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The Press Ombudsman is retiring later this year

John Horgan will step down from the role in September.

JOHN HORGAN, THE State’s first ever Press Ombudsman, is to retire from that position on 1 September, it has been announced.

The Press Council of Ireland confirmed today that it has been informed by Horgan that he intends to retire from the position he took up in 2007 later this year.

The Chairman of the Press Council, Dáithi O’Ceallagh, said today: “Professor Horgan was central to the establishment of the Office of the Press Ombudsman.

“The recently published Handbook on Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines containing a range of decisions made by him and by the Council in response to complaints under the Code of Practice is illustrative of his wisdom and sound commonsense, which draw on his wide journalistic, political and academic experience.

“He will be greatly missed, and both I and all the members of the Press Council are profoundly grateful to him and wish him well.”

Horgan is a former Labour Oireachtas member who served in the Seanad and the Dáil, as a TD for Dublin South, between 1969 and 1981.

He later became a lecturer in what was  to become Dublin City University, becoming its first professor of journalism in 1989, and is the author of several books on the media and politics.

Horgan said it has been an honour and privilege to serve as the country’s first ombudsman for the press and thanks staff for their support and the “vital commitment of the press itself”.

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He said: “All of us have shared the responsibility of setting up these new and independent institutions to underline the importance of public trust in the free press in a democratic society, and to promote best professional practice and accountability in newspapers and magazines.

“I am convinced that, whatever forms media may take in the future, our press will meet the challenges it now faces with courage and confidence, and in ways which will ensure the continuing benefits, to the community as a whole, of the best traditions of journalism.”

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Hugh O'Connell

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