Comments by Gerry Adams are ‘veiled threat’ to free media

Independent News & Media chairman criticises SF leader for New York comments

Last week's remarks by Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams about the Irish Independent represent a veiled threat to the entire free media in Ireland, according to Leslie Buckley, chairman of Independent News & Media.

Speaking at a business event in Dublin last night, Mr Buckley said that the role of a free media in our democracy was of tantamount importance. “A free press ensures government and public officials are held accountable, the public is informed and citizens are given a voice.”

He said the remarks by Mr Adams in New York were at best careless and at worst insidious.

“His comments show a complete lack of acceptance of the importance of a questioning, probing, authenticating and in some cases, sceptical media,” said Mr Buckley.


He said the reference by Mr Adams to Michael Collins sending Volunteers into the Independent to hold the editor at gunpoint and destroy the printing press was made in a complete historical vacuum.

“I believe this to be a veiled threat by Mr Adams not only to journalists at INM but the entire free media on this island, whether broadcast, online or print,” he said.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times