Tag Archives: irish times

This morning’s Irish Times page 1

They’re using the lock-ups!

To hide their swag.

Unlock ’em up.

Journalism matters, amirite?

Crime gangs using car garages to smuggle drugs and valuables (Conorn Lally, Irish Times)

Tweets from banking whistleblower Jonathan Sugarman and Presidential hopeful Gemma O’Doherty last night.

Presidential hopeful ‘stalked online’ (Jennifer Bray, The Times Ireland Edition)

Yesterday: Seeking Your Vote

Previously: They Are Laughing At You

Jonathan Sugarman on Broadsheet

Gemma O’Doherty on Broadsheet

Lorraine and Maurice McCabe during the Disclosures Tribunal

From top: headline over the February 20, 2017 article containing an interview with Ms D; Kevin O’Sullivan, then editor of the paper, and Conor Lally, the article’s author

This morning/afternoon.

The High Court, Dublin.

“On the 20th Februrary 2017, The Irish Times published an article in its print edition headed “Woman behind alleged complaint about McCabe wants her day before inquiry” and in its online edition headed “When can I get on with the rest of my life? – woman at the centre of the McCabe case“.

The Director of Public Prosecutions determined, after a careful and professional investigation, that no offence of any kind had been disclosed against Sgt McCabe and that there was no basis in fact or law for any prosecution.

Contrary to what was suggested in the articles, the Director of Public Prosecutions did not base his direction on “insufficient evidence”.

The Irish Times fully accepts the DPP’s determination and it was never intended for the article to suggest otherwise.

The Irish Times wishes to apologise to Sgt Maurice McCabe and his wife and family for the great hurt and damage caused to them by the publication of this article, and has made appropriate amends to Sgt McCabe.”

A statement read out this afternoon by Cian Ferriter, a barrister acting for the Irish Times as part of a settlement of a defamation case by Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

It was an appalling fantasy.

To coin a phrase.

The article in question:

Woman behind alleged complaint about McCabe wants her day before inquiry; Woman, now 24, who made sexual assault claim in 2006, says: ‘I’m sick of saying nothing, of biting my lip and it getting me absolutely nowhere’

By Conor Lally

Eleven years after she made an allegation of sexual assault against Garda whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe, the woman whose complaint is at the centre of an alleged smear campaign wonders when she can begin the rest of her life.

In 2006, she made an allegation of sexual assault against the Cavan-based garda, which was investigated by An Garda. A file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, who decided that no further action was necessary.

Struggling with anxiety, depression and other issues in 2013, she was encouraged by her mother to speak to a Health Service Executive (HSE) counsellor, where she spoke about the original allegation but only, she says, when she was asked to do so.

“When she was taking it down, she said something – I don’t know her exact words; she said she’ll have to refer this on,” the woman said. “I remember straight away it got my back up. I was thinking: ‘Refer what on? This has been reported, this has been investigated and the DPP said insufficient evidence. That’s that, there’s nothing going to change, I have accepted that.’

“I remember coming out of the counselling session and I was more annoyed than when I went in; I remember thinking: ‘Stirring up shit for what?’ I knew by her she was going to report it whether I wanted to or not,” the woman said.

Now the 24-year-old college graduate says she wants her day before the Charleton Tribunal of Inquiry: “I would welcome it.” She also wants an apology from the child and family agency Tusla and the HSE over the handling of a counselling session she attended.

“I’m sick of saying nothing, of biting my lip and it getting me absolutely nowhere. We didn’t ask for this; for any of this to be brought up and put into the public [domain],” she told The Irish Times last week.

“We had no choice in this. I don’t want any attention. I want to get my career going, do a bit of travelling around the world and now this is thrown up,” she said, adding that her attitude had hardened watching the media coverage over the past 10 days.

Public statement

The report was made by the counsellor, but the HSE says a cut-and-paste error was subsequently made to it that incorrectly claimed the woman had alleged she had suffered digital penetration by McCabe when she was six years old.

Last week, Maurice McCabe and his wife, Lorraine, in a rare public statement, rejected both the original allegation made against him in 2006 and the subsequent corrupted version that was later included in the HSE/Tusla file.

During the O’Higgins Commission of Investigation, established to inquire into McCabe’s allegations about Garda malpractice and incompetence, the couple said: “throughout the proceedings before that commission, Maurice, at the hands of the legal team representing the current [Garda] Commissioner, was cast in the role of culprit and/or defendant, and as a person making those complaints in bad faith and without cause.

