Swing and a miss on sex abuse story

Presidential candidate Dana Rosemary Scallon. Not pictured- toys flying out of pram.

I hate having to agree with Dana, but sometimes something is right, no matter who is saying it.

The decision by certain media outlets to publish allegations of sexual abuse in her family has nothing to do with the presidential election, and probably should never have seen the light of day.

Crimes of a sexual nature are among the few in Ireland which warrant those involved remaining anonymous, and for good reason- there is little to be gained from dragging them across the front pages.

No doubt the editors will point to the best excuse in the world to justify themselves- “it’s in the public interest”.

It’s not. Now that the public knows the nature of the allegations, it seems to have little or no interest in finding out more.

Neither does it have any bearing on the presidential election. All the polls show that those planning to support Dana on polling day are statistically insignificant.

Every editor has choices to make regarding where to spend his resources; in dedicating them to such a story, it takes away from leads that are far more newsworthy – Mitchell’s deep impopularity, Gallagher’s Fianna Fáil past, the Labour Party’s lurch away from socialism and many more.

Instead, the papers have chosen to concentrate on an irrelevant story about an irrelevant candidate, and are in danger of becoming irrelevant themselves.

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