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Ó Snodaigh expresses concerns over Press Ombudsman's ability to regulate industry

15 August, 2007

Sinn  Féin  Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has given a qualified welcome  to the establishment of a new Press Ombudsman.  Speaking today, as Dr. John  Horgan  was  appointed  as  the Irish media’s first Press Ombudsman,  Deputy  Ó  Snodaigh  said Sinn Féin is not overly optimistic about  the  new Ombudsman’s capacity to regulate the industry because of the media’s powerful position on the Press Council.

Deputy  Ó  Snodaigh  said,  “I  want  to give a qualified welcome to the appointment  of  the  Irish  media’s  first  Press  Ombudsman.  Very low standards of reporting by some of the media in this State are spreading and must be challenged.

“However,  Sinn  Féin is not overly optimistic about the new Ombudsman’s capacity  to  regulate  the  industry  because  of  the media’s powerful position  on the Press Council and there is a danger that they are being left to voluntarily regulate themselves.

“What we  need  to  see  is  the introduction of primary legislation to effectively  protect  the  rights of individuals and organisations to be free from media slurs and invasions of privacy.  We in Sinn Féin are all too aware of the slanderous elements within the Irish media.” CRÍOCH

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