Advertisement
Boards are fundraising to help the people of Ukraine via the Red Cross at this horrific time. Please donate and share if you can, you will find the link here. Many thanks.

Gemma ODoherty fired from Irish Independent for questioning Garda Commissioner

  • 05-09-2013 11:51pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 724 jonsnow


    Gemma O'Doherty a 16 year veteran reporter and senior features writer has been fired from the Irish Independent recently by senior management. I know that the standard of reporters at INM is woeful but ODoherty is an old school exception.

    She has in recent years forced the gardai to reopen a murder file into the infamous Father Niall Molloy due to startling new evidence which she uncovered which pointed to a GUBU case of crazy proportions which involved collusion and/or incompetence by the Gardai, the medical profession, the DPP, the Judiciary and prominent members of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.This case really is bizarre and O'Doherty has been relentless and dogged in pursuing it.The cold case squad has now wrapped up and sent a file to the DPP who (surprise surprise have stated that no charges are to be brought against anyone). The Molloy family are not surprised and stated that given the behaviour by both bodies over the years they would never properly investigate a matter which would implicate them in gross misconduct. They are pushing for an independent enquiry.

    The Molloy affair matter has been rumbling on for years and has caused tension between O'Doherty and Irish Independent Editor and now INM Editor-in-chief Stephen Rae. Stephen Rae is the former editor of the Garda Review and is best friends with Paul Williams. He prizes good relations with AGS and since becoming Editor has moved the paper in a downmarket cops and robbers direction as well as pushing the GRA line in editorials.

    The matter came to a head recently with Gemma O'Doherty doorstepping Commissioner Callinans wife at the Commissioners home to confirm the name and address in relation to having penalty points wiped that a source had tipped her off about. She was rung minutes after by Indo management obviously tipped off by the commish who bawled her out for having the temerity in checking facts at the commissioners house. Stephen Rae called her a "rogue reporter". The Indo then sat on the story for a week until the source threatened to go to another paper. At this point the article was taken out of O'Dohertys hands and sanitised by senior management "on duty" "high level important meeting etc etc.

    A few weeks later in a management restructure involving one layoff - her - Odoherty was fired.This really is a frightening vista where one of the 2 major papers and the biggest paper group in the country is now so close to the Gardai that even questioning or doorstopping the Garda Commissioner about possible inappropriate behavior is seen as being "rogue". None of the main papers are going near this but there is a lengthy piece in todays Phoenix and broadsheet are also covering it.

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/09/05/going-rogue/

    Article about Father Molloy Murder

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/gemma-odoherty-truth-about-fr-molloys-murder-will-rock-the-state-28904708.html


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 34,788 ✭✭✭✭ krudler


    Journalist fired for being a journalist?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 15,863 paddy147


    Court Case and a nice payout for unfair dismissal perhaps??


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,970 ✭✭✭✭ syklops


    Is door-stepping where you camp out in front of someones home and wait until they are leaving the house to interview them?

    She could have door stepped him at work, but I suppose there were too many guards about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 724 jonsnow


    paddy147 wrote: »
    Court Case and a nice payout for unfair dismissal perhaps??

    My understanding is that they informed her in the "bad news" meeting that it had nothing to do with the Garda Commissioner and that it was because she hadn't adjusted to the "digital era". The NUJ have voted to protest the decision and she has lawyered up big time apparently.She obviously wont be a pushover.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,535 Jester252


    Maybe she was fired for improper conduct. She did doorstepping Commissioner Callinans wife at the their home in a matter that had nothing to do with her.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 724 jonsnow


    Jester252 wrote: »
    Maybe she was fired for improper conduct. She did doorstepping Commissioner Callinans wife at the their home in a matter that had nothing to do with her.

    newspapers don't view doorstepping and fact-checking as improper conduct. Its an essential part of the trade.inm of all media groups loves a good doorstop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 42,735 ✭✭✭✭ K-9


    jonsnow wrote: »
    newspapers don't view doorstepping and fact-checking as improper conduct. Its an essential part of the trade.inm of all media groups loves a good doorstop.

    I'd assume they'd have some type of guidelines on door stepping, dead relative that type of stuff, but this case seems odd.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,535 Jester252


    jonsnow wrote: »
    newspapers don't view doorstepping and fact-checking as improper conduct. Its an essential part of the trade.inm of all media groups loves a good doorstop.

