Dublin killings: Kenny condemns threats to INM reporters

Media group says gardaí notified certain reporters of safety risk from organised criminals

Independent News & Media (INM) released a statement on Thursday evening saying a number of its reporters were formally notified by gardaí their “safety is at risk from organised criminals”. File photograph:

Independent News & Media (INM) released a statement on Thursday evening saying a number of its reporters were formally notified by gardaí their “safety is at risk from organised criminals”. File photograph:

 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has condemned threats reportedly made against two reporters at Independent News & Media (INM).

INM released a statement on Thursday evening saying a number of its reporters were formally notified by gardaí their “safety is at risk from organised criminals”.

Mr Kenny said the he deplores and condemns “any threat made to any journalist in this jurisdiction. One of the pillars of a functioning democracy is freedom of speech, and in any self respecting society journalists must be afforded the freedom to go about their jobs without fear of reprisal.

“Those who engaged in the recent killings on our streets will be brought to justice and no resource will be spared in doing so. The journalists at whom these threats have been levelled have our full support - as do all journalists bravely going about their daily duties.”

The threats have been issued following two gangland murders in Dublin.

David Byrne was shot dead in the Regency Hotel in Dublin last Friday, while Eddie Hutch was killed at his home in Dublin on Monday evening in apparent retaliation.

“The news today that gangland figures have issued death threats against Independent News and Media journalists is a very disturbing development, and is an unwelcome reminder of the callous murder of Veronica Guerin 20 years ago,” said Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Joan Burton. “I would like to offer my support to the journalists who have been subject to these alarming threats. I have no doubt that this must very distressing for themselves and their families.

“A free press is the cornerstone of a democracy, and any threat to an individual journalist is a threat to us all. Myself and my cabinet colleagues are determined to ensure that An Garda Siochana have whatever resources they require to tackle these vile threats.”

Gravely concerned

“We have learned with shock of threats against journalists working with INM,” said Séamus Dooley, Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ). “We are gravely concerned at this latest development, which follows the two recent senseless murders in Dublin.

“Journalists and media organisations will not be intimidated by such threats, which have no place in a democratic society. Our immediate thoughts are with those under threat and their families. No journalists should be placed under threat for doing their job.

“We remind all journalists to remain vigilant and to be mindful of their personal safety. Employers and editorial managers must continue to offer support, training and guidance to staff and freelance journalists covering dangerous situations.”