Irish Press Council responds to Leveson report

Statement from the Chairman of the Press Council of Ireland, Mr Dáithí O’Ceallaigh, on the release of the report from Lord Justice Leveson.

“I note the publication today of the recommendations of the Inquiry by Lord Justice Leveson into the culture, ethics and standards of the print media in the United Kingdom.

I have no doubt that Lord Justice Leveson’s proposals will be widely reported and discussed in Britain, to which country his proposals apply.

They also, however, raise general issues affecting both the freedom and the accountability of the print media which will be of interest and relevance for anyone who believes in the importance of the role of the media in democratic societies.

The significance of the model of the Press Council of Ireland and of the Office of the Press Ombudsman has already been widely commented on in the discussions that preceded the finalisation of Lord Justice Leveson’s report.

While no system of media accountability is perfect, I am satisfied that the experience of the structures which have existed in Ireland since 2007 demonstrates that we have a firm foundation here on which to build for the future.

The findings of the Leveson Inquiry will be made available to the Press Council and will, insofar as they may be relevant, also inform the Council’s ongoing improvement of its own practices and procedures in order to enhance its effectiveness as a service to the public. This is not only because of the central importance of greater transparency and accountability in the media, but also to defend the freedom of the press at a time of great commercial and technological challenges.”