The general consensus seems to be that International Monetary Fund boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn's political career is over regardless of whether the allegations against him eventually hold up in court.
Does anyone remember the angry scenes some time back as crowds pounded on the side of a police van taking a west Cork man accused of murder to trial? Though he had not yet been convicted of anything, for some people the fact that he had his name and picture published in the paper was enough to make him guilty in their minds.
The law in this respect needs to change.
Everyone is entitled to their good name unless actually convicted by the weight of evidence in court.
All too often the arrest and trial, especially of someone prominent, receives a frenzy of media attention; the story spun out for days until more titillating news arrives along.
People seem to believe 'there's no smoke without fire', which is why we listen to gossip too.
If the accused is acquitted, it usually gets a brief mention in the news of the day, while they are left with their name sullied.
It should be at the discretion of the accused -- unless convicted -- as to whether or not they wish their name to appear in print or their image on TV.
The Law Reform Society and Dail Eireann should press for a change to the law that would protect every citizen's right to keep their good name until they at least have had their day in court.
If we lead the way in Ireland perhaps other enlightened countries will follow suit.
Carrigaline, Co Cork