believe the contract should have been awarded, the record will show, to Bord na Móna. I believe that Bord Gáis, and this is why the Government has gone in, Alan Kelly has gone in and stripped it back, the board has to be reconfigured, reconstituted and…interrupted.”

Cormac O’hEadhra: “Wait now, this is very serious John. What you’re saying this evening, surely, does that not render the validity of the Bill, the Act all null and void?”

Whelan: “No, what I’m saying is this. Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water and I believe they did so under false pretences and they haven’t delivered.”

On November 14, Anthony Sheridan, of the blog Public Inquiry, noted that Senator Whelan’s relevant remarks were removed from RTÉ’s radio playback service.

Yesterday, the Irish Times reported on RTÉ’s decision to remove the remarks, quoting an RTÉ spokeswoman saying: “The comment on The Late Debate was removed from playback following an internal editorial decision. This can happen on occasion with a live programme.”

It also reported Senator Whelan, a journalist, saying: “I said what I said in the knowledge of the full import of what I was saying and I did not need the privilege of the House to do so… There was no libel and no slander. It was fair comment on a matter in the public interest.”

However, this morning, Mr Sheridan writes:

“I see the Irish Times took up my story surrounding the dramatic revelation by Labour Senator John Wilson that Bord Gais had made their pitch to establish Irish Water under false pretences.”

“Bizarrely, however, the Irish Times took the same line as RTE and, effectively, censored the principal allegation made by Senator Whelan.”

“Here’s the exact charge made by the Senator against Bord Gáis:”

“No, what I’m saying is this. Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water and I believe they did so under false pretences and they haven’t delivered.”

“Here’s how the Irish Times reported his allegations:”

“No, what I’m saying is this: Bord Gáis through the process of New Era and the line minister at the time made a pitch to establish Irish Water . . . and they haven’t delivered.”

“Leaving out the words; ‘under false pretences’ strips the report of any relevance, it effectively kills the story.”

“So much for the ‘paper of record’.”



RTÉ took ‘internal editorial decision’ to remove exchange with Senator about Irish Water (Irish Times, Thursday, November 20)

Irish Times censors RTE censored programme (Anthony Sheridan, Public Inquiry)


[Bono at the World irish hoo ha in Dublin Castle, 2012]

Like us.

You may have missed this…

“One must ask whether the problem is the law or the self-censorship of RTE. I believe it is the latter and that if RTE had taken a challenge in the courts I do not think the people claiming the offence would have won their court action. Most reasonable people would take such a view also. The reason RTE responded is that it was bending the knee to those with deep pockets, which is all too prevalent in the media and it is something we must examine. Six or seven months ago I was asked to participate in a BBC 4 radio programme on Bono. The BBC is broadcasting the programme this week. The reason it has taken so long is that in the past seven months the BBC has been subjected to enormous pressure from Bono’s legal representatives, to the point that RTE would not even hand over footage of an interview Bono had done with it to the BBC, which normally would be done, due to the fear of litigation and tight control by U2 and Bono in monitoring what opinions went out about them. A similar approach was evident with the penalty points saga where we were aware that media outlets were pressurised by members of the Judiciary who feared they would be named in the print media as having had their penalty points cancelled and information was not put in the public domain as a result.”

Clare Daly during the Broadcasting (Amendment) Bill 2014: Second Stage [Private Members] on April 11.


Transcript via KildareStreet.com

Thanks Oireachtas Retort

A cartoon by Mick Stevens that recently got the New Yorker temporarily banned from Facebook by the Zuck’s outsourced censorship brigade (recently exposed by Gawker).

Stevens later redrew the cartoon, removing all trace of nudity. And New Yorker cartoon humour. Which can be fairly nuanced at the best of times, in fairness.

Nipplegate (New Yorker)

(Thanks Lars Biscuits)

…while simultaneously unavailable here.

The Library of Congress has released a short-ish list of the books that “shaped America”.

La Frondeuse writes:

“…so many of them banned in Ireland e.g For Whom The Bell Tolls & the Grapes of Wrath, the Catcher in the Rye, Catch 22, the Lord of the Flies and the Color Purple, presumably also a few others. There’s a great expo of books banned in Ireland (including the above, and ffs, Gulliver’s Travels!) here.

If we wanted political censorship and protected cliques.

We’d have joined a newspaper straight after school.

Jack S writes:

The exchange (above) took place on the UCD Ents (events) Crew page on Facebook. A student posted an opinion on the new constitution for the UCD Students Union which was then deleted as is was not in agreement with the Events officer’s own. Needless to say, the conversation
has since been removed by the page administrator and events officer in question, Stephen Darcy.