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Prime Time under fire for gun law coverage

I HAVE been an Olympic target shooter for the past 14 years. I’ve competed, coached and run competitions. I’m a licensed judge.

I’ve represented my country internationally, and my sport to the Government.

I say this not to brag, but so that readers will understand I am proferring informed opinion when I say the coverage of changes in the Firearms Act on RTÉ’s Prime Time (May 20) was rubbish.

The most law-abiding section of Irish society — and the only section where every single person has been deemed to be safe and responsible by the gardaí — has had its name dragged through the mud by the flagship current affairs show of the national broadcaster.

This is reprehensible.

Where was the interview with a representative of the firearms section of the Department of Justice or the garda superintendent responsible for the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act changes to firearms legislation? Where was the coverage of the recent firearms consultative panel conference, where representatives of the shooting community, the Department of Justice and the gardaí all met to discuss the changes in the firearms legislation and how we would work together to implement them safely and efficiently?

And what on earth possessed a newspaper security correspondent whose every single technical ‘fact’ was grossly in error, from the range of a .308 rifle to the characteristics of a 9mm pistol. Since when is it responsible journalism to state it is only a matter of time before someone decides to shoot at a schoolyard?

How can anyone call this fair and balanced journalism?

Mark Dennehy


Co Wicklow


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