1530/2023 Ms Bernadette Linnane and Gript.ie
The editor of Gript.ie appealed the decision of the Press Ombudsman to the Press Council of Ireland on the grounds that the procedures followed in making the decision were not in accordance with the published procedures for submitting and considering complaints.
Ms Linnane complained that an article headlined “‘Senator: Rise in abortion for down syndrome shows that ‘something has happened in our country’” published by Gript.ie on 30 January 2023 breached Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy) and Principle 2 (Distinguishing Fact and Comment) of the Code of Practice because it attributed comments to a named Senator which she said were inaccurate, and it presented opinion as fact.
PRESS OMBUDSMAN’S DECISION
The Press Ombudsman decided to uphold Ms Linnane’s complaint.
The Press Council considered the appeal at its meeting on Wednesday, 7 June 2023
The appeal is based on one ground only, namely that the procedures followed by the Press Ombudsman in making her decision were not in accordance with the published procedures for submitting and considering complaints.
The appellant has not identified any published procedure which has been breached. The published procedures allow the Press Ombudsman to refer a complaint directly to the Press Council. Whether to exercise this option in any given case is a matter entirely within her discretion. It is not a matter relating to published procedures which can properly form the basis of an appeal to the Press Council.
The Press Council has therefore decided to reject the appeal.
It also takes the opportunity to express its full confidence in the Press Ombudsman’s integrity and professionalism.