Madam – I would like to voice my total disgust at Ronald Quinlan's article (Sunday Independent, January 6, 2013), justifying stories being broken by the paper. Did Ronald think it was of national interest to know that Johnny Ronan brought Rosanna Davison to Marrakesh? Is a TD not allowed to send his children to whatever school he wants?
But probably the most sickening example he used was the breaking of the news on Brian Lenihan's illness. Yes I agree that it was important to have this information, but not under any circumstances at the time it was broken. What difference would three or four days have made? Time for his family and friends to at least hear firsthand the news, give them time to come to terms with the news of his terminal illness. There are no protocols or etiquettes that a good journalist could stand over to say breaking that news at Christmas/New Year was the right time.
Kilmacud, Co Dublin
Ronald Quinlan replies: Mr O'Reilly has misinterpreted what I wrote in a number of instances. The one essential correction I would make to his conclusions is that the Sunday Independent did not "break" the story of Brian Lenihan's illness – that was TV3. We reported the furore over TV3's decision to do so, a decision I certainly did not "stand over".