Mr Michael Smith, Editor, Village Magazine and The Irish Times

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Friday, 5th September 2014
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Decision of the Press Council of Ireland

Mr Michael Smith, Editor of Village magazine complained to the Press Ombudsman about a court report in the Irish Times of 8 October 13. The Ombudsman ruled that the newspaper had offered sufficient means of redress in regard to five of the seven issues raised by the complainant. Mr Smith appealed his decision in regard to the other two points.

The appeal was considered by the Press Council on September 5. In regard to the first issue raised in the appeal, namely that the Irish Times article had been inaccurate in stating that an article in Village magazine that subsequently became the subject of proceedings taken under the Defamation Act of 2009, was 'about' Mr Mark Dearey, the Council ruled in favour of the appellant.

The Council accepted that the article was, as stated by Mr Smith, about planning issues in Co Louth generally and not specifically about Mr Dearey and noted that Mr Dearey was, in fact, only mentioned once. It found that the Irish Times report was therefore in breach of Principle 1 of the Code.

With regard to the second alleged inaccuracy raised in the appeal, the Council found that the words complained of were a fair and accurate report of court proceedings. Therefore there was no breach of Principle 7 - Court Reporting.

The Press Council of Ireland therefore decided to allow in part the appeal by Mr Smith.

05 September 2014 

Click here to read the Decision of the Press Ombudsman