Newstalk
Newstalk

18.10 17 Sep 2018


Share this article


The Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has expressed grave concern at the support for a ban on photographing Gardaí.

The view was expressed by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan in an interview on RTÉ radio on Monday.

Mr Flanagan said he was "favourably disposed" to introducing legislation to make it an offence to photograph Gardaí while they are undertaking their duties.

It comes after one of the Gardaí who policed a 'Take Back the City' housing protest last week was allegedly threatened after being named and pictured online.

Séamus Dooley, the NUJ's Irish secretary, said: "The National Union of Journalists would be strongly opposed to the proposed restrictions.

"I was surprised and disappointed by the support for such a proposal by the Minister for Justice and Equality Charles Flanagan.

"The NUJ condemns online abuse of any individual or group of workers.

"I would support the call by John Jacob, General Secretary, AGSI, for greater vigilance by multinational companies in monitoring and tackling online abuse.

"Gardaí and their families are entitled to protection from such abuse but an outright ban on photographing Gardai at work, as favoured by some representative bodies, would be an infringement on the fundamental rights exercised by the media, as enshrined by the Constitution and specifically protected under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights."

"It is vital that all organs of the State operate in an open and transparent fashion.

"Those who exercise authority must have a reasonable expectation of public scrutiny and this applies, in particular, to the Gardai and defence forces.

"It is inevitable that those who exercise great power over citizens should be subjected to the greatest scrutiny and should be required to meet the highest ethical standards."

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan talking to the media at the official opening of Kevin Street Garda Station in Dublin | Image: Leah Farrell/ RollingNews.ie

Flanagan's reply

In response, Minister Flanagan said in a statement: "I believe transparency is vitally important; I am on record as favouring Gardaí wearing body cameras.

"I also greatly value the role of the media in providing objective reporting.

"However, I am concerned about the public order dimension of Gardaí having multiple mobile phones thrust into their faces as they try to go about their policing duties.

"In my experience press photographers are professional in how they undertake their duties, they do not impede the Gardaí going about their work.

"This is regrettably not always the case where public order issues arise.

"The uploading of images of Gardaí undertaking their duties on social media and consequent threats and intimidation is unacceptable to me and that is why I am concerned."

The statement continued: "In the course of his interview this morning, the minister acknowledged the concerns which have been raised by Garda representative associations and specifically referred to the publication tomorrow of the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland, noting that the welfare and health of members was one of the issues which the report will address.

"At no point did the minister make any reference to any specific plans with regard to photography."


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

Up next

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP

YOU COULDN'T MAKE IT UP

22:00-22:30

Share

BEST OF THE HARD SHOULDER

BEST OF THE HARD SHOULDER

22:30-23:30

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

23:30-00:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF

FUTUREPROOF

00:00-00:15

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:15-07:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

BETWEEN THE LINES

BETWEEN THE LINES

08:00-09:00

Share

BOBBY'S LATE BREAKFAST

BOBBY'S LATE BREAKFAST

09:00-11:00

Share

ON THE RECORD

ON THE RECORD

11:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-18:00

Share

TECH TALK

TECH TALK

18:00-19:00

Share

TALKING HISTORY

TALKING HISTORY

19:00-20:00

Share

TALKING BOOKS

TALKING BOOKS

20:00-21:00

Share

UNDER THE COVERS

UNDER THE COVERS

21:00-22:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on