Newspaper denies photograph ‘exposed’ footballer

FOR the second time in a week, an action photograph which appears to expose a Gaelic footballer’s private parts has been published in a Kerry newspaper.

However, The Kerryman last night rejected suggestions the black and white picture in yesterday’s issue exposed the private parts of Ronan O’Connor.

Last week, the Kerry’s Eye newspaper had a photograph in its sports section exposing the private parts of leading Kerry player Marc Ó Sé. Copies of the paper were withdrawn from sale later on the day of publication.

The Kerryman photograph also appeared in its sports section. Kerry panellist Ronan O’Connor is pictured during a county championship match for South Kerry against East Kerry in Killarney last weekend.

However, the paper said in a statement last night it did not regard the photograph as offensive and there was no need to withdraw it. This newspaper and sections of the media in Kerry received phone calls about the photograph yesterday but Kerryman editor Declan Malone said they had received no complaints.

“We are satisfied Ronan O’Connor is not exposed in the photograph, but if there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind that’s regrettable in itself,” he said.

“Given what happened last week with the picture of Marc Ó Sé in Kerry’s Eye, which caused a lot of anger in the community, people are extremely sensitive about this subject.

“For that reason, newspapers need to be very careful when publishing photographs of people engaged in sport.”

Mr Malone said he had closely examined the Ronan O’Connor photograph on a screen which showed it up much clearer than in print. He said they were satisfied it was either a shadow on his togs, or the hand of another player.

Asked if players should wear a type of gear to ensure they were not exposed, he said he did not think it was the responsibility of players who were just playing a game.

“It is the responsibility of people who take photographs and those who use the photographs afterwards to make sure respect is shown to players.”

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