Journalist accused of being 'unprofessional' after reporting on quad theft meeting
The Mayor of Limerick has accused a journalist of being “unprofessional” for reporting on crime affecting farmers, after he asked her to leave a meeting which was convened to deal with the issue.
The remarks about the Limerick Leader journalist, which were made by Mayor of Limerick City and County Council Stephen Keary during a local area council meeting this week, have been strongly criticised by the editor of the paper, Eugene Phelan.
Councillors were prompted to distance themselves from Cllr Keary’s remarks after an outburst during the official council meeting this Tuesday, at which the journalist in question was in attendance.
He said: “I think it was very poor journalism and very unprofessional of the journalist that, when asked to refrain from making a comment on the meeting, she didn’t do so.”
Cathaoirleach of the district, Cllr Richard O’Donoghue, said that he was “disgusted and disappointed” in Cllr Keary for chairing a meeting on the topic after the public representatives were asked to allow gardai to follow lines of inquiry, and for not inviting the other councillors.
Journalist Maria Flannery was invited by local farmers to attend a meeting on August 31, which was attended by almost 30 members of the public, farmers, as well as Mayor Stephen Keary and two garda representatives.
At the farming meeting, Cllr Keary insisted that the gathering was private, telling farmers that they may make their statements to the press outside the meeting. The farmers voted to continue the meeting without the press present, and Ms Flannery left.
A story on quad bike thefts appeared in the Limerick Leader the following week, after the journalist was contacted by victims of theft who shared their experiences.