Statement by Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
As I have already stated publicly, I am appalled at the abuse suffered by Máiría Cahill and the subsequent horrendous ordeal that she had to endure. The actions of Roy Greenslade in seeking to undermine Ms Cahill by questioning her motives, while failing to reveal his own allegiances, were abhorrent.
I have reflected on the serious issues raised by Máiría Cahill in her engagement with both myself and An Taoiseach. I have also noted the apology issued by Alan Rusbridger, today’s statement by the Future of Media Commission and correspondence which I received this morning from Mr Rusbridger in which he states that he was not aware of Roy Greenslade’s blog post when it was published nor of subsequent legal correspondence with The Guardian on behalf of Ms Cahill.
In discussions with An Taoiseach, who in turn has discussed the matter with the other coalition party leaders, we have, on balance, come to a view that Alan Rusbridger should remain on the Future of Media Commission.
We accept that this will come as a disappointment for Máiría Cahill and we have not arrived at this conclusion lightly.
The Future of Media Commission is an independent group, established by Government last year following a commitment in the Programme for Government. Its members were carefully selected for the international, national and local experience and perspectives they bring to the Future of Media Commission. Its Terms of Reference relate to how public service aims should be delivered by the media in Ireland over the next ten years and ultimately to chart a course for the future of a strong and vibrant media in Ireland.
This work is critical and The Future of Media Commission has already met eight times, including three thematic dialogues in which hundreds of citizens have participated, and accepted approximately 850 submissions as part of their public consultation. It is due to conclude in the coming months.
The Future of Media Commission has stated that the issues of media transparency and standards that Máiría Cahill has raised will continue to form part of its ongoing work.