Tag Archives: irish times

90373006Gerry Adams , Sinn Féin President

The Irish Times has set out its clear opposition to Sinn Féin in advance of the next general election.

Last week the paper published three editorials in the space of seven days questioning Sinn Féin’s political bona fides and fitness for Government.

In addition, Political Editor Stephen Collins (Sinn Féin casts a dark shadow over Irish democracy, The Irish Times, 14 March) made a highly-charged direct appeal to the entire political establishment to unite against Sinn Féin.

Fintan O’Toole accused us of putting party interests first; of lying and of being incapable of understanding the concepts of accountability, openness and honesty.

Each of these extraordinary anti-Sinn Féin polemics has been based on erroneous information and spurious claims.

On 7 March, the editorial made the outrageous, unsubstantiated and entirely false claim that a portion of Sinn Féin’s income was derived from illegal sources. There was no attempt to back up this slanderous accusation with any evidence.

On 11 March, another editorial claimed, completely erroneously, that Sinn Féin had “plunged the political process” in the North into crisis. The facts contradict this. The crisis was sparked by the DUP resiling from a key part of the Stormont House Agreement providing social protections for citizens. However, this is now history. The effort must be to fully implement the Stormont House Agreement. That is Sinn Féin’s focus.

Then, on 14 March, the paper claimed that Sinn Féin had refused to co-operate fully with law enforcement agencies in relation to the serious issue of sexual abuse. Not true. Sinn Féin and I have co-operated fully with An Garda Síochána in relation to these matters.

That the attacks on Sinn Féin will intensify as the election draws closer will be no surprise but, as the so-called ‘paper of record’, the Irish Times should not resort to misreporting, misleading comment or false accusations.

Is mise,

Gerry Adams TD,

The letter the Irish Times refuse to print apparently.

FIGHT!

Gerry Adams’s letter the Irish Times refuses to print (JohnHedges, An Phoblacht)

Screen-Shot-2015-04-01-at-21.13.11Further to that.

A letter from FEARGUS all the way in Waikanae, New Zealand.

Sir, – I read Una Mullally’s piece “RTÉ referendum memo sends out the wrong message”, (Opinion & Analysis, April 6th) in disbelief. It is many years since I worked in RTÉ but the memo she reports is by my memory quite simply bog standard.

The only difference that separates this version from that issued in my own days there is the onward march of technology, to wit social media, so-called.

I thought the passage of time might have coloured my memory, but no.

I have checked with a friend, a former senior editorial executive, who has assured me that I remain compos mentisand “it’s a restatement of the usual”.

Ms Mullally is outraged. I see the memo differently.

First, it provides a protection to the RTÉ workforce.

Second, and by far the most important aspect of a long-standing policy, it offers – or is intended to offer – some assurance to the Irish public that the organisation and its broadcast services can be trusted to be what public representatives intended when, in 1960 and periodically since, they enacted and amended laws establishing and maintaining RTÉ as a national public service broadcaster. Specifically that voters can trust its coverage during a campaign.

The stopwatch and other aspects of RTÉ’s house policy on electoral and referendum coverage during the official contest period is not only “the usual”, it is necessary. This is not about the Angelus, “young researchers frightened about job security” or any other coats trailed in the piece.

It is about RTÉ and the law (the Broadcasting Acts) and integrity (RTÉ as a public service broadcaster) as they relate to the critical moment of the democratic exercise.

Voters deserve the assurance that neither a very powerful public body nor its staff are being anything other than scrupulously disinterested during the referendum campaign. I don’t know whatThe Irish Times policy is, though it appears to be different, but then it is not a public service. – Yours, etc,

FEARGUS Ó RAGHALLAIGH,

Sound, mind.

RTÉ and Referendum Coverage (Irish Times letters)

Previously: Friends, Colleagues, Freelancers, Cover Your Mouths

itToday’s Irish Times

Hmm.

Les we forget.

The media have not been shy about announcing their role in convincing the public that austerity is good for them.

At the outset of the crisis, in November 2008, an editorial the Irish Times, called for a campaign to ‘educate’ the population about the need for austerity and ‘civic discipline’.

The problem was that Irish people did ‘not appreciate the possible extent of the economic downturn’ because only 10% of them thought the budget should be tougher while two-thirds thought it should be less tough, according to a national poll.

The editors thus concluded that ‘the Government will have a major job to do in educating public opinion about unpalatable economic realities and the need for civic discipline’.

The media have helped the government extensively in that task. One reason that explains why only about 12% of articles oppose austerity is that a large majority of writers come from elite institutions that favour austerity.

Excluding regular journalists, 29% of the authors of opinion articles in the press on austerity are mainstream economists, 28% are working in the financial or corporate sector, and 20% are political officials in the three main political parties, which have all supported austerity.

The media’s favourable view of fiscal consolidation can be assessed through the following sample of article titles published since 2008: ‘Commitment and Stamina are Required for Fiscal Consolidation’ (Irish Times), ‘New Budget will Prove Tough but Necessary’ (Sunday Independent), ‘Austerity Vital to Maintain our Economic Sovereignty’ (Irish Times), ‘We Need to Stop Living in Denial and Cut Costs Even Further’ (Sunday Independent), ‘We Must Suffer the Pain Now—Or Else we will Blight Future Generations’ (Sunday Independent), ‘Bill is Tough but Necessary’ (Irish Times), ‘Tough Budget Would Restore Confidence’ (Irish Times), ‘Supplementary Budget can Begin Urgent Task of Restoring Depleted Tax Revenues’ (Irish Times), ‘Budget May Cut Wages and Raise Taxes to Restore Competitiveness’ (Irish Times), ‘[Austerity] Budget Will Restore Confidence and Hasten Economic Recovery’ (Irish Times) and ‘Tough Budget Needed to Stave Off Grimmer Future’ (Irish Times).

