* Irish Justice Minister Alan Shatter is reviving
abandoned privacy legislation
* Richard Desmond taking 'immediate steps' to shut down
Irish Daily Star
* Media mogul is furious as he was not consulted before
it used 13 pictures
* Row as co-owner Independent News & Media wants it to
Angry: Richard Desmond is taking immediate
steps to shut the Irish Daily Star after it
printed topless photographs of the Duchess
Ireland is set to introduce new privacy laws after the
Kate Middleton topless photos scandal.
Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, has
taken the dramatic decision to revive abandoned
legislation amid the continued fallout from the holiday
images of the Royals.
His comments that some of the country's print media place no value
on a right to privacy come amid reports the Irish Daily
Star could be shut down after its decision to publish
‘It is clear that some sections of the print media are either
unable or unwilling in their reportage to distinguish
between prurient interest and the public interest,’ Mr
The Government will reopen privacy legislation first proposed
several years ago. Mr Shatter said some print media
place ‘perceived financial gain’ ahead of ‘any
principled freedom of expression’.
More than 100 jobs would go in Dublin if the Irish Daily Star shut.
Its co-owner Richard Desmond reacted furiously to the
decision to print the photos that have caused anger in
Mr Desmond, whose Northern & Shell group also owns the Daily
Express and Daily Star in the UK, has said he will take
'immediate steps' to close the paper because it splashed
13 pictures of the nude Royal across its pages.
The decision to print was made by the Irish Daily Star's editor
Michael O’Kane, who did not inform Mr Desmond that they
would use the images taken with a long lens in Provence
earlier this month.
'I am very angry at the decision to publish these photographs and
am taking immediate steps to close down the joint
venture,' Mr Desmond said.
Controversial: The front page of the Irish
Daily Star on Saturday printed the pictures,
which has put the future of the paper in
New laws: Alan Shatter, the Minister for
Justice, Equality and Defence, has taken the
dramatic decision to revive abandoned
legislation amid the continued fallout from
the holiday images of the Royals
'The decision to publish these pictures has no justification
whatever and Northern & Shell condemns it in the
strongest possible terms.'
Even if the paper survives, as its other owner Independent News &
Media (INM) would like, Mr O'Kane's position looks very
precarious after the Palace said his decision was
'motivated by greed'.
If the paper is saved from the chopping block it will probably lose
the right to use the Daily Star name.
'On behalf of INM, I wish to offer my deepest apologies,' INM chief
executive Joe Webb said. 'We are launching an internal
inquiry to ensure there will never be a repeat of this
breach of decency.'
The Irish Daily Star's newsroom is said to be gripped with 'fear,
panic and dismay' today.
Relaxed: Kate and William are continuing to
enjoy their tour as they enjoyed a boat ride
to Tavanipupu in the Solomon Islands
Surprisingly relaxed: Prince William and
wife Kate wave to the crowds on a truck
decorated as a canoe as they depart Honiara
International Airport on the Solomon Islands
All smiles: Kate and William's Diamond
Jubilee tour has been a huge success despite
the problems that have dogged the couple
The National Union of Journalists in Dublin criticised Mr Desmond's
threat to shut down the Irish operation and accused him
of double standards on the basis of some of his business
interests, including the adult Television X channel.
Seamus Dooley, the general secretary of the Irish NUJ, said the
media mogul's threats are just to 'ingratiate himself
with the British establishment in the post-Leveson
Under fire: Irish Daily Star Editor Mike
O'Kane defended his decision to publish the
photos calling them 'very tasteful'
The Daily Express has been blasted for its coverage at
times, particularly some of its stories on the
disappearance of Leicestershire child Madeleine McCann.
Independent News and Media, which owns 50 per cent of the paper,
has issued a grovelling apology but may still support
It believes full closure would be 'disproportionate'.
All British papers have refrained from publishing the photographs,
including the Sun, the only British title to run
pictures of William's brother Harry cavorting naked in a
Las Vegas hotel last month.
Michael O’Kane, editor of the Irish Daily Star, sought to defend
his decision as his future looked increasingly in doubt.
‘The Duchess would be no different to any other celeb pics we would
get in, for example Rihanna or Lady Gaga,’ he said.
‘She’s not the future queen of Ireland so the only place this is
causing fury seems to be in the UK, and they are very,
very tasteful pictures.’
The Irish Daily Star did not refer in today's edition to the
decision to re-run pages from French magazine Closer,
the first to publish the images.
But it did carry photographs and a story about the latest stage of
the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's trip to the Solomon
Fun: While the storm over the topless
photographs of Kate continued to rage
elsewhere, they spent the day smiling and
joking as they scaled a giant tree
In their stride: William and Kate stroll
along a canopy bridge in the rainforest
determined not to let the embarrassment
derail their foreign tour
Ireland's Press Ombudsman said at the weekend that no
complaints had been made to its office over the Irish
Daily Star. The office does not normally discuss
complaints before investigations have been completed.
An investigation by the newspaper's Irish-based shareholder,
Independent News and Media (INM), is being launched
although it has already warned that it viewed
publication as a 'poor editorial decision'.
Labour MP Steve Rotheram, a member of the Commons’ culture, media
and sport committee, said: 'Publishing these pictures in
Ireland was totally unacceptable.
'Newspaper owners should act responsibly. Desmond may say he didn’t
know about all this but is it right for such a
proprietor to continue to own a British newspaper after
this? I’m not convinced it is.'
VIDEO: Irish Daily
Star Editor defends printing the pictures...