    But she doorstep his wife who is not involved with the story. Can you see what wrong with that?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,486 ✭✭✭ washman3


    What are the chances of Paul Williams now doing a series on Garda corruption?:confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,381 ✭✭✭✭ Allyall


    Probably why Paul Williams only goes after the 'other type' of criminal..


    Needs more balls.

    EDIT:
    AAhhm you posted as i was typing..
    washman3 wrote: »
    What are the chances of Paul Williams now doing a series on Garda corruption?

    Also, the Politicians?

    New Breed wanted.

    Paul Williams has nothing, easy to chase the criminals (That are considered criminals) in the media all the time.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,681 ColeTrain


    Pity it wasn't Ian that they let go..


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,299 ✭✭✭✭ MadsL


    Another nail in the coffin of journalism in Ireland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,012 ✭✭✭ jill_valentine


    Jester252 wrote: »
    But she doorstep his wife who is not involved with the story. Can you see what wrong with that?

    Again, it doesn't matter if it feels weird to us, it's considered a perfectly valid tool of the trade.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,381 ✭✭✭✭ Allyall


    Again, it doesn't matter if it feels weird to us, it's considered a perfectly valid tool of the trade.

    As is a shotgun to a farmer..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,924 ✭✭✭ wonderfullife


    So basically a priest was murdered at a party in which a number of politicians, judges, lawyers were present. His life could have been saved except they called a priest instead of an ambulance and then the priest claimed to have not known 999 was an emergency number and had "no glasses" to read the phone book?

    He could have at least attempted an emergency number off the top of his head. like 666. He probably knew that one.

    No surprise she's fired though, basically went after the guards, the church and the legal profession in 1 article. Times may have changed but those groups still have plenty of power.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,012 ✭✭✭ jill_valentine


    Allyall wrote: »
    As is a shotgun to a farmer..

    Er... the point is that doorstepping is not something that would have gotten her fired in itself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,381 ✭✭✭✭ Allyall


    Er... the point is that doorstepping is not something that would have gotten her fired in itself.

    My maybe misplaced point is that, just because it's considered a 'valid tool of the trade', doesn't mean they should always use it, or that they should use it without care.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,535 Jester252


    Again, it doesn't matter if it feels weird to us, it's considered a perfectly valid tool of the trade.

    Is it also valid tool to ask someone not involved with the story to confirm it?
    We don't know what happened at the time. If anyone living on the property that is doorstepped by a journalist, salesman, jehovah witness etc. and they can tell them to leave and the doorsteper must do so without another word.
    Anything said by the doorsteper after been asked to leave is can be considered harassment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,381 ✭✭✭✭ Allyall


    Er... the point is that doorstepping is not something that would have gotten her fired in itself.


    I think i get you.

    You are saying that she shouldn't have been fired because many have done it before her?

    Then i agree.

    It doesn't make it right, and it actually, in more ways is worse because of who is involved, but...


  • Registered Users Posts: 724 jonsnow


    Jester252 wrote: »
    But she doorstep his wife who is not involved with the story. Can you see what wrong with that?

    Firstly the Irish Independent Management team stated that she was being fired for not keeping pace with the digital era and that it had nothing to do with the Garda Commissioner. If they are horrified by her behavior in doorstepping the Commishs wife why not just say so.Methinks they protest too much.

    Secondly are the Independent now banning doorstepping entirely on a point of principle???I seriously doubt it.

    Thirdly in all the cases of doorstepping people that could ever happen this is surely one of the least intrusive.

    "Im Gemma ODoherty from the Irish Indo could you please confirm that 22 made up street is the home of Garda Commissioner Callanan."

    "Yes it is"

    "thank you very much"

    Until the facebook age it was standard practice for journalists to approach the familys of recently deceased relatives including children to ask for photos.Distasteful perhaps but standard practice and not viewed as improper for journalists.

    Finally ODoherty was following a very serious story about the abuse of power by the head of the Irish police and security service. If that inconvenienced his wife very slightly that is unfortunate but it was necessary to safeguard the pursuit of a vital story which spoke truth to power and ultimately strengthened democracy.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,221 Ugo Monye spacecraft experience


    Jester252 wrote: »
    But she doorstep his wife who is not involved with the story. Can you see what wrong with that?