Dr Julien Mercille

Relentless Cheeleaders For Austerity (Julien Mercille, Social Europe)

Previously: Relentless Cheerleaders for Austerity

 

TOPSHOTS-FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO-MAGAZINE-NEWSAGENTS

‘Sold out’: Charlie Hebdo poster in Paris today

Further to the Irish Times’s decision to not publish the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s latest issue

Some argue that the decision by most Irish newspapers not to reproduce the more provocative Charlie Hebdo cartoons is a betrayal of free expression….Charlie Hebdo certainly saw itself as defending free speech; but in a deliberately provocative manner. It has described itself as a “journal bête et méchant” [silly and rude newspaper]. Like Jyllands-Posten in Denmark, it countered the Muslim prohibition on images of the prophet by printing the most offensive images of Muhammad it could provide.

…Without question, nothing it did justified the slightest violence against Charlie Hebdo.
But does not publishing images of Muhammad really infringe the public’s right to information? Is this the real front line in the battle for media freedom? Surely there are more important challenges to be made than this one?

‘Right to offend’ does not require journalists to offend (Ronan Brady, Irish Times)

The rest of us generally try to show a bit of respect and decency and not do stuff that would needlessly draw on the crazies, just for the hell of it. And that sort of automatic self-censorship is what makes us civilized as human beings. It’s not just a matter of judgment; it’s a matter of common sense. Talking about some concept of ‘absolute and unfettered free speech’ is not only factually untrue, it also assumes the imposition of a whole range of cultural values on another people who happen to share the globe but who think differently.

Amidst the right and proper condemnation of the killings in Paris, surely it is possible that we can ask some questions, and give some context. Or is there also to be a censorship of any debate around this event, which would be a grim irony in itself. Surely, such a debate is worth having, and having urgently, given that Charlie Hebdo now plans to publish further such images and other publications have vowed to do the same, thereby surely creating further unrest – and possible killings.

Charlie Hebdo should now stop demonizing Muslims for everyone’s sake Eamon Delaney, Irish Central)

Yesterday ‘Gratuitously Offensive’

Meanwhile…

“The Alliance Francaise cultural centre in Dublin said, based on their inquiries, there is no where in the State to purchase a copy of the magazine. A spokesman there said some members of staff were asking relatives in France to buy them a copy. He added that the centre would be taking out a subscription with the magazine so members will be able to read it in the library there, but they won’t be allowed take it home.”

Charlie Hebdo proving elusive for Irish readers (Irish Times)

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Kevin O’Sullivan, top second from left in beige coat, at the ceremony for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, organised by the National Union of Journalists in Dublin Castle on Saturday. Above: Charlie Hebdo’s latest cover

 

“The paper took the view that publication of the cartoons was likely to be seen by Muslims as gratuitously offensive and would not contribute significantly to advancing or clarifying the debate on the freedom of the press.”

“The “right to offend”, an essential corollary of the right to freedom of expression, could be defended and upheld, as it should be, the paper holds, by other means than causing further offence to the overwhelming majority of a community which deplored the threats to Jyllands Posten [the Danish paper which published depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006] and the attack on Charlie Hebdo.”

“The Irish Times unequivocally and unapologetically defends the right of Charlie Hebdo to publish, and regards the attack on the magazine as an outrageous attack on the freedom of press. The paper welcomes the French government’s commitment to help the magazine financially and expresses its solidarity with the brave band of journalists who are determined to keep the title afloat.”

Irish Times editor Kevin O’Sullivan on why his paper will not reprint Charlie Hebdo’s Muhammad cartoons or the magazine’s new cover.

The Irish Times and the cartoons (Kevin O’Sullivan, Irish Times)

Previously: Désolé

Publish And Be Damned

‘Sauce For The Catholic Goose Is Not Sauce For The Islamic Gander’

Pic: Newstalk

ITtoon

A cartoon by Martyn Turner which was published in the Irish Times in April

You may recall how Martyn Turner’s cartoon, above, was removed from the Irish Times website shortly after publication, on foot of Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin complaining about it during a Holy Thursday mass in Dublin’s Pro Cathedral.

Mr Turner’s cartoon was published a day after retired parish priest Fr Gearóid Ó Donnchú told Chris O’Donoghue on Newstalk that he would not break the seal of confession under any circumstance.

They were discussing this because then Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald had just published the Children First Bill, which provided for the mandatory reporting of child abuse and the Catholic Church’s seal of the confessional.

Further to this, journalist Ed Moloney writes:

“It was heartening to see the Irish Times leading the condemnation from Irish journalism of the brutal Jihadist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo last week and defending the right to free expression by participating in an international protest organised by Index on Censorship.”

“The “right to offend”, the paper opined, “must be defended with courage and vigour”.”

“However it would have been even more uplifting had the Times injected a note of regret in its commentary that it had failed to take its own advice to defend the “right to offend” with “courage and vigour” when last April its editors censored and withdrew from the internet a cartoon drawn by in-house cartoonist, Martyn Turner because it had offended senior members of the Irish Catholic hierarchy.”

“It seems that sauce for the Catholic goose is not sauce for the Islamic gander.”

When Will The Irish Times Remember The Cartoon It Censored At The Behest Of Religious Fanatics? (The Broken Elbow)

Previously: Bless Me Father

Act Of Contrition