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Ipso rejects complaint against The Irish News

Staff Reporter

THE Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) has rejected a complaint against The Irish News over stories linked to the Boston College oral history project.

Ed Moloney, a journalist who oversaw the project, complained to the new regulator that the newspaper had breached the editors’ code of practice in three articles published in February 2015.

The first two articles, by security correspondent Allison Morris, reported that Winston Rea, a former Red Hand Commando leader, had sought to stop police from gaining access to interviews he had recorded as part of the Boston College project, and that during the interviews he had given details about the 1999 murder of fellow loyalist Frankie Curry.

The third article, which reported that Rea had secured an order temporarily preventing seizure of the tapes, included a quote from Mr Moloney which said Rea had not discussed Curry's death or mentioned him during his interview.

Click here to read the full Ipso ruling

Mr Moloney complained that the newspaper had inaccurately reported that Curry was mentioned in Rea's interviews and that the reporter had not attempted to contact him. He also complained that a letter he sent to the newspaper had not been published in full.

However, Ipso decided not to uphold the complaints.

It found that the allegation that Rea had referred to the murder of Curry in his interview was presented as the newspaper’s “understanding” of the tape’s contents, based on information from its confidential sources.

It noted that since Mr Moloney had been unable to disclose what Rea had spoken about during the recordings, due to confidentiality agreements, it was unable to establish that the newspaper had created a "significantly misleading impression" of the tapes’ contents.

When asked to comment on the ruling, Mr Moloney said last night: "This disgraceful and illogical judgement is confirmation that Ipso is the newspaper proprietors' poodle. It should be boycotted until a truly independent monitoring body is established."

Irish News editor Noel Doran said: "It is striking that Mr Moloney, who brought the case to Ipso in the first place, is now calling for a boycott of that body. For our part, we strongly welcome the comprehensive adjudication from Ipso, which plainly represents a complete vindication of the important work of our valued colleague Allison Morris and indeed the overall coverage of the paper."

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