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Something sickening about Independent Newspapers attacks on RTE

category national | arts and media | news report author Thursday November 24, 2011 18:39author by Charles R Murrow - Indymedia Nightly News Report this post to the editors

Nothing as unedifying and hypocritical as the Sindo and its stablemate reaching for higher moral ground

RTE broadcast an unforgivable and totally unjustifiable libel on Fr Michael Reynolds. They broadcast on air an untrue allegation that he fathered a child with a child in Africa - despite his offer to undergo a paternity test. He took them to court and rightfully to the cleaners. Now RTE are subject to a Broadcasting authority of Ireland enquiry as well as one undertaken by the Press Ombudsman, Professor John Horgan. Who has ridden over the ridge to to proclaim all that is holy in journalism? None other than Eoghan Harris, and his newspaper, the Sunday Independent. Harris wants Ed Mulhall, RTE's head of news, sacked (20th November). Harris has been attacking Mulhall for years. Who knows what for and who cares, just for the moment.

How to make the SINDO sing  - the paper that protects the strong and attacks the weak
How to make the SINDO sing - the paper that protects the strong and attacks the weak

Of much more interest is what happens in the Sindo and its stable mates when it breaks the rules?

Who got the sack after this was published Lawlor killed in red-light district with teenage girl The Sunday Independent, 23 October 2005 by CIARAN BYRNE, JODY CORCORAN and NICK PATON-WALSH in MOSCOW LIAM LAWLOR, the controversial former Fianna Fail politician, was killed yesterday in a high-speed crash in Moscow in the company of a teenage girl described by police as "likely to be a prostitute", the Sunday Independent can reveal. The 61-year-old was travelling from a red-light district towards Moscow with a Ukrainian girl when his hired Mercedes spun out of control at 1am Moscow time. Apart from Lawlor being killed, all lies. The 'teenage girl described by police as "likely to be a prostitute"' was a translator who took the Sindo to the cleaners, just like Fr Reynolds and RTE. Harris expressed a view on who RTE should sack: 'Not the reporter Aoife Kavanagh, the executive producer, Brian Parceir or the Prime Time editor, Ken O'Shea. And that's how it should be.... the buck stops with Ed Mulhall, RTE's Head of News and Current Affairs...... Ok, so who did the Sindo sack in similar circumstances? Editor, Mr Fanning? Deputy Editor, Mrs Fanning (formerly Mrs Harris)? No one that's who.

Here is a revealing article from Village Magazine that explained what happened after the Lawlor story was exposed as a fraud, after Then Irish Independent columnist Justine McCarthy wrote a column about corporate greed and after the newspaper management didn't like how the industrial correspondent was covering the Irish Ferries Dispute.

Attack on corporate greed censored
Village Magazine,1 December 2005 The linkages and similarities between Independent News and Media and Irish Ferries. By Colin Murphy, Emma Browne, John Byrne and Vincent Browne Justine McCarthy had written a biting attack on Irish corporate greed. She wrote it in the context of the Irish Ferries dispute but her scope was broader. She wrote about the adulation of RyanAir, which had banned trade unions, charged disabled people for access to their planes and engaged in confrontational promotion, all to boost already overblown profits. She wrote of the warrior managerial culture that pervades the Celtic Tiger Ireland. Someone who read the column before it went into the computer system of the Irish Independent said her target could as well have been the management culture of Independent Newspapers itself (see accompanying story). She did not realise the column had been dropped until a colleague asked her about it on Monday morning (28 November).

She saw the editor, Gerry O'Regan, who is in the job only a few weeks, and he told her she had no entitlement either to have the column published or to be informed in advanced that the column was being "spiked" (the journalistic terms for discarded). It was a confrontational encounter. Later Gerry O'Regan informed her she was being dropped as a columnist – she is employed as a feature writer and was paid additionally as a columnist. He offered no reason for dropping her, saying merely that she had no right to expect to be retained as a columnist for ever. He further said he didn't "spike" a column, it was just a piece of news analysis.

