Second three-year appointment for Press Ombudsman Horgan


PRESS OMBUDSMAN Prof John Horgan has been reappointed to the post for a second three-year term.

Prof Horgan said yesterday he was happy to accept the offer by the Press Council of Ireland to renew the appointment.

He said he looked forward to continuing and building on the work that has been done by the council and his office over the past three years.

He said the system that had been created in Ireland for press regulation – based on an independent Ombudsman and Press Council, and on voluntary co-operation by the print media – was unique, and had strengths that were not to be found elsewhere.

“The degree to which editors, in particular, have co-operated with its activities is in no small measure responsible for the fact that public knowledge of, and confidence in, the new system, has been growing steadily, and has created a sound foundation for the future.

“The formal recognition of the council and of the office of the Press Ombudsman by the Oireachtas earlier this year is a further strengthening of our role in the future. In this context, I would also like to pay a particular tribute to the work and commitment of the councils outgoing chairman, Professor Tom Mitchell, and to our staff, whose energy and dedication, I think it is fair to say, has contributed in no small way to establishing these new structures on a sound basis.”

Prof Horgan was first appointed as the Press Ombudsman in September 2007.

The public made more than 350 complaints to the Press Ombudsman last year, five of which were referred to the 13-member council, which takes decisions on cases of significance or complexity about the press referred to it by the Press Ombudsman.

Earlier this year the council was given statutory recognition under the Defamation Act. As a result, its reports and decisions have qualified privilege.