Wednesday 26 September 2018

A week of more contradictions, testing the parameters of journalistic privilege

As the Disclosures Tribunal enters its final stages, the spotlight fell on protecting sources, writes Andrew Phelan

Paul Reynolds. Photo:
Paul Reynolds. Photo:

Andrew Phelan

'What, exactly, are you protecting?" The question was posed by Kathleen Leader, a barrister for the Disclosures Tribunal as the inquiry clocked up its 90th day.

On the stand in the chandelier-lit expanse of a Dublin Castle hall was Daniel McConnell, one of 11 journalists called for questioning on whether they were used as part of an alleged smear campaign against whistleblower Sgt Maurice McCabe.

Mr McConnell replied that in refusing to answer a question about a source, he was protecting "the principle" of journalistic privilege.

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