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Taoiseach is either in a state of denial or too afraid to tackle media ownership issue - Lynn Boylan MEP

16 November, 2016 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has stated that Enda Kenny is in a state of denial or too afraid to tackle the concentration of media ownership in Ireland.

She was responding to the Taoiseach's comments yesterday when he stated that he doesn't "see any reason" for the establishment of an inquiry into the matter.

Speaking from Brussels today, Boylan said;

"The Taoiseach is either too afraid to tackle the concentration media ownership in Ireland, or he is in a state of complete denial about the matter.

"Frankly, it is staggering that Mr Kenny stood up in the Dáil chamber and claimed that he doesn't see any reason for the establishment of an inquiry.

"The reality is that there are a multitude of reasons as to why such an inquiry is not only warranted, but absolutely essential.

"The many reasons for an inquiry are contained in reports from Dr. Roddy Flynn, The European Commission, and an independent report commissioned by myself on behalf of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament.

"Openness, diversity and plurality in the media and the health of democracy are the issues that are ultimately at stake.

"The fact that Ireland has one of the most concentrated media markets of any democracy should be reason enough to conduct an examination and inquiry.

"Now, we also have the prospect of Independent News & Media acquiring the Celtic Media group. This would see Denis O'Brien and INM expand their newspaper portfolio by seven regional newspapers but they would also extend their geographical footprint by five counties.

"Yet, amazingly, the Taoiseach has told the Irish people - move along, nothing to see here. He says that Minister Naughten is studying the independent report that I commissioned while at the same time dismissing its findings.

"When you place this dismissive response next to Minister Naughten's criticism of a report he hadn't even read, you can only conclude that the government is hoping that this issue will just go away.

"That is not going to happen. It is not going away. The government has a major responsibility to address the matter in a comprehensive manner.

"The Taoiseach, The Minister for Communications and the government need to develop some bottle and approach this matter with the seriousness it demands."

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