Geldof advocates ‘complete freedom’ of press at TCH annual dinner

HUMANITARIAN and rock star Bob Geldof was the guest speaker at Thomas Crosbie Holdings’ annual dinner last night and said that despite being a victim of the paparazzi culture he still believed in absolute free press.

However, he feels that the cynical approach media organisations now take as a matter of course had little merit.

He said: “I absolutely believe in the complete freedom, it sticks in my craw to say it but I do believe in that. (But) the pervasive corrosive cynicism is not for the greater good, it just isn’t.

“You see this awful cynicism about every thing, we are right to be sceptical about stuff, we are permanently right to be sceptical about politics, business, organised religions and accepted thoughts.

“Scepticism and the requirement to ask the question ‘Why?’ is right but cynicism is different.”

The function, which took place in the company’s headquarters on Cork’s South Mall, was attended by dignitaries including Cork’s Lord Mayor Michael Ahern and Lady Mayoress Eileen Ahern.

Mr Geldof is the keynote speaker today at the TCH- sponsored 2006 Irish Family Business Conference in University College Cork.

The title for the conference is Prevention Is Better Than Cure — Avoiding Conflict Through Good Governance.

This year’s conference will be opened by Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister Micheál Martin.

This is the second major conference organised by the John C Kelleher Family Business Centre at UCC. Its first national conference on sustaining the family business was addressed by former British Prime Minister John Major.

UCC Family Business Centre director Dr Joan Buckley said: “Bob Geldof has shown leadership and built a number of successful ventures and he retains an 8% share in Ten Alps Communication. People are interested in him and what he has to say.

“There is no equivalent conference in Ireland. It is estimated that 70% of businesses are family run.

“People from all over Ireland have shown interest in this conference.

“It will examine one of the more thorny aspects of family business and I believe we will gain useful insights from all the speakers into ways of avoiding conflict,” she said.

A number of special presentations were made at the TCH dinner by company chairman Alan Crosbie.

The former editor of the TCH-owned Down Democrat, Terry McLaughlin received a special presentation.

Two partners in the Cork legal firm Ronan Daly Jermyn, Nicholas Comyn and Richard Martin, were given presentations to mark the company’s 10-year relationship with Irish Examiner owner TCH.

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