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There is nothing stopping Government from taking action on media monopolies - Brian Stanley TD

8 February, 2017 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Brian Stanley, has welcomed the introduction of the Media Ownership Bill and spoke today from the Dáil in its favour.

Deputy Stanley stated:

“The state of media ownership in Ireland has also been heavily criticised by numerous reports in the past year.

"Ireland currently has one of the most concentrated media markets of any democracy. Media plurality is an essential component of a well-functioning democratic society. To have Ireland’s media market dominated by the State Broadcaster and one individual is a danger.

"Our media landscape is potentially on the verge of an even further loss of diversity pending the decision on the purchase by INM of the Celtic Media Group.

"The Competition and Consumer Protection Act 2014 recognises the importance of media plurality in Ireland and can prospectively ensure that nobody can acquire a share in excess of 20% of a particular sector in the media. However it contains no mechanism for adjusting the status quo whereby one individual already controls such a high level of media ownership. This Act only deals with new entrants to the Irish media market ensuring that the dominance of one player goes unchallenged.

"To suggest that there is no possible way to address this situation is disingenuous.

"Article 43 of the Irish Constitution states that rights to private ownership are a qualified right that must have regard to principles of ‘Social Justice’ and the Common Good’. There is nothing in the Constitution which would restrict the Government from taking action on the concentration of media ownership.

"The lack of media plurality is having a damaging effect on our democracy given the legal cases taken against the Oireachtas.”

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