The benefits of the Press Council

Toy pellet gun, via the BBC websiteUsing the Press Ombudsman and Press Council mechanisms will allow media complaints to be settled without lawyers, as expensive legal processes will be invoked much less frequently following the enactment of the Defamation Act, 2009 according to the Press Ombudsman, Prof John Horgan. On the one hand, he would say that wouldn’t he? On the other, I hope that he’s right; it’s much too early to tell, of course, but that is the intention behind the establishment and recognition of his office.

However, not only is bringing a complaint to his office cheaper and quicker, it’s probably also safer than going to court. According to the Irish Times breaking news service, a judge was accidentally shot in court; but the facts were rather more prosaic, and the later print version of the article explained that pellets from a toy gun struck the judge at a family law hearing.