• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

'Irish Times' called before Mahon tribunal


TheBear

Active member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
234
From The Irish Times:
  • Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy and public affairs correspondent Colm Keena have been summonsed to appear before a public sitting of the Mahon (planning) tribunal on Friday to answer questions on this newspaper's report that disclosed details of the investigation into payments to Bertie Ahern while he was minister for finance.

    Tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon has ordered that copies of all documents quoted in the article, which appeared in last Thursday's Irish Times, be handed over at the sitting.

    He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.

    Judge Mahon also ordered that the witnesses answer questions about correspondence between the tribunal and this newspaper since the report was published.

    The tribunal wrote to The Irish Times on Thursday maintaining that the article it published was in breach of an interlocutory injunction of the Supreme Court, and sought an explanation. An explanation was provided.
As seen at the time of the Brian Murphy murder trial, the courts are taking a more serious line with newspapers printing information about on-going cases. I believe this to be the first time that representatives of a publication have been called before a tribunal (though I'm open to correction). Should journalists have more freedom, is this a further case in favour of a press council?
 

doozer

Member
Joined
May 15, 2006
Messages
18
TheBear said:
From The Irish Times:
  • Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy and public affairs correspondent Colm Keena have been summonsed to appear before a public sitting of the Mahon (planning) tribunal on Friday to answer questions on this newspaper's report that disclosed details of the investigation into payments to Bertie Ahern while he was minister for finance.

    Tribunal chairman Judge Alan Mahon has ordered that copies of all documents quoted in the article, which appeared in last Thursday's Irish Times, be handed over at the sitting.

    He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.

    Judge Mahon also ordered that the witnesses answer questions about correspondence between the tribunal and this newspaper since the report was published.

    The tribunal wrote to The Irish Times on Thursday maintaining that the article it published was in breach of an interlocutory injunction of the Supreme Court, and sought an explanation. An explanation was provided.
As seen at the time of the Brian Murphy murder trial, the courts are taking a more serious line with newspapers printing information about on-going cases. I believe this to be the first time that representatives of a publication have been called before a tribunal (though I'm open to correction). Should journalists have more freedom, is this a further case in favour of a press council?
The Tribunals are perfectly entitled to safegaurd themselves from leaks. They should investigate how this happened.
 

St Disibod

Active member
Joined
Dec 3, 2005
Messages
113
TheBear said:
From The Irish Times:He has also ordered that Ms Kennedy and Mr Keena attend to answer questions on the source and whereabouts of the documents.
Indeed, even without taking into account the Taoiseach's predicament, the intrigue related to the source is a strory in itself.

The Taoiseach I do think crossed an ethical line that should not be crossed- first it was money he "got," that the figure of €50,000-€100,000 was off the wall and that all the tax issues were "dealt properly" with. Then the money he "got" became a loan, it was linked to a marriage breakdown and spread between twelve patrons. It certainly seemed that we were witnessing more in terms of damage control than clarification. And oh, it was indeed €50,000.

Saying all that though, the opposition were correct to stop short of calling for his resignation, and not just for poltical reasons. The verdict is still not in on whether any laws or official ethics guidelines were breached- though the loans-for-peerages scandal in Britain does mean that retrospective regulations on loans were already on the anvil. That is the primary aspect of opposition restraint, but the Taoiseach deserves sympathy on one front. Whoever leaked this acted in a cavalier and decidedly unethical manner. The Irish Times was only fulfilling its proper societal role in publishing the story, and the opposition must now address it. But the original leak cannot be justified within our legal framework.

But surely the most telling sign on the source so far was Sen. Mary O'Rourke in the Seanad today- don't anyone ever tell me its pointless- "Senator Ó Murchú referred to the leaking of confidential information. I do not think it originated from the Opposition parties or the tribunal. We must look nearer home on this matter.

So, any guesses?
 

lostexpectation

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Messages
14,031
Website
dublinstreams.blogspot.com
how much of this was already known by those inside the beltway and the by journos, several papers have already said they knew but didn't have neough, but I don't really believe that we all seen how journos know shitloads but don't say because it suits them.

surely apart from this leak, the court hearing being listed Ahern V mahon tribunal because of aherns reaction to Mahon investigations would have been enough to alert people, and Ahern said some or all of these people may have had to give evidence to the mahon tribunal, surely 12 people + people of this stature going to dublin castle could not have gone unnoticed.
 

John The Bad

New member
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1
Website
www.johnthebad.co.nr
The Irish Times was doing it's job; it reported the news. In fact, it's the first time in quite a while that the Times broke a story, so at least there's that. The Mahon tribunal failed in it's job to protect a witness's confidentiality but it's the paper that'll get hung - go figure.

