Irish Times wins sources protection over Ahern digouts

In that other Supreme Court, the Dublin one, justice has been served by denying the Mahon Tribunal the chance of interrogating Irish Times editor Geraldine Kennedy and correspondent Colm Keena on the sources of newsbreaks about Bertie Ahern’s notorious “dig-outs.”

The five judge court yesterday found the High Court devalued journalistic privilege “so severely” in its decision it had, as a result, failed to strike the proper balance between the rights of the tribunal to protect its private investigative phase and the journalists to protect the apparently anonymous source of the information

Although Bertie is still sorting out his tax liability two years on, it looks as if he’s got away with a singeing rather than complete immolation like Charles Haughey, suffering nothing worse than a slightly premature resignation, nicely ahead of the big crash.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London