3983/2019 - Headline and The Sunday Times
Decision of the Press Council
The newspaper appealed the Press Ombudsman’s decision to the Press Council of Ireland on the grounds that there had been an error in the Ombudsman’s application of the Code of Practice. It cited a number of reasons in support of its appeal.
At its meeting on 1 February 2019 the Press Council considered all of the reasons put forward by the newspaper in its appeal.
The Council decided to reject the appeal on the following grounds:
- the Press Ombudsman’s decision was valid under Principle 5.4 of the Code and he did not act outside his remit;
- the article was a report of a suicide within the meaning of Principle 5.4;
- there was no onus on the Ombudsman to consider the absence of a complaint from the family or other persons connected to the prisoner;
- in accepting that the words complained of were an accurate reflection of an extract from a statutory report and noting the newspaper’s explanation for their inclusion, the Council concluded that while it was necessary to describe what killed the prisoner in the article, the inclusion of the detail as to how constituted excessive detail of the means of suicide in the context of Principle 5.4 of the Code.