Minister signs press watchdog into law
THE Press Council has been placed on a statutory footing after being signed into law by Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, writes Edel Kennedy.
The minister's order comes into immediate effect and completes the last element of the 2009 Defamation Act.
Mr Ahern said yesterday: "Statutory recognition of the Press Council of Ireland as the 'Press Council' will strengthen its position and its capacity to work effectively."
The independent watchdog was set up to rule on public complaints about the print media. It can force publications to print apologies or retractions.
Established in January 2008 as an alternative to costly court battles, it does not have the power to award compensation.
Professor John Horgan was appointed as Ireland's first Press Ombudsman in August 2007.