Peter Murtagh at the Irish Times needs to heed his own advice

Murtagh has a piece in today’s Irish Times in which he analyses the media reaction to Monica Leech’s libel victory against The Herald. He bemoans the failure of the losing side to take the point: that they had done wrong and really ought to apologise for it. Instead, he says, they are focusing on the amount of the award, unwilling to recognise that it is intended to send a signal to the media that people are angry at the casual way they target people with calculated indifference to the facts. Murtagh says:

“Many fellow citizens believe we in the media think we can say anything we like and get away with it. They think we target people unjustly, with little thought of the pain we inflict on them and their families. You know what? They are largely correct, but the brush is applied across all media, as though we are all the same.”

Well, quite so Peter. Now perhaps you would care to apply this perspective to your own treatment of the residents of Erris in County Mayo, several of whom you have targetted with some of the most vitriolic and ill-informed journalism ever seen in the pages of the Irish Times. The chief beneficiaries of your attacks are the gigantic oil and gas exploration company Royal Dutch Shell – a company with a violent and enviornmentally destructive track record – and the Fianna Fail party whose wretched mismanagement of the coutry’s energy resources is one of the major scandals of our time.

Further observations here about Peter Murtagh’s article (above) and of coverage of the Corrib Gas issue generally – as published in recent edition of Village magazine. 

Miriam Cotton

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