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Watchdog finds against Irish Independent report on Gerry Adams New York speech

13 July, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

The Press Council of Ireland has rejected an appeal by the Irish Independent against the decision by the Press Ombudsman to uphold a complaint by Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams regarding a report of remarks he made in a speech in New York in March.

In the report on 9th March, the Irish Independent claimed that the Sinn Féin Leader had “openly joked about holding the editor of the Irish Independent at gunpoint”.

In the speech, Gerry Adams said:

“Mick Collins's response to the Independent’s criticism of the fight for freedom was to dispatch volunteers to the Independent’s offices. They held the editor at gunpoint and then dismantled and destroyed the entire printing machinery! Now I’m obviously not advocating that.”

Mr Adams complained to the newspaper that his remarks were reported out of context and that he had clearly referred to the actions of Tan War hero Michael Collins.

When the newspaper didn't respond, Mr Adams made a complaint to the Press Ombudsman who upheld it.

The Irish Independent appealed this decision to the Press Council and this was heard on 3rd July. The Press Council rejected the appeal and affirmed the Press Ombudsman's decision in Mr Adams' favour.

The latest development follows a series of decisions by the media watchdog to uphold complaints by Gerry Adams about articles in the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent.

Commenting today, Gerry Adams said:

“The constant stream of biased and offensive coverage of Sinn Féin by the Irish Independent, and of myself in particular, is unprecedented in the history of Irish newspapers.

“The decision of the Press Council to uphold the Press Ombudsman's findings is another significant and positive development.

“I hope that it will further bolster the case for fairness and objectivity in political coverage in the Irish media.” ENDS

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