“Because the 2004 Act prohibits under pain of criminal law the publication of the actual evidence tendered to such commissions, the public has little or no appreciation of what was done, and attempted to be done, to Maurice in the course of its hearings.

“For example, against the background of the current Tusla controversy, the entirely false allegation made of sexual abuse in 2006 against Maurice was repeatedly the subject of attempts at introduction in the proceedings for the purpose of discrediting his motives and testimony,” the couple said.

Speaking to The Irish Times, the woman was adamant that neither she nor anyone in her family had sought to make her complaint public, had never made the most damaging allegation levelled against McCabe, or had wanted any of it to be used to smear him. “At this point now I want answers and I want an apology,” she said of the Tusla-HSE apparent debacle, “But I want people to start accepting responsibility and to be held accountable.

“I just can’t fathom how this copy-and-paste error happened.

“How could you make that kind of an error? Why would you be copying and pasting anything into a report that you’re meant to be typing up? Where are your notes that you would have been typing from? I just can’t fathom how such a cock-up was made,” she said.

However, the clerical error made in 2013, compounded later by Tusla in 2014 when it followed up on the penetration allegation which should have already been removed from the file, should not now be used against her and her family, including her Garda sergeant father.

Sgt McCabe, she said, was not a well-known Garda whistleblower when the original complaint was made. Despite media reports to the contrary, the woman’s father was not involved in any dispute with McCabe, a Garda colleague, at the time, she said.

Administrative error

Last week, the HSE said an allegation of retrospective abuse was made against McCabe in July 2013, but that “an administrative error” was made a month later by a staff member of the HSE’s National Counselling Service. A corrected report was brought to the attention of Tusla and An Garda in May 2014. Following her 2013 Cavan counselling session, the woman went back to college. There, she went for “two or three” counselling sessions. Later, Tusla contacted her, offering more appointments. It wanted, it said, to review her file because the agency was under new management.

However, Tusla would not disclose specifically what they wanted to discuss, she said. She says she felt “bullied” into agreeing to an appointment date. However, she did not turn up for it because she was living in another part of the country at the time.

She saw little point, she said, in travelling back to Cavan for a review of allegations that she had already made to the Garda years earlier, and that the DPP had decided at the time did not warrant prosecution.

However, she insists that she would have gone to see Tusla officials if they had made it clear that they were investigating the more serious, but erroneous allegation of digital penetration that had by then made its way on to her file.

Nearly a year after she had attended the Cavan counselling session, she and her family became aware the Garda had received correspondence from the HSE which contained the line saying that she had lodged a claim of digital penetration against McCabe.

Her family immediately pointed out to the Garda that no such allegation had even been made. And the family believes it was their pointing out this mistake that resulted in the HSE and Tusla realising their mistake. However, Sgt McCabe says he similarly pointed out the errors.

“I just can’t fathom how such a cock-up was made, and then for Tusla trying to put the blame back on me saying ‘Well, you didn’t want to follow up matters’. They didn’t tell me what it was about.

“If they had told me they messed up, that there was a mishap with my name on it; do you not think I would have come up to sort it out? They never told me. As far as I was concerned, Tusla wanted to review an old case and I thought, ‘For what, to turn my life upside down again?’

“They aren’t accepting responsibility yet; they can apologise to Maurice McCabe, but they can’t apologise to me? I want answers. I’m not going to [accept] ‘Sure look, it was human error.’ No. Someone needs to stand up and start taking responsibility. I’m furious.”

The woman believes some sections of the media have heavily implied that she made a complaint against McCabe in December 2006 because her father was in dispute with him over a disciplinary charge – an allegation she rejects.

According to her account, some 11 months before the allegations were made against Sgt McCabe, her father and a number of other Garda members were off duty and at a funeral gathering in a pub in Co Cavan. There, they learned that a young local man had died by suicide and that his remains had just been found.

Unmarked car

The house where the suicide occurred was less than a mile from the pub where the off-duty gardaí had gathered. They went across the road to the local Garda station and took keys for an unmarked Garda car and drove to the house where the local man had just taken his life.

When they arrived, McCabe was present with two young gardaí, all three in an official capacity.

The young woman’s father and the other off-duty gardaí he was with comforted the family and spent some time with them, she said.

The following morning, the woman claims, it became clear that a local Garda member – not McCabe – had made a complaint about his colleagues taking the unmarked Garda car while off-duty and having been earlier in the pub.

