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Rabbitte denies 'calling in newspaper editors' to complain about coverage

The communications minister flatly denies a Sunday Independent report that editors had been “called in”.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER Pat Rabbitte has flatly denied reports that he had “called in” the editors of some of Ireland’s newspapers in order to scold them for persistently critical coverage.

The Sunday Independent had reported last month that Rabbitte, attending a business lunch in April, had told investors that editors had been summoned to tackle what had been described as ‘a continuous cycle’ of government criticism.

The piece, published on May 20, cited Rabbitte as having told the event that the editors had been called in, but that they had explained that they were also under business pressures.

The paper quoted him as remarking: “The more you try to influence them the worse they get.”

In response to written parliamentary questioning from Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, however, Rabbitte bluntly dismissed claims that any such meetings had been held.

“I did not call in any newspaper editor on any date,” Rabbitte simply asserted, declining to elaborate further.

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The April event – hosted by Ernst & Young – was held under the ‘Chatham House Rule’, under which people in attendance are free to share the information they obtain but are not permitted to identify the person who revealed it.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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