Further to the the Denis O’Brien Vs Committee on Procedures and Privileges (CPP) brouhaha..
This morning’s Irish Times editorial states:
“Is the CPP amenable to judicial review without fatally undermining the constitutional independence of the Dáil? From a political perspective, the crucial principle of the separation of powers between legislators and the judiciary means that the committee should be answerable only to the Houses. The answer must be an emphatic No.”
“That is also the clear purpose of the writers of the Constitution. Any other interpretation, however tempting to judges instinctively distrustful of the imperfection of political decision-making, will set the judiciary on a course of confrontation with parliament that it will rue, irrespective of the merits of Mr O’Brien’s cause. His case is ill-judged and dangerous, a regrettable move by a wealthy serial litigator. He should withdraw it.”
Readers may wish to recall the June 5 edition of The Phoenix, in which there was a report on how Ireland’s print media reacted to Independent TD Catherine Murphy’s speech in the Dáil on May 28, 2015…
The High Court has this morning refused an application by The Irish Times for injunctions preventing the publishers of The Times of London using the words ‘The Times Irish Edition’ in promoting its new daily digital Irish edition of the UK newspaper.
Judge John Hedigan made the ruling because he said there had been a nine-month delay by the Irish Times in making the objection.
In yesterday’s Sunday Times [not online] Mark Tighe reported:
Brian Murray SC, for Times Newspapers, said although Liam Kavanagh, as chief executive, claimed The Irish Times did not become aware of the proposed “Times Ireland” name until May, tweets from senior Irish Times editorial staff showed they were aware of it since September.
Judge Hedigan was shown tweets from David Cochrane, The Irish Times’s community editor, and Hugh Linehan, its digital development editor, from September 2014, when the two posted a link for a job advert for the editor position of “The Times Ireland”.
In January, Cochrane retweeted a message congratulating Richard Oakley on being appointed editor of “The Times Ireland”. Murray said Times Newspapers later learnt Cochrane had “secretly” registered the Twitter handles “@TheTimesIreland” and “@TimesIreland” in February.
Murray said interlocutory injunctions can be granted only to parties that acted promptly, and the delay in taking the case appeared to be a tactical one aimed at disrupting Times Newspapers’ launch. He said a “Sunday Times Ireland” app had been sold for some time, using the words Ireland and Times together without objection.
Times Newspapers said it agreed not to use The Times Ireland name in May after The Irish Times launched a High Court action. It now intends to sell the app as The Times & Sunday Times (Irish edition). He said the new Monday to Saturday part of the package would be referred to as The Times (Irish edition).
In his affidavit, Kavanagh said the registration of the Twitter handles by Cochrane was “not a cynical exercise by the plaintiff, but a legitimate step to protect its goodwill”. Kavanagh said it was taken “without any awareness” of Times Newspapers’ intention to use those names.
So great was the crisis facing this country in the winter of 2010/11 that only a broadly based government would have held society together. I am convinced that a single-party Fine Gael government – the only viable alternative – would not have survived the first year. That first dismal year saw the new Fine Gael-Labour Government struggle to restore Irish credibility in the EU institutions, keep the troika at bay and contend with Mr Trichet’s threat if we proceeded with burden sharing – as unemployment exceeded 15 per cent. In helping to bring the country back from the brink, Labour had to take some decisions that in normal times it would never have done.
Diarmuid Ferriter would perhaps have preferred if we had spent more time speechifying, dithering and generally faffing around like the Syriza government in Greece, making the crisis even worse and inflicting greater hardship on ordinary citizens. Of course, Syriza has in its ranks more than its fair share of academics with a part-time political sideline. The problem is, as Brendan Behan noted in another context, they know how it’s done but they’re unable to do it themselves.
There is nothing either “patronising or self-pitying” about my view of the “dysfunctional” fragmentation amongst the disparate elements of the political opposition. After what we have come though, the last thing this country needs is a coalition of chaos. Compare this country’s economic health with what unfortunately has engulfed Greece. The stability that we have established and the economic growth now happening offers the prospect, for the first time since the crash, of improved social investment and the gradual restoration of living standards.
Whether or not one is a Syriza fan, it must be obvious that unless we get our finances into kilter and a banking system functioning again, we will not be able to make inroads into poverty or tackle inequality in our society. Who will endure most arising from the cack-handed misgovernance of Greece? It won’t be the wealthy elite or the tax dodgers or the trendy academics advising Syriza on the politics of magical thinking.
The contention that Labour “would have benefitted more from staying in opposition” may be correct. But Labour was not elected in 2011 to stand aside. Prioritising power over principle is the favoured insult of the designer left thrown at every politician from Lloyd George to Barack Obama who dares take on the challenge of political responsibility in difficult times.
In week where the IT are writing about the way Dunnes staff have been treated like s**t by the company and, in some cases, victimised for striking, is this (on page 19 of today’s Ticket) not massively inappropriate?
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.
Gerry Adams TD,
The letter the Irish Times refuse to print apparently.