THE IRISH TIMES has apologised for a controversial Martyn Turner cartoon, calling its publication an “editorial lapse”.
In an apology published today, the paper said that Turner “took an unfortunate and unjustified side-swipe at all priests, suggesting that none of them can be trusted with children”.
The cartoon, which was removed from the paper’s website, depicted three priests standing next to each other; the priest in the centre was holding a paper with ‘Children’s First Bill’ and ‘mandatory reporting’ written on it.
The Bill will make it mandatory for certain professions and post-holders to report incidents of harm and the risk of harm
The Irish Times’ apology today said the paper ‘regrets and apologies for the hurt caused’.
This has, unsurprisingly, caused considerable offence and we regret and apologise for the hurt caused by the cartoon whose use in that form, we acknowledge, reflected a regretable [sic] editorial lapse.
The apology notes that the views of columnists and contributors are “largely sacrosanct”, but that under obligations placed on the paper by the Irish Times Trust, “there are ground rules”.
“Sometimes, however, things fly in under the editorial radar,” they said.
Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin had said that “many priests” were hurt by the cartoon.