    Believe me, if that was the grounds for firing, every indo journalist would be sacked


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,824 vitani


    You'd wonder if anything in this country ever really changes. When you look back at all the corruption and scandal that's taken place over the past 50 years, it's easy to shake your head at how it was 'allowed' happen, but it's never really stopped, has it? This country is really being ran by an old boy's club who are just out to serve their own interests.

    Fair play to Gemma O'Doherty and I hope she's instrumental in getting the full truth of the Niall Molloy case out. But I'm not looking forward to all the headshaking and handwringing from our politicians when it eventually is released, along with promise after promise of how it won't be allowed to happen again.


  • Registered Users, Regional North Mods Posts: 15,127 Mod ✭✭✭✭ kerry4sam


    jonsnow wrote: »
    ...

    The matter came to a head recently with Gemma O'Doherty doorstepping Commissioner Callinans wife at the Commissioners home to confirm the name and address in relation to having penalty points wiped that a source had tipped her off about. ...

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2013/09/05/going-rogue/

    Article about Father Molloy Murder

    http://www.independent.ie/opinion/analysis/gemma-odoherty-truth-about-fr-molloys-murder-will-rock-the-state-28904708.html
    Jester252 wrote: »
    Maybe she was fired for improper conduct. She did doorstepping Commissioner Callinans wife at the their home in a matter that had nothing to do with her.

    Something similar happened to me when someone made an unsubstantiated threat against a family member of mine, whilst he was 'doing his job' and apparently that is okay, eventhough it had nothing to do with my family member!

    Here in this instance, it is not allowed to approach a family member. Interesting, real interesting.

    I doubt this will make headlines in the future though, just a hunch I have that all will be kept quiet but I'll try to follow this.
    Thanks for sharing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 463 ✭✭ Christ the Redeemer


    Looks like we'll be dropping further in the Reporters without borders index next year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 915 hansfrei


    OP, you're not suggesting there's some link between the gorthai, the DPP, judges, political parties like FF & FG are you? You're not suggesting these people operate within some kind of system amonst themselves are you? A rogue cabal kind of thing? That couldn't be.......


    ;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,000 mitosis


    Why was she questioning the wife on a matter she would know nothing about? What form did the questioning take, was it aggressive?

    My point is, we don't know why she was fired, all there is is supposition.

    From the first link (my bolds)
    The Phoenix is today reporting O’Doherty’s editors were apparently furious with her approach regarding Callinan, with then editor Stephen Rae apparently telling O’Doherty her behaviour was that of a ‘rogue reporter’


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,805 Setun


    I've just been listening to RTE Radio 1's series "Whistleblowers" over the last few weeks (well worth a listen!), and I was struck by the typical anti-whistleblower tactics that emerge no matter the subject, authority, or location. Gemma O'Doherty's story as outlined above is textbook - ignore, deny, discredit.

    It's a shame that such journalistic traits is the exception - the ability to be ruthlessly pursue the reality of a news story, even when you know it will disturb many powerful people, is a heroic thing imo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 329 ✭✭ BlatentCheek


    Sad to see but hardly surprising that the Indo would toss out anyone trying to make a story that would discredit the Gardai, judiciary and a party in government. It's always been a pro-establishment paper and it's taken a very tabloid direction in the last decade or so; they want articles on celebrities, makeup and what Fat Freddie did last week not serious journalism that threatens to "rock the state". Presumably they'll replace her with someone like Niamh Horan.


  • Registered Users Posts: 463 ✭✭ Christ the Redeemer


    hansfrei wrote: »
    OP, you're not suggesting there's some link between the gorthai, the DPP, judges, political parties like FF & FG are you? You're not suggesting these people operate within some kind of system amonst themselves are you? A rogue cabal kind of thing? That couldn't be.......


    ;)

    Yea. That's crazy talk. :pac:


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 24,883 ✭✭✭✭ My name is URL


    mitosis wrote: »
    Why was she questioning the wife on a matter she would know nothing about?

    Isn't that all part and parcel of investigative journalism? Not every single one of the people you question are going to know about or be involved with whatever it is you're investigating. She may have been seeking leads rather than answers.

    I agree that not enough is known at present to form a conclusion on the matter, but if it's a case that she was fired simply for following her journalistic instinct then questions need to be asked.


Advertisement