From top: Patsy McGarry; This morning’s Irish Times
‘Last week too it was erroneously claimed that the Data Protection Act 2018* – which implements the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – meant the commission could no longer abide by provisions of the 2004 Act which set it up, and stipulated that documents it accumulated must be placed beyond public access.’
Irish Times Religious Affairs Correspondent Patsy McGarry
Katherine O’Donnell, of the Justice for Magdalenes Research (JFMR), tweetz:
Quick thoughts on the Irish Times coverage of Repeal the Seal…
1. Portraying adopted people’s and public anger at repeated Government. declarations that records would be sealed for 30 years as a misunderstanding of the bill and Government’s good intentions.
2. Blaming ‘hurt & upset’ of survivors on survivor/activists and academics protesting the system whereby adopted people are denied the name their mothers gave them and personal data – is to refuse to hear the empowered voices of survivors demanding their human rights.
3. Accusing activists and particularly academics of ‘wilfully’ misrepresenting the Bill and Commission and deliberately and unnecessarily upsetting ‘those people affected’ is not merely wrong (and injurious) but dangerous to fostering informed respectful public debate.
4. Sustained a very unusual level of ‘inaccuracies’ in The Irish Times is troubling e.g. 2004 Act does not in fact seal archives – Magdalene Inquiry wasn’t based on this Act. etc. Failure to ask critical questions – such as isn’t it illegal for Commission to destroy a database?
Good reporters editorialising on behalf of Government is a betrayal of journalistic standards – we need them to continue to hold power to account. Coverage in The Journal and Irish Examiner was so much better.
Finally – we would not have achieved any justice measures won (so far) without the level of engaged and informed debate on Twitter. I’m looking forward to Irish Twitter continuing to listening and informing each other, debating and critiquing – we have an ongoing job to ensure justice.