There had been a disagreement between Justine McCarthy and Gerry O'Regan a few weeks previously. She had done an interview with Bishop Willie Walsh, in the wake of the publication of the Ferns report. He was the first bishop to speak in public after the report had been published and in the interview he had spoken out about the ordination of women, the celibacy of the priesthood and Church/State relations, all hugely pertinent especially in the light of the attack by Liz O'Donnell on the Catholic Church a few days previously and Bertie Ahern's response. Gerry O'Regan was insistent the interview be published in an inside page in the Saturday Review section of the newspaper – he wanted an extract from the book by economist and commentator, David McWilliams published as the main feature. But that discussion had been relatively amicable.

The row with Justine McCarthy came the same day (Monday 28 November) as another surprising decision by Gerry O'Regan: that to "stand down" the industrial correspondent of the Irish Independent, Gerry Flynn, from reporting on the Irish Ferries story. Flynn had reported on the previous Saturday that management at Irish Ferries had considered using tear gas to dislodge protesting workers from the ferries some months previously. This was vigorously denied by Irish Ferries management but Flynn persisted with the story and repeated it in a front page article in the Sunday Independent on 27 November. Then, without warning, Gerry Flynn, the newspaper's industrial relations correspondent, was removed from coverage of the most significant industrial relations story of recent years. He first heard of this decision, not from the management of the Irish Independent but from a journalist with another publication who telephoned him as he was on his way to the office. When he got to the new offices of Independent Newspapers on Talbot St, Gerry O'Regan informed him he was being withdrawn from coverage of the story because of a general threat by Irish Ferries against the media in general, according to a source in Independent Newspapers.

Gerry Flynn consulted the NUJ about the matter and the issue is to be discussed at a union-management meeting on Thursday (1 December). In addition to that an inquiry has been instituted into Flynn's story about Irish Ferries and the tear gas option. This inquiry is to be conducted by the same team that inquired into the Sunday Independent's coverage of the death in Moscow of Liam Lawlor: Michael Deniffe, the managing editor of the group, Declan Carlyle or "human resources" and Tony O'Reilly (no relation) also of "human resources". That team's inquiry into the Liam Lawlor story – where the Sunday Independent reported in its headline on the front page that a woman in the car with Liam Lawlor, when he was killed, was "likely to be a prostitute" – seemed exhaustive. The team travelled to Moscow to interview contacts and interviewed several journalists on the staff of the Sunday Independent, including its editor, Aengus Fanning.

According to a well-placed source in the Sunday Independent the outcome of this inquiry has been to recommend some procedural changes in the newspaper. Neither the editor, Aengus Fanning, neither the deputy editor, Anne Harris, are to be fired apparently.

One of the intriguing dimensions to the coverage of the Irish Ferries story by the Irish Independent is the corporate overlap between Independent Newspaper and Media and the company that owns Irish Ferries, Irish Continental Group. Bernard Somers, a close business associate of Tony O'Reilly, the controlling shareholder and chief executive of Independent News and Media (INM), is on the board of both INM and Irish Continental. Bernard Somers is aged fifty six

He was appointed to the board of Irish Continental Group (ICG) in 2004 as a non-executive director. He is a non-executive director of Independent News and Media, as well as of some other companies including the glass-making company Ardagh plc and DCC. A chartered accountant, he is a partner in Somers and Associates, and accountants practice which specialises in corporate restructuring. He was involved in the corporate restructuring of Aer Lingus in 2001. He also worked as a consultant to CIE and as an adviser to business man Larry Goodman. He is a brother of Michael Somers, the head of the National Treasury Management Agency.


Sometimes the SINDO loses - see graphic about Jackie Kelly story. Press Ombudsman decision in her case here: http://www.presscouncil.ie/decided-by-press-ombudsman/k....html

Related Link: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/jackie-kelly-an....html

Jackie Kelly letter in Impact magazine on her SINDO battle - click to read
Jackie Kelly letter in Impact magazine on her SINDO battle - click to read

Evening Herald jumps on anti RTE bandwagon - how did Herald cover SINDO Lawlor story?
Evening Herald jumps on anti RTE bandwagon - how did Herald cover SINDO Lawlor story?

author by Jamespublication date Thu Nov 24, 2011 22:48Report this post to the editors

Can someone fix the paragraphs on this - looks interesting.

author by M.Bradshaw - V.LP.S. Memberpublication date Fri Nov 25, 2011 07:22Report this post to the editors

Ask The Irish Independent / Sunday Independent to investigate any member of the Legal Fraternity

who to your knowledge is knee deep in illegal corruption in areas such as Family Law - Land registery --

or just down right morally wrong corruption of the man or woman on the street and come back to us real

soon , y'hear , while i have the patience of a saint with a certain Longest Running Family Law Case in

the History of The State i wont hold my breath , victims of the Legal Profession Society , such as yours

truly get a double whammy of injustice , in the family law courts & the Independent newspaper group  ;

 

No point in requesting Rte to investigate either , now i wonder why that could be ?

author by Cpublication date Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:26Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the article.
I think it's just plain weird that RTE would stick their necks out on this one.  They are so useless in every type of investigative journalism for the last number of years and they decide that the one story they'll get risky on, is attacking a priest. 

