Journalists 'intimidated' in 'Slab' Murphy polling row

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy arriving at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

GARDAÍ must investigate allegations that journalists and photographers were intimidated while trying to photograph Thomas 'Slab' Murphy leaving a polling station yesterday, the National Union of Journalists said.

Murphy cast his vote at a polling station in Co Louth before his sentencing for tax evasion at the Special Criminal Court in Dublin yesterday.

Séamus Dooley, NUJ Irish Secretary, said intimidation of photographers and reporters by associates of Murphy was "an affront to democracy".

He said he was concerned by reports that as Murphy arrived at the station one of his associates told a reporter and photographer sitting in a car that they could not take photographs.

"We understand that as a garda and an election official subsequently spoke to the media the man proceeded to take photographs of the journalists and their cars," he said.

"The NUJ deplores this attempt to intimidate journalists in the course of their work in reporting on a significant event."

A spokesman for An Garda Síochána said anyone with a complaint about a member of the force should contact the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.

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