Saturday 20 January 2018

Taoiseach refuses to recall the Dail over Fianna Fail claims of 'silencing of the media'

Catherine Murphy: raised financial details that RTÉ was prevented from airing
Catherine Murphy: raised financial details that RTÉ was prevented from airing
John Downing

By John Downing

THE Taoiseach has rejected demands to re-call the Dail for a special debate on the dispute over the reporting of a High Court case involving businessman Denis O’Brien and IBRC bank.

Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein had urged Mr Kenny to change the Dail schedule, which included no sittings next week, so TDs could hold a special debate on a dispute about comments made by Kildare North Independent TD, Catherine Murphy. 

The High Court has already ruled that RTE cannot report on aspects of Mr O’Brien’s private business dealings with the IBRC.

A government spokesman said the Dail schedule - which included no sittings next week - still stood.

"The issue can be dealt with when the Dail returns on Tuesday, June 9," a government official told

Separately, RTÉ revealed it plans to make a fresh application in the High Court on Tuesday in a bid to report Ms Murphy’s Dail statements.

It said it is disappointed that a court injunction issued on May 21 prevents the media coverage of this issue.

“RTÉ has consistently maintained that greater levels of disclosure is in the public interest; however we have complied fully with the court’s decision,” the state broadcaster said.

“We await the outcome of the judge’s ruling on 5 June as regards what level of detail in the court’s judgement can be disclosed.

“Lawyers acting on behalf of RTÉ have already raised concern about the scope of the proposed orders to be made by the court.

“RTÉ will also be making an application on Tuesday 2 June, for permission to broadcast statements made in the Dáil by Catherine Murphy, TD.

“Every effort will continue to be made by RTÉ to report on this matter as comprehensively as possible, as early as possible, within the limits of the law.”

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