Power-play: when is a leak not a leak?

NIALL GINTY’S assertion (Letters, January 9) that it is the duty of our justice minister to root out the “miscreants” who are “freely leaking confidential and personal information” about the Taoiseach to the media raises fundamental questions about what ordinary people have a right to know in relation to those who exercise power on their behalf in a democracy.

It also requires a definition of “leak”.

For example, is confidential information put into the public domain that is favourable to a minister, or unfavourable to his critics, a leak. Is a minister’s political adviser, whose job is to do this and who also happens to be paid out of taxpayers’ money, a “miscreant” under Mr Ginty’s definition? Should powerful politicians control all the information and exclude the rest of us from knowing the bits that are inconvenient to themselves?

Anthony Leavy

1 Shielmartin Drive

Sutton

Dublin 13

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