When you’re reporting your source’s point of view, its PR, not journalism

There was a rumour you see. And as far as the Guards were concerned, it was a believable rumour, despite the complete absence of any forensic evidence. So the Guards mobilised, and swooped down on innocent families. Not this week in Tallaght and the Midlands, but 17 years ago, in Donegal. The case led to […]

What they didn’t say

Sometimes, it’s the questions they don’t ask. Retired superintendent Tom Connolly told the Smithwick tribunal today about his time in Dundalk, and the day two RUC officers where killed in an IRA ambush returning from the station where he worked. Days later, press reports suggested a Garda “mole” fed information to the IRA. Tribunal barrister […]

Ink and the law

The Smithwick tribunal will not provide overnight transcripts to lawyers because it will cost too much, tribunal chairman Peter Smithwick ruled today. Last month, 200 Words reported Smithwick’s decision not to publish daily transcripts, and the protests that followed from several legal teams. Today, having considered their arguments, Smithwick confirmed his earlier decision. He said […]

Justice…shall be administered in public

Overnight transcripts from the Smithwick tribunal may not be made available to the public or to the various legal teams granted representation at the inquiry into alleged Garda collusion with the Provisional IRA. “The transcripts will not be put on the internet,” counsel for the tribunal said at today’s brief public hearing. They would also […]

The death of journalism

Earlier this week, I spent half a day sitting in a district court. The district courts can be worthwhile if you’re a freelance journalist, but they’re a bit of a lottery too. Get in well with some of the staff, and you’ll get a tip off if there’s something interesting coming up. On Monday, I […]