Her family says that Garda member went to Sgt McCabe who then told the men who had taken the car that he had no choice but to take up the complaint. McCabe passed it to his superiors.

The woman’s father was transferred between two units. However, within months he was back where he had been, but in a more senior post, she said. She rejected charges that she had made her complaint against McCabe as an act of retaliation.

She said: “To try and say ‘well, it was your father who put you up to it . . . ‘ It’s horrific to hear that. Why would he have put me through [that]?” Her father “was not a vindictive man”. He had resumed his duties, and got on with his life. He did not lodge her complaint, either, she said.

In December 2006, she said, she had come home one day from school at lunchtime with a friend, following a period “of deep distress”. There, she made allegations to her parents about events she claimed had happened seven years before.

Her father did contact his superiors in the Garda by phone to inform them what his daughter was alleging, she said. However, it was she who made the official complaint.

Two gardaí came to her house the following day. Her parents were not present when the statement was made.

Instead, they absented themselves. A family friend sat with her as she made her allegations. A statement was prepared. Seven months later, the Garda informed her that a file had been sent to the DPP, who subsequently decided against prosecution.

Her family had never got sight of the correspondence from the DPP and so could not comment on the veracity of reports suggesting the complaint outlined may not constitute a criminal offence even if it had taken place, she said.

DPP decision

Three months or so afterwards she was told that the DPP would not prosecute. Then 15 years old, she said she asked her mother to drive her to the town where Sgt McCabe was stationed because she “wanted to see him”. When they arrived they sat in their car.

On seeing McCabe, she says she jumped out of the vehicle and confronted him. She says a Garda member came out of the station to deal with her. “[He] said ‘Look it, calm yourself down. This isn’t doing you any good,'” she said.

“Not once have we been apologised to. Not once have we been contacted by phone, by letter, by anyone to say ‘We are so sorry to have involved you in all of this, to have to put you in the spotlight.’ I don’t want any of this. When am I going to be allowed to get on with my life?” she asked.

Irish Times, February 20, 2017

Previously: Maurice McCabe And The Irish Times Part 1

Maurice McCabe And The Irish Times: Part 2

Gemma O’Doherty: They Are Laughing At You

Meanwhile….

Settles, eh?

Apologised to in open court and awarded ‘appropriate amends’, surely?

Meanwhile…back in the day:

Good times tweets from Conor Lally.

What a complete character he is.

Irish Times online and print edition

Hmm.

Ultan Mashup writes:

‘Hmm.’

Adding:

‘Hmm.’

Hmm.

Earlier: They Are Laughing At You

Previously: Maurice McCabe and the Irish Times Part 1 and Part 2

 

The irish Times’ property supplement

On Saturday, during the ‘Danielle Carroll Summer School’ the matter of the Irish Times and the property industry was raised.

The event, named in honour of a young mother who took her own life while living in emergency accommodation, heard from investigative journalist Gemma O’Doherty.

Ms O’Doherty said the Irish Times was repeating the mistakes of a decade ago producing ‘property porn’ in an overheated market.

She said this was helping to pay the salary of journalists such as Kitty Holland, a fellow speaker at the school; with her socially aware journalism providing cover for the paper’s fawning property coverage.

For a newspaper to feature a mother and her children forced to sleep in a car while extolling the value of a one-bedroom cottage in Dublin 8 priced at €500,000 is more than just bad taste.

The reaction was swift.

While acknowledging the paper was partly ‘culpable’ in overheating the property market, Ms Holland then tweeted that Ms O’Doherty was an ‘appalling fantasist’ among other things and stated:

“Soaring house prices would happen with or without the Irish Times. Yes we sell advertising and yes wages have to be paid. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if journalists would work for nothing? The target of ire re housing crisis should [be] our neo-liberal economy. But that needs thought.”

In 2016, when Geraldine Kennedy was invited by the joint committee on the crisis and asked to explain her paper’s role in the boom and crash of the Celtic Tiger, she took a similar route.

She laughed at the mention of economist David McWlliams, who had predicted the crash, calling him ‘entertaining’ but like a ‘stopped clock’.

She described Dr Julien Mercille as a “world class conspiracy theorist’ for highlighting the internal contradictions at the Irish Times.

She stated unambiguously that the standard of news journalism and property journalism at the paper was identical.

Property revenue, she said, had “enabled us to have a correspondent in London, Washington, Paris, Berlin, one in Moscow and for a while one in China.”

