The North has slipped off media agenda says Micheal Martin

Northern Ireland has slipped off the agenda of the media, and that has caused "real damage" according to Michéal Martin TD.

The Fianna Fail leader was speaking yesterday as part of the ‘Bias in the Media’ panel at UCC’s annual Journalism Conference.

“There are Northern correspondents who work hard and file important stories but there is an obvious editorial disinterest which I believe enabled a governmental disinterest which has caused real damage.”

Mr. Martin also stated an example of such “damage” being Sinn Fein currently offering Irish citizens a "radical alternative” in the Republic despite it’s current actions in Northern Ireland.

“The same party is in government in the North and this week has implemented an austerity package the like of which they would be organising demonstrations against if it was tried in Dublin.

“If we don’t give time and space to covering the North we only risk damaging breakdowns and we’ll fail to hold accountable a significant political party.”

He went on to say that there was a growing disinterest in “hard policy initiative” in previous governments, which on launch day would be dominated by current issues and important policies would be condensed to a few minutes.

These policies, he claims, could have helped avoid the crash if they were put on political agendas.

“Dáil Éireann spent more time debating greyhound doping than the regulation of banks. There was no motion calling for less spending or higher taxes

“So we are far from what the Taoiseach called the 'Democratic Revolution of 2011’ as things are actually worse, with the agenda more tightly controlled than ever by government."

Other speakers at the "Bias in the Media" panel were Irish Examiner columnist Michael Clifford, Kevin Doyle, News editor for the Irish Independent, Hugh O'Connell, political editor for and Louis Cashell from the Cork Independent. 

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