Lombard calls for Communicorp executives to appear at Dáil Committee

-   Senator Tim Lombard

The Chairperson and Chief Executive of Communicorp should appear before a Dáil Committee to explain the selective banning of journalists from its radio stations, a Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator and Cork South-West candidate, Tim Lombard, said: “Communicorp is operating a blanket ban of all journalists and contributors from the Irish Times and have extended the ban to include journalists from new online news venture, The Currency.

“This, in my opinion, is an unprecedented and dangerous ban in a democratic society.

“Some of Ireland’s most accomplished and diligent journalists are now banned from all Communicorp stations and my question to Lucy Gaffney and Adrian Serle is simple – why?

“I will be writing to the clerk of the committee to invite both Ms Gaffney and Mr Serle to appear before the Oireachtas Communications Committee to discuss this issue.”

Senator Lombard said, “I want to stress the excellent content and work of many Communicorp journalists. They have contributed greatly to holding people, authorities and those in power to account. Communicorp journalists make an immense impact on Irish journalism but I feel they have been let down by this dangerous policy.

“Freedom of speech and the inclusion of differing views in our media is essential in a modern democracy.”

“I am also concerned about the reach of this ban as Communicorp currently operates a news supply contract for several other independent radio stations across the country. I would really like to know if any other individuals or entities are banned from the airwaves, for example any politicians or groups?”

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