It also helped secure matching salaries of €300,000-plus for the paper’s then managing director Maeve Donovan and Ms Kennedy, whose pay at that time was comparable to the editor of The Daily Telegraph.

Ms Kennedy was appointed editor of The Irish Times in October 2002, and retired in June 2011.  In her first four years in charge of the paper, revenue from property advertising increased from €10 million in 2002 to €22 million in 2006.

This was 17% of the total revenue of the business compared to 7 per cent of the Irish Examiner’s and 9 per cent of the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent combined.

Between these years the price of an ordinary home increased each year by the equivalent of the average industrial wage and the average timespan of a mortgage between parents and their children increased from 20 years to 40 years

Unlike most other newspapers, the Irish Times is owned by a trust and the structure allows for the editor to have a seat on the board.

But Ms Kennedy stated during her time as editor:

The property bubble was never raised or discussed by the board.”

In August 2006, the Irish Times began the purchase of Myhome.ie which would eventually cost upwards of €40 million (and would have been €50 million if it reached certain boom-era targets}; enough to produce the entire paper without ads for a full year.

The actual deal with MyHome.ie, whose shareholding was controlled by three estate agents and a bank, was not signed off until the second quarter of 2007.

Some months after Morgan Kelly’s article in the Irish Times in December 2006 showing how threadbare the underlying  economy was.

Asked if she had voted against the deal at board level, Ms Kennedy said:

“I expressed reservations about the decision but one was not asked for one’s support since there was no vote.”

Ms Kennedy was asked did she not think of calling a vote?

“No, I did not. I did not feel strongly enough about it because there was a case for diversifying in The Irish Times and property was a big revenue stream for the newspaper.”

Did anyone in the Irish Times publish an article criticising the purchase of MyHome.ie?

“We published a story about it. It was announced in The Irish Times.”

But, she was asked, did anyone write any critical comment on it?

“No, but nobody was stopped from doing so. That is very important.”

Following the crash, the paper embraced the new politics of austerity with gusto.

Dr Mercille, Ms Kennedy’s ‘world class conspiracy theorist’, outlined, with evidence, that 57% of all opinion articles and editorials in The Irish Times discussing Irish Government budgets between 2008 and 2013 supported austerity with opposition only to specific cuts voiced by 15%.

Ms Kennedy, who had left the paper in 2011, said:

“I believe, personally, and would probably have pursued the policy as editor, that there was very little option for Ireland unfortunately but to try to get its house back in order. It required great sacrifices by ordinary people.”

A deputy noted that political parties are subject to limits on donations and protest that those donations have absolutely no effect on their policies, but nobody, least of all the Irish Times, believes them.

Ms Kennedy said the Irish Times should be believed because of its ‘wonderful’ journalism.

A generous bonus structure for property sales executives at the paper remained after the crash.

In fact, little has changed in the way the paper approaches property advertising, property journalism or, indeed, constructive criticism.

Ms Kennedy was asked: did The Irish Times contribute to the property boom?

“I suppose there is the fact that people were looking at houses and here one had a supplement where one could look at beautiful houses. Did that encourage people to go out and buy them?

I do not know. If they were to go out and buy them they have to get mortgages and everything like that. We were not telling them to go out and buy them or get mortgages”

Earlier: Day For Danielle

This afternoon.

At the offices of the Irish Examiner in Cork.

Staff are told they now work for The Irish Times following its purchase of Landmark Media.

Landmark Media’s outlets include The Irish Examiner; Evening Echo and seven regional titles, the Waterford News & Star, the Western People, the Nationalist, the Kildare Nationalist, the Laois Nationalist, the Roscommon Herald and the Naas and Newbridge Nationalist.

It also includes websites Breakingnews.ie, Irishexaminer.com, Recruitireland. com, and 75 per cent of Benchwarmers.ie; and radio station interests, a 75 per cent stake in WLR in Waterford and regional station Beat, and a 17.6 per cent holding in Cork’s Red FM.

The man with the stick (second right) has seen them come and go, of course, since his first break covering the Lusitania sinking.

Pic: Catherine Shanahan

Ah now.

Oscar Shandra-Penhaligon writes:

More Privacy double standards from the double click brigade…Do as I say, not as I do.

Pat Leahy: Policing of online ads must be Government priority (Irish Times)

FIGHT!

Oh.

Liamknuj123 writes:

From today’s Irish Times sports supplement which talks about “the only way to beat Dublin” in Gaelic football. Apparently it involves making Dublin play against Dublin

FIGHT!