Wednesday 7 December 2016

Anne Harris: Double blow for brave reporter under attack

The failure of the media to defend a hounded colleague reflects badly on our moral compass, writes Anne Harris

Anne Harris

Published 19/08/2012 | 05:00

CONTROVERSY: 'Sunday
Independent' reporter Niamh
Horan, right, and Priory Hall
developer Tom McFeely left
CONTROVERSY: 'Sunday Independent' reporter Niamh Horan, right, and Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely left
CONTROVERSY: 'Sunday Independent' reporter Niamh Horan
Priory Hall developer Tom McFeely
A clipping from satirical magazine 'Private Eye', which took Frank Fitzgibbon of the 'Sunday Times' to task over his comments on Horan's recent attempt to interview McFeely in a Portuguese bar

ON Friday, July 27, Niamh Horan was in the millionaires' paradise of Quinta do Lago, Portugal, to investigate whether the Irish property collapse had changed the lifestyles of the bust and bailed-out builder developers who still maintained luxury homes there.

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Having finished a long day's work and having parted company with her photographer colleague, she went into an Irish pub, De Barras, for a drink (it was her birthday) and found herself sharing the bar with Tom McFeely, the bankrupt developer who served 12 years in the Maze for robbing a post office and shooting a policeman and who more recently has left over 250 residents homeless because of his shoddy building of Priory Hall.

Realising that there was a warrant out for his arrest for non-appearance at his bankruptcy hearing, she approached him, took a phone picture and asked him if he would talk. His response was to smash his glass, lunge at her and then chase her with it out into the night until, being fleeter of foot, she managed to give him the slip.

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