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Thread: 'Irish Times' called before Mahon tribunal

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    Politics.ie Member TheBear's Avatar
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    Default 'Irish Times' called before Mahon tribunal

    From The Irish Times:
    • Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy and public affairs correspondent Colm Keena have been summonsed to appear before a public sitting of the Mahon (planning) tribunal on Friday to answer questions on this newspaper's report that disclosed details of the investigation into payments to Bertie Ahern while he was minister for finance.

      Tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon has ordered that copies of all documents quoted in the article, which appeared in last Thursday's Irish Times, be handed over at the sitting.

      He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.

      Judge Mahon also ordered that the witnesses answer questions about correspondence between the tribunal and this newspaper since the report was published.

      The tribunal wrote to The Irish Times on Thursday maintaining that the article it published was in breach of an interlocutory injunction of the Supreme Court, and sought an explanation. An explanation was provided.
    As seen at the time of the Brian Murphy murder trial, the courts are taking a more serious line with newspapers printing information about on-going cases. I believe this to be the first time that representatives of a publication have been called before a tribunal (though I'm open to correction). Should journalists have more freedom, is this a further case in favour of a press council?
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    Default Re: 'Irish Times' called before Mahon tribunal

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBear
    From The Irish Times:
    • Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy and public affairs correspondent Colm Keena have been summonsed to appear before a public sitting of the Mahon (planning) tribunal on Friday to answer questions on this newspaper's report that disclosed details of the investigation into payments to Bertie Ahern while he was minister for finance.

      Tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon has ordered that copies of all documents quoted in the article, which appeared in last Thursday's Irish Times, be handed over at the sitting.

      He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.

      Judge Mahon also ordered that the witnesses answer questions about correspondence between the tribunal and this newspaper since the report was published.

      The tribunal wrote to The Irish Times on Thursday maintaining that the article it published was in breach of an interlocutory injunction of the Supreme Court, and sought an explanation. An explanation was provided.
    As seen at the time of the Brian Murphy murder trial, the courts are taking a more serious line with newspapers printing information about on-going cases. I believe this to be the first time that representatives of a publication have been called before a tribunal (though I'm open to correction). Should journalists have more freedom, is this a further case in favour of a press council?
    The Tribunals are perfectly entitled to safegaurd themselves from leaks. They should investigate how this happened.
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    The tribunal has a job to do (it's costing us enough) and no one should be subjected to a trial by media

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    Default Re: 'Irish Times' called before Mahon tribunal

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBear
    From The Irish Times:He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.
    Indeed, even without taking into account the Taoiseach's predicament, the intrigue related to the source is a strory in itself.

    The Taoiseach I do think crossed an ethical line that should not be crossed- first it was money he "got," that the figure of €50,000-€100,000 was off the wall and that all the tax issues were "dealt properly" with. Then the money he "got" became a loan, it was linked to a marriage breakdown and spread between twelve patrons. It certainly seemed that we were witnessing more in terms of damage control than clarification. And oh, it was indeed €50,000.

    Saying all that though, the opposition were correct to stop short of calling for his resignation, and not just for poltical reasons. The verdict is still not in on whether any laws or official ethics guidelines were breached- though the loans-for-peerages scandal in Britain does mean that retrospective regulations on loans were already on the anvil. That is the primary aspect of opposition restraint, but the Taoiseach deserves sympathy on one front. Whoever leaked this acted in a cavalier and decidedly unethical manner. The Irish Times was only fulfilling its proper societal role in publishing the story, and the opposition must now address it. But the original leak cannot be justified within our legal framework.

    But surely the most telling sign on the source so far was Sen. Mary O'Rourke in the Seanad today- don't anyone ever tell me its pointless- "Senator Ó Murchú referred to the leaking of confidential information. I do not think it originated from the Opposition parties or the tribunal. We must look nearer home on this matter.

    So, any guesses?
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    how much of this was already known by those inside the beltway and the by journos, several papers have already said they knew but didn't have neough, but I don't really believe that we all seen how journos know shitloads but don't say because it suits them.

    surely apart from this leak, the court hearing being listed Ahern V mahon tribunal because of aherns reaction to Mahon investigations would have been enough to alert people, and Ahern said some or all of these people may have had to give evidence to the mahon tribunal, surely 12 people + people of this stature going to dublin castle could not have gone unnoticed.
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    The Irish Times was doing it's job; it reported the news. In fact, it's the first time in quite a while that the Times broke a story, so at least there's that. The Mahon tribunal failed in it's job to protect a witness's confidentiality but it's the paper that'll get hung - go figure.

    I don't know why there isn't more noise about the Taoiseach's High Court action against the Mahon Tribunal and I can't believe the lack of fuss over O Rourke's "nearer to home" comment.

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    ...and we fast forward eight years, to this saga's denouement in the European Court of Human Rights yesterday. The court upheld the Supreme Court's decision to order the Irish Times to pay the costs of the legal proceedings against the Mahon Tribunal, as a result of Geraldine Kennedy and Colm Keena's decision to destroy the documents that would have revealed their source.

    I always considered the IT's behaviour in this regard to be an outrageous usurping of the courts, and I'm not surprised that the ECHR has found against them. But the IT isn't willing to let it lie and accept that it was wrong - in today's paper there are articles from Kennedy and Keena, as well as a lengthy editorial, justifying its behaviour.

    The IT is usually very quick to condemn others when found guilty of wrongdoing. Does it believe that the law is only for the little people and shouldnt apply to it?

    A cold, calculated decision to step outside the law

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    Last edited by borntorum; 25th October 2014 at 08:08 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by borntorum View Post
    ...and we fast forward eight years, to this saga's denouement in the European Court of Human Rights yesterday. The court upheld the Supreme Court's decision to order the Irish Times to pay the costs of the legal proceedings against the Mahon Tribunal, as a result of Geraldine Kennedy and Colm Keena's decision to destroy the documents that would have revealed their source.

    I always considered the IT's behaviour in this regard to be an outrageous usurping of the courts, and I'm not surprised that the ECHR has found against them. But the IT isn't willing to let it lie and accept that it was wrong - in today's paper there are articles from Kennedy and Keena, as well as a lengthy editorial, justifying its behaviour.

    The IT is usually very quick to condemn others when found guilty of wrongdoing? Does it believe that the law is only for the little people and shouldnt apply to it?

    A cold, calculated decision to step outside the law

    The journalist
    Another example of the ECHR not having a phucken clue. In this case the ECHR has effectively come down in favour of the maFFia.

    I rarely ever agree with the IT. But I do agree with them here. They were correct in what they did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by doozer View Post
    The Tribunals are perfectly entitled to safegaurd themselves from leaks. They should investigate how this happened.
    Although they seemed incapable of safeguarding themselves from perjury.
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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    Another example of the ECHR not having a phucken clue. In this case the ECHR has effectively come down in favour of the maFFia.

    I rarely ever agree with the IT. But I do agree with them here. They were correct in what they did.
    So...if any defendant explains that in their own words they made a "Cold and calculated decision to step outside the law" you think costs should be awarded to them? They're ADMITTING they broke the law, they just don't think they should have to pay the consequences for breaking the law. They're ridiculous.
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