A Judge has heaped praise on the role the media play within the judicial system, saying it would be ‘unthinkable’ if they weren’t present to report on cases.
Judge Conal Gibbons was responding to a defendant’s claim at Letterkenny District Court that he was portrayed badly in sections of the media after it was reported that he was not present in court.
The defendant missed the court date because his mother had died.
However the judge responded by saying reporters are entitled to report on anything they hear in court, and said he doesn’t believe they receive the respect and recognition they deserve.
Judge Gibbons told the court, “The media play a vital role in the administrative side of the justice system in Ireland.
“It’s vitally important that courts have a media presence to report on cases.
“I don’t think they receive the recognition they deserve for the role they play, and how important they are to the entire judicial system.”
Judge Gibbons admitted that in some cases defendants, solicitors and judges can be angered at the media for their interpretation of certain cases.
But he insisted that shouldn’t dilute away from the importance of having them present in court.
Judge Gibbons said, “Can you imagine the general public having no idea what goes in here?
“It’s unthinkable to think of nobody knowing what goes on in the courts, it’s of public interest.
“As I said, I think the local media play a huge role, and I think they’re very professional at what they do.”