Caribbean media has understandably been covering the FIFA scandal in detail as some of the major players are from those shores.
Yet there is a story that has gripped Ireland which has had little to nil coverage in the Caribbean. Given the person at the centre of the storm in Ireland the media in Jamaica et al ought to have covered it.
The story centres around Denis O’Brien (owner of Digicel), Irish Parliament (the Dáil) and the Irish media. Digicel is the major telecommunications giants in the Caribbean. O’Brien is regarded as one of the the wealthiest men in Ireland. So a significant player in the Caribbean. In Jamaica Digicel is a way life for some locals.
The past 2-3 weeks has seen a battle between Independent TD (Assembly member) Catherine Murphy and O’Brien with the media and the Irish Courts playing supporting roles. Murphy used her parlimentary privilege to disclose details of banking arrangements between O’Brien & Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) – formerly the Anglo Irish Bank & Irish Nationwide Building Society.
Lawyers for O’Brien argued in the courts that such banking arrangements should remain confidential. They argued/warned that Irish media should not report what was disclosed by Murphy in the Dáil. Although her comments have been reported widely in other countries.
“O’Brien’s legal team had warned reporters, including TheJournal.ie, following our publication of Murphy’s comments in the Dáil on Thursday that publishing the comments would be a potential breach of the temporary injunction obtained on 21 May.” – The Journal
The injunction has caused a major constitution crisis amongst Irish politicians and reporters on their right to report freely what is said in Parliament. The Irish High court last week clarified that the injunction was not to muzzle the media from covering what is said the Dáil.
The judge ruled that the O’Brien was entitled to have his personal banking arrangement remain confidential. This O’Brien explained in the Irish Times was his absolute right. Broacaster RTE will ask the High Court clarify the terms of O’Brien’s media injunction this Wednesday.
I am not questioning the rights or wrongs of O’Brien, Murphy. But I feel the story deserves some coverage in the Caribbean media due to the signifance and influence of O’Brien across the Western Hemisphere.
- Given O’Brien is one of the Caribbean biggest investors should the media there have ignored such a story?
- Is such a story newsworthy to Jamaicans?
- Digicel provides significant advertising revenue and sponsorship to most of media companies and causes in Jamaica. Was it a commercial decision by local media houses not to cover the story?
- Should the Jamaican/Caribbean media have reported the battle in the courts of their Irish counterparts?
Must be noted that O’Brien himself is the owner of numerous titles in Ireland including Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, the Sunday World, Dublin’s Evening Herald. Belfast Telegraph in Northern Ireland is also owned by O’Brien. They all covered the story in varying degrees.