Social Democrats call for Minister Naughten to recuse himself from any role in media regulation

April 18, 2018

Social Democrats TD Catherine Murphy has used a topical debate in the Dáil to ask the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to recuse himself from any role in media regulation in Ireland based on the revelations by Simon Carswell and Mark Paul in today’s Irish Times which suggest that the Minister relayed information regarding the treatment of the proposed Celtic Media Merger to INM representatives.

Speaking during today’s debate Catherine Murphy TD asked Minister Naughten why on the 6th of December 2016, during a Dáil debate on the matter, he had replied to a question she had posed by telling her that no decision had been made and that he ‘hadn’t received a report from his officials yet.’

She queried how this could have been a truthful answer given that the revelations from the ODCE’s affidavit show that almost a month earlier, on the 11th of November,  Minister Naughten had told a representative form Heneghan PR that the decision had been made to refer the matter to the BAI based on advice from his officials.

Catherine Murphy said:

“I believe it is appropriate that the Minister recuse himself from any role in relation to media regulation in this country given that today’s revelations suggest a relationship between the minister, his Department and powerful individuals involved in media operations in this country.”

“I understand that the Minister refused to engage with the NUJ, who had legitimate concerns regarding the implications of the proposed merger for workers, based on the fact that a deliberative process was underway. Yet he clearly did not extend the same protocols to engaging with the Heneghan PR who were explicitly acting on behalf of INM and Leslie Buckley.”

ENDS

18th April 2018