Why wouldn't RTE have decided to do a bit of investigating into some of the multitude of corrupt agencies or companies in the land?  Something really needs to change at RTE.  I watched a programme last week where Lelia Doolan spoke of how they stood up to the Government of the day during her time at RTE (think it would have been in the 70's).  Now RTE is so much a mouthpiece for the Government and powerful elites that have ruined the country that it's not worth watching anything it does!!

The Indo and Sindo are just as bad, altough they side with corporate interests firstly and then the state.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Nov 25, 2011 13:16Report this post to the editors

The situation with Lelia Doolin and RTE (if I recall straight)was over a Seven Days(the current affairs program on RTE tv) investigation of Viet Nam that annoyed the resident viceroy in the Park(he hasn't gone away you know).

I was away at the time, but when I got back found a book in the library called 'Sit Down and be Counted', by Lelia. That was around '74/'75. Gave the story.

Bob Quinn and several others were involved. The book went scarce(surprise, surprise)and I never did come across a second copy. Amazon have none, and their info is a wee bit scrambled, but try your library catalogue. I was in Dublin at that time.

This whole story is wierd. RTE's legal department seem to have ignored the most routine checks you would expect given the protests from the slandered priest(in advance of the broadcast). None of the offenders dismissed. As you say, an easy target, given that all the heavy lifting on the issue is long done.

And again, cui bono, who benefits?

This reverses the charge for the Vatican to take high moral dudgeon and imply all the stacked reports are partisan attacks on holy mother church by bigots and whatever-your-having-yourself.
More reports are due shortly so it smudges the picture conveniently.

I'm reading an interesting account of the Rose Tattoo fiasco(back in '57)when the League of Decency(Francoist Right)skewerd Alan Simpsom's Pike theatre('Spiked', Gerard Whelan, New Island, 2002). Gives an inkling of the penetration of the lay church and its reactionary watchdogs throughout Irish society and the damage they can do.

Could they be SO devious as to set this up as a PR cleanser/decoy to turn the spotlight back on the pagan media and its godless commies campaigning against virginal mother church?

You might say that.....but I couldn't possibly comment.


But one thing is sure, in my mind anyway. Without the recurrent cover-ups of the heirarchy, and the recidivist denials, innocent priests would not be open to such scatter-gun judgements as the heirarchy has exposed them to...in order to protect the guilty, including the highest levels in the institution, nationally and beyond.

Ultimately, this priest is paying for the institutions crimes, and the slimebags are still slip-sliding away.

The paranoiac's question becomes...could RTE be colluding in a smoke-screen??

I have heard no-one over the last while referring to the part the cover-up culture played in exposing this, and other, innocent clerics to such defamation.

Correct me if I missed something.











author by Ferdia Costellopublication date Fri Nov 25, 2011 14:54Report this post to the editors

Harris appears in that book too, in RTE defending the rights of communists. At least he is still defending the rights of people whose names begin with 'c', capitalists, though in between at first opposing and then agreeing with something else that starts with 'c', censorship. His volatile imagination vaulted from one end of the political spectrum to the other without even noticing. What happened? He was suspended once too often. Yes, that was a time when the vigilant public sector trade unionist Eoghan Harris upset the powers that be. Today he and they pat each other on the head - coercion (and a guaranteed weekly salary) works. Harris attacks public sector workers so as to give employers a wedge that deflects attention away from fundamental flaws in the capitalist system. He attacks the Independent group's commercial rival, the publicly owned RTE, that by law can't answer back. RTE is boxed into a corner where it tackles safe targets. What about an investigation into bias in the newspaper industry, into Independent Newspapers? No thank you. A useful stooge for the O'Reilly empire. Didn't see him jumping up and down demanding heads on the block during the Liam Lawlor debacle. In his article last week Harris wrote that RTE had no right to take away someone's good name. No, that is a task reserved weekly for Harris and for the rest of the Sunday Independent crew.

author by Conor O'Bien - Former Sunday Independent Editors Associationpublication date Fri Nov 25, 2011 17:09Report this post to the editors

The captions and the pictures say it all - CLICK on the images to read them.

CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Oct 23, 2005 - white space is where article was - see 'family man' photo caption that includes Lawlor's wife and obligatory sexist  addition, Glenda Gilsen
CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Oct 23, 2005 - white space is where article was - see 'family man' photo caption that includes Lawlor's wife and obligatory sexist addition, Glenda Gilsen

CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Oct 30, 2005 - contrast size and design of self-serving 'apology' with previous week's story - no heads rolled
CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Oct 30, 2005 - contrast size and design of self-serving 'apology' with previous week's story - no heads rolled

CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Feb 2, 1973 - how the paper used to cover the news - today the tiny 'provos' story at the bottom of the page would be front and centre with 29 pages of 'analysis'. Stories about northern nationalists and the UDA  would n
CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Feb 2, 1973 - how the paper used to cover the news - today the tiny 'provos' story at the bottom of the page would be front and centre with 29 pages of 'analysis'. Stories about northern nationalists and the UDA would n

CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Dec 3, 2006 - how it is supposed to be - cutting top off top tax rate and heating up the housing market by abolition of stamp duty - those were the days
CLICK TO READ - Sunday Independent Dec 3, 2006 - how it is supposed to be - cutting top off top tax rate and heating up the housing market by abolition of stamp duty - those were the days

CLICK TO READ - what a difference two decades make - Sunday Indo never carried a story on UDA campaign against Northern ed of the Sunday World, ignored LVF assassination of Sunday World's Martin Hagan - and Editor's no to blame for Lawlor fiasco
CLICK TO READ - what a difference two decades make - Sunday Indo never carried a story on UDA campaign against Northern ed of the Sunday World, ignored LVF assassination of Sunday World's Martin Hagan - and Editor's no to blame for Lawlor fiasco

author by jeffpublication date Mon Nov 28, 2011 23:06Report this post to the editors

...in the fasct that every Monday morning it is The Sindo being put out in the wheelie bins. I've lived all over Ireland, and it is the Sunday Times that sells out. Not because Irish folk want to believe everything Rupert Murdoch has been telling them, but because it is packed full of multiple sections and probably has the best telly guide of broadsheets. The Sindo, when not telling lies, or blaming 'socialism' for the current woes were in, has consistently ran 'features' which are merely interviews with some model or rich bloke in Dalkey. Their 'analysis' consists of Eoghan Harris or Barry Egan rabbiting on about some fine meal they had with some other bore.

The only people who want to read this tripe are the types who generally share the same constipated, pseudo misanthropic vein as its writers. Seriously, how many anti-IRA rants do people want ot read every Sunday? Yes, we know McGuinness and co aren't very pleasant people, but give it a rest!

Trust me, we will see Sindo go into liquidation in our lifetime. Remember the Press, once Ireland's state organ? The Sindo is a vacuous rag, and the times we're in will see it go under.Then we can party.

author by Vincent - self preservation societypublication date Tue Nov 29, 2011 02:06Report this post to the editors

The Independent Group , to my knowledge own some titles such as The Star -* The Wicklow People , Wexford

and Bray People , to name but a few , try going into one of their * local offices' and alert them to slim shady solicitors

who flout the Law & you will soon find they have no interest at all in your local scoop ,

This form of neglect in the interest of the locals is part and parcel of the staffs' terms & conditions of employment &

is based on ' no one needs to know ' syndrome , the indo is knee deep in local politics & the readers of their local

titles are treated to court reports of thy neighbours & thy neighbours many flaws before a Fianna Fail Judge and

more than likely a Fianna Fail solicitor , most judges are appointed by the Fianna Fail Party to remind the locals

they ( F.F. ) have not gone away , just yet , Local Corruption within the legal fraternity is a reminder to readers of

their newspapers how the Judges , Solicitors & Barristers are merely keeping the seats warm until the Fianna

Failures regroup ,in time to then continue their ongoing persecution of local people who fall foul of local Law .

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