I don't know why there isn't more noise about the Taoiseach's High Court action against the Mahon Tribunal and I can't believe the lack of fuss over O Rourke's "nearer to home" comment.
 

borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,805
...and we fast forward eight years, to this saga's denouement in the European Court of Human Rights yesterday. The court upheld the Supreme Court's decision to order the Irish Times to pay the costs of the legal proceedings against the Mahon Tribunal, as a result of Geraldine Kennedy and Colm Keena's decision to destroy the documents that would have revealed their source.

I always considered the IT's behaviour in this regard to be an outrageous usurping of the courts, and I'm not surprised that the ECHR has found against them. But the IT isn't willing to let it lie and accept that it was wrong - in today's paper there are articles from Kennedy and Keena, as well as a lengthy editorial, justifying its behaviour.

The IT is usually very quick to condemn others when found guilty of wrongdoing. Does it believe that the law is only for the little people and shouldnt apply to it?

A cold, calculated decision to step outside the law

The journalist
 
Last edited:

Analyzer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
...and we fast forward eight years, to this saga's denouement in the European Court of Human Rights yesterday. The court upheld the Supreme Court's decision to order the Irish Times to pay the costs of the legal proceedings against the Mahon Tribunal, as a result of Geraldine Kennedy and Colm Keena's decision to destroy the documents that would have revealed their source.

I always considered the IT's behaviour in this regard to be an outrageous usurping of the courts, and I'm not surprised that the ECHR has found against them. But the IT isn't willing to let it lie and accept that it was wrong - in today's paper there are articles from Kennedy and Keena, as well as a lengthy editorial, justifying its behaviour.

The IT is usually very quick to condemn others when found guilty of wrongdoing? Does it believe that the law is only for the little people and shouldnt apply to it?

A cold, calculated decision to step outside the law

The journalist
Another example of the ECHR not having a phucken clue. In this case the ECHR has effectively come down in favour of the maFFia.

I rarely ever agree with the IT. But I do agree with them here. They were correct in what they did.
 

ManOfReason

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
4,328
The Tribunals are perfectly entitled to safegaurd themselves from leaks. They should investigate how this happened.
Although they seemed incapable of safeguarding themselves from perjury.
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,845
Another example of the ECHR not having a phucken clue. In this case the ECHR has effectively come down in favour of the maFFia.

I rarely ever agree with the IT. But I do agree with them here. They were correct in what they did.
So...if any defendant explains that in their own words they made a "Cold and calculated decision to step outside the law" you think costs should be awarded to them? They're ADMITTING they broke the law, they just don't think they should have to pay the consequences for breaking the law. They're ridiculous.
 

devnull

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
1,843
Another example of the ECHR not having a phucken clue. In this case the ECHR has effectively come down in favour of the maFFia.

I rarely ever agree with the IT. But I do agree with them here. They were correct in what they did.
The Irish Times' justifications for this are carefully avoiding the issue. The Irish and European systems of justice both found in favour of its right to protect its source, but that it was wrong to flout the right of the system of justice to make that decision.
The IT says a lot about how it would have undermined the ability of the media to operate if the courts hadn't found in its favour on the substantive issue, but it willfully avoids the issue of how a system of justice can operate if anybody who appears before it has the right to preemptively undermine its ability to enforce any decisions they don't agree with.
There's a long list of groups that feel as passionately about their legal causes as the IT feels about its; dissident Republicans, environmental protestors, anti-flouridation campaigners, religions, sports players who feel their sport's disciplinary system is biased, police officers, petty criminals, businessmen, trades unions, etc.
The IT covers the story very differently when one of them makes a "cold and calculated decision to step outside the law".
 

borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,805
So...if any defendant explains that in their own words they made a "Cold and calculated decision to step outside the law" you think costs should be awarded to them? They're ADMITTING they broke the law, they just don't think they should have to pay the consequences for breaking the law. They're ridiculous.
The self justifying rubbish today must be the most egregious demonstration yet of that paper's smug superiority complex
 

Sister Mercedes

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
20,663
The Supreme Court's original decision made absolutely no sense. That the Irish Times was correct not to disclose its sources, but was incorrect in destroying data that would identify its sources. Surely the former made the latter of no consequence.

Unfortunately the ECHR continues its bizarre journey further and further off the reservation of the EU mainstream, with the rogue Irish Supreme Court even further away.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
19,084
Kennedy writes that Colm Keena's article "eventually led to the resignation of Taoiseach Bertie Ahern".

Er, no it didn't. The facts revealed in the leaked documents were being investigated already, the train was in process - all the Irish Times did was to reveal that fact. Hardly Watergate when the authorities are already investigating, is it?
 
Top