Credit: Gript

Broadcaster slams RTÉ for publishing anti-lockdown protesters addresses after arrest

Broadcaster Niall Boylan has slammed RTÉ for publishing the addresses of anti-lockdown protestors after they were arrested on Saturday and subsequently charged in court. 

He claimed that while what RTÉ had done was perfectly legal, a” line of decency” had been crossed. The popular presenter said that “printing the names and addresses of two women aged 68 and 70 who were outside their 5k and others who attended a protest in Dublin” was tantamount to “naming and shaming pensioners”.

“I call on Gardai, Judges, politicians and Journalists reading this, have you got mothers, brothers sisters?” Mr Boylan wrote on Twitter.

“Would you arrest them for going for a walk or protesting for what they believe in? Where has all our decency gone when we are naming and shaming pensioners or indeed anybody for breaking the guidelines which already carry a fine,” he said.

“I ask RTÉ to remove this story and have some decency. I ask the Gardai, Judges, politicians and media to stop vilifying mostly normally law abiding citizens who are frustrated watching their lives waste away, Did any of these people assault, injure or cause harm to the Gardai and if so I accept what has happened but from what I read this wasn’t the case. Please please please can we be stop and be kind to each other in these very challenging times,” he said.

He asked RTE to edit out the people’s names and addresses. #MediaBeKind

Some who responded on Twitter did not agree, arguing “that’s rubbish. We conduct criminal cases in public in this country. Anyone charged will have their names published, end of story.”

Others pointed to what they saw as the hypocrisy of some of the media.

It was also suggested that publishing the information would be used against those being charged with breaking lockdown restrictions. “They gave the names, ages, addresses and occupations of other anti-lockdown protesters a few weeks back. I believe a dentist and an engineer or plumber were among that group. Then you had calls from certain types for the individuals to be sacked,” wrote one commentator.

Free speech advocates said that it was “unnerving” that “state-owned media” were “naming and shaming people protesting state imposed restrictions on freedom.”


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