the Irish for rights

Membership of the Press Council of Ireland

Press Council and Ombudsman logoThe membership of the Press Council of Ireland was announced today (Blurred Keys | Breaking News | Media Forum | RTÉ | the press release pdf is here). Their first job will be to fill the position of Press Ombudsman. Once that is done, the Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman can be formally launched as an independent regulatory mechanism for Ireland’s print (though not broadcast) media. When they are up and running, the Press Council and Ombudsman will allow a quick avenue of complaint against newspapers for breaching the Code of Practice (pp 10-13 of this pdf). Complaints will go in the first instance to the Ombudsman, though complex cases and appeals from the Ombudsman will go to the Council.

Following a competitive and open appointments process, the membership, appointed by an independent appointments committee, will comprise:


The six independent members

The six industry members

This is a most welcome development; the press industry are to be commended for going ahead with this even before the stalled Defamation Bill, 2006 becomes law.

Update 1 (5 July 2007): from today’s Irish Times (sub req’d), a piece by Alison Healy speculating that the Press Council could start work by November, and this photo by Alan Betson of the members of the Council at yesterday’s announcement:

Members of the Press Council of Ireland, via the Irish Times website.Back row, left to right: John Horgan, Rosemary Delaney, Peter O’Mahony, Michael McNiffe, Michael Denieffe, Maeve McDonagh, Seamus Boland.
Front row, left to right: Eleanor O’Higgins, Thomas Mitchell, Mary Kotsonouris, Martin Fitzpatrick.
Not present: Eoin McVey, Frank Mulrennan.

Click on the picture for the full size version on the Irish Times site.

Update 2 (5 July 2007): Roy Greenslade wonders whether Ireland’s press council [is] an imitation of the PCC, and concludes

I think the ombusdman and Professor Mitchell are going to find it very difficult indeed to police the line between what should, and should not, be published in the public interest. That, of course, is yet another PCC echo.

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4 Responses to “Membership of the Press Council of Ireland”

  1. Daithí says:

    No offence to the (excellent) nominees, but two academics, two NGO-CEOs, a judge and a Labour Court chair? Combined age of how many hundred? Many of whom have been on all sorts of State boards or regulatory bodies etc before. Another case of the great and the good…


  2. Eoin says:

    There are all sorts of bases upon which to cavil at this selection (the gender balance, especially on the industry side, is one that occurred to me as I listened to the names at the announcement today). Greater diversity on various grounds would of course be desirable. But the appointments are, as always, a function of those who applied, and we can’t know who did apply. In the circumstances, I’m more than prepared to welcome the excellent nominees, and hope and trust that they will discharge their difficult forthcoming functions with aplomb.

  3. […] of the members of the Press Council of Ireland taken from Cearte.ie, which is run by Dr. Eoin O’Dell a Fellow and Senior Lecturer at School of Law, Trinity […]

  4. […] replace two retiring members of the Council, former District Justice Mary Kotsonouris, and Mr Peter O’Mahony, former CEO of the Irish Refugee […]

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Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I’m Eoin O’Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie – the Irish for rights.

“Cearta” really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

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