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Has Minister Naughten even read media ownership report? - Lynn Boylan MEP

26 October, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has said that she is "astonished" by the response of Minister Denis Naughten to the report she commissioned on media ownership in Ireland.

The Dublin MEP described as "breathtaking" the Minister's claim that constitutional property rights present a barrier to dealing with the matter of concentrated media ownership in this state.

Boylan said that she now has to question if the Minister has even read the document given his contention that the report failed to address this issue.

She said;

"Quite frankly, I am astonished that Minister Naughten, in response to what is a comprehensive, independent and expertly researched report, has chosen to regurgitate what has been the default response of Irish governments to this issue over four decades.

"It is breathtaking that the Minister has decided to continue peddling the idea that constitutional property rights pose a serious barrier to the government tackling the matter of a highly concentrated ownership within Ireland's media market.

"Given that the Minister has claimed that the report does not address this issue, I now have to question if he even actually read the document.

"If he had read the report in any depth, he would have seen that the issue of Constitutional property rights and retrospective legislation to deal with it is outlined from section 5.3 to 5.5 where the case of Fisher v. Irish Land Commission [1948] is used as the case law example.

"In fact it goes even further, the author’s show how retrospective action could be taken, not just in accordance with the protection of property under Irish Constitutional law, but in accordance with the ECHR and EU Competition Law.

"Minister Naughten would do as well to read the report and come back with a legal explanation for his claims over which we can debate instead of making straw arguments and cowering behind the Irish Constitution despite that security blanket being ripped away by this report.

"But if the Minister is so sure that his legal position is correct the question has to be asked - what does he have to fear from the establishment of a commission of inquiry?"

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