Tag Archives: Martyn Turner

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 10.50.01Senators David Norris and Katherine Zappone arriving at Dublin Castle on Saturday

“I very much doubt if married couples all over the country woke up yesterday, looked at each other and said: “Oh darling, I feel so much less married to you today.” I never believed in this parsimonious, dog-in-the-manger approach.

I am with Daniel O’Connell, the great apostle of Catholic emancipation. When some mean-minded members of the Protestant ascendancy suggested that giving freedom and dignity to their Catholic fellow citizens would diminish their own position, O’Connell replied that freedom and dignity were not finite resources.”

“Paradoxically, by giving them to other people you actually increased the general sum total of these virtues and of the public welfare.”

It is all over now, as the Rolling Stones used to sing, and I forgive and forget the No campaigners. But I am immensely grateful to my heterosexual fellow citizens who went out of their way to vote Yes. Without them we could not have won. I will always be grateful, having been voted by a majority of the citizens of the Irish Republic to be at last a free and equal member of society.”

Remarkable journey from criminal to equal citizen (David Norris, Irish Times)

Pic: Sally Hayden



Martyn Turner (Irish Times)


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

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 10.18.42

Irish Times cartoonist Martyn Turner’s tribute to ‘Charlie Hebdo’ in today’s paper.

Mr Turner writes:

“When I am in France,Charlie Hebdo is my weekly of choice. It is far livelier thanCanard Enchaîné and far less intimidating than Sine Hebdo (itself a breakaway from Charlie Hebdo). In France they take satire very seriously. They are devoutly anti-clerical in the broadest sense and have been for a century or so. The fight for the freedom of the press was fought against the church and against the political classes in France long ago and was won.”

“Charlie and the other magazines see it as their mission in life to exploit the boundaries of taste and freedom as much as they can. So when Islam came into this culture it was treated by the satirists in exactly the same way they had been treating other religions for decades. When you add to this a large dollop of the French cartoonists’ love of the scatological and gynaecological, you get something that can probably only be sold in the presse tabacs of France. Charlie Hebdo would not survive too long in a Dublin newsagent without being hauled before the beak for blasphemy, indecency and anything else they could think of.”

Martyn Turner: ‘Charlie Hebdo fought extremism with laughter, satire and free speech (IrishTimes)

Previously: Act Of Contrition

Lapse Catholic

Toon It May Concern

Meanwhile, newsrooms across the country observed a minute’s silence this morning…

Marconi House on Digges Lane, Dublin 2 is home to Communicorp’s Newstalk, Today FM and TXFM.

In the Independent News and Media offices in Dublin…


Via The Herald

In the Irish Times office…


Via The Irish Times

And at Annie West’s home in Sligo…


Via Annie West


Further to Irish Times apologising on Saturday for the Martyn Turner cartoon above, Don Buckley writes in a letter to the Irish Times:

“Turner’s cartoon is entirely justified and fair comment given the record of the Catholic Church in recent decades. The Catholic clergy individually and collectively tried to cover up the dreadful sexual exploitation of children by some priests. In saying “some priests” I accept the abusers were a minority. But that minority were tolerated by their fellow priests, who kept their heads down or co-operated with the church policy of moving paedophile offenders from parish to parish when caught out.

“The Catholic clergy didn’t produce any whistleblowers to expose what was going on. Instead the truth had to be painfully dragged out of the Church authorities by brave victims and their supporters before the Irish hierarchy grudgingly admitted what was happening. This was the context for the cartoon in last Wednesday’s paper which has so upset Catholic clergy and some lay supporters. The fact is that parents of young children will not risk leaving them alone now with priests. Martyn Turner’s critics did not deserve any apology and certainly not in a leader under the – appropriately phrased – heading “An editorial lapse”. If that leader represents the current editorial policy of The Irish Times I regret to say it is no longer the paper I worked for proudly as a journalist in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.”

Martyn Turner cartoon (Irish Times letters)

Too Toon?

Lapse Catholic

Bless Me Father

image (19)

Jane McCormick writes:

I have been waiting for the right moment to send in this illustration and today might just be the day, having just read former Irish Times journalist Don Buckley’s excellent letter in response to the Irish Times/Martyn Turner cartoon debacle. I made this image in response to the involvement of Cardinal Seán Brady in the Fr Brendan Smyth child abuse cover-up in Cavan in the 1970s.

Previously: Cardinal Brady: Accused

Cardinal Brady: More Than Just A Note Taker

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 02.31.16[Editor of the Irish Times – Kevin O’Sullivan]

Sometimes, however, things fly in under the editorial radar. Martyn Turner’s cartoon [above] on Wednesday is a case in point. In making a legitimate argument about the debate over priestly responsibility for reporting child abuse and the concerns for the seal of the confessional, Turner also took an unfortunate and unjustified sideswipe at all priests, suggesting that none of them can be trusted with children. This has, unsurprisingly, caused considerable offence and we regret and apologise for the hurt caused by the cartoon whose use in that form, we acknowledge, reflected a regrettable editorial lapse.

An editorial lapse (Irish Times)




Previously: Too Toon?

Bless Me Father

Pic: YouTube

Thanks Allan


turner-martyn[Martyn Turner’ (above) and the controversial cartoon (top)]

Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin voiced his grievances about a cartoon which appeared in the Irish Times on Wednesday, during a Holy Thursday Mass in the Dublin’s Pro Cathedral yesterday morning.

It appeared in the paper a day after retired parish priest Fr Gearoid O Donnchu told Chris O’Donoghue on Newstalk that he will not break the seal of confession under any circumstance.

The cartoon – a comment on the Children First Bill which provides for the mandatory reporting of child abuse and the Catholic Church’s seal of the confessional – no longer appears on the Irish Times website.


Martyn Turner (Irish Times)

Previously: Too Toon?

Bless Me Father

Thanks Joan O’Connell


[Martyn Turner’s cartoon in yesterday’s Irish Times]

“I know that many priests and people feel hurt by a cartoon in yesterday’s Irish Times. I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and of the vital role of satire in social criticism, but I object to anything that would unjustly tarnish all good priests with the unpardonable actions of some.”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Archbishop Martin warns against cynicism and criticises cartoon (Patsy McGarry, Irish Times)

Martyn Turner

Previously: Bless Me Father