Dec 15, 2011

Daily Mail Editor-in-Chief responds directly to SU President

Dear Mr Bartlett

I am responding to your letter asking for an apology for the story which ran in the Irish Mail on Sunday which you posted on your website (but which has not yet arrived in my office).

Let me first be clear that as soon as this appalling error came to light, we ran an unequivocal apology in the Irish Daily Mail. It was positioned prominently on the news story we ran about Mr Mulrooney in Tuesday’s paper. So it is important to note that at the time the union passed a motion to request an apology, one had already appeared. This was not because anybody asked for it, but because it was clearly the right thing to do.


The apology will run again in this weekend’s Irish Mail on Sunday, on page 8 (where the incorrect story appeared) or earlier.

As we acknowledged in the apology, Sunday’s report that Mr Mulrooney’s body had been found was wrong. We deeply regret that it appeared and have since done everything we can think of to atone for the error.

On Saturday, there had been several reports from friends and associates of Mr Mulrooney that his body had been recovered. An article to this effect was prepared and checks with Gardai were made. Our reporter was then told by the garda that the information was incorrect. She consequently told our newsdesk that the story was not right and the search for Mr Mulrooney was on-going. When the Irish Mail on Sunday was going to press, and because of inadequate communication that the story was wrong, the first story was used.

There have been several inferences, including on the University Times website, that this story was somehow invented in this office for circulation advantage. I cannot stress too strongly that this is utterly wrong. There is nobody here who invents stories, and there is nobody here who would behave in such a callous and crass manner. I am very proud of the standards our papers maintain.

In this case we clearly fell well below those standards and are carrying out a detailed investigation to ensure that such a mistake does not happen again. The story should not have even been filed without proper confirmation, and the internal communication that it was incorrect should have been foolproof. I can assure you that we will put right the failings that caused this incorrect report to appear.

I am sorry that this error has caused upset and, on behalf of the newspaper, I want to express my sincerest apologies to you and any students who felt rightly aggrieved.

We have also personally made contact, through an intermediary, with Mr Mulrooney’s father to express our deepest regrets and our apologies to the family. In addition, on Tuesday we offered all of the services at our disposal to help in the search for Mr Mulrooney although of course that is sadly no longer needed. Our managing director immediately travelled to Cork to see if there was anything else we could do.

Both I and the Editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday have responded personally to any emails we have received. Had I received your letter, you would have had a response before now. As you know, as soon as your letter came to light on your website, you received a call from our marketing manager to explain the situation in detail, and what we had already done in terms of an apology.

I hope that our actions will go some way to meeting the concerns of the Mulrooney family and of you and your union. If there is anything else you or indeed any of the other students think we could do, please write to me personally. Once again, our apologies for this deeply regrettable incident.

Yours sincerely

Eric Bailey
Editor in Chief
Associated Newspapers Ireland

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  • S McM

    (Dictated not read – while chasing immigrants with a pitchfork)

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  • D H

    Pretty frank and reasonable.

    It’s never in a newspapers interests to print mistruths.

  • Stephen Murphy

    “There is nobody here who invents stories”

    It wouldn’t be the first time a rag like the Daily Mail fabricated an article now would it?

  • P D

    Newsflash. The Irish Daily Mail is run separately from the Daily Mail. It’s in Ballsbridge, the other is in England somewhere. Conflating the two oversimplifies things.

    • Stephen Murphy

      Pick up todays Irish Daily Mail and compare it with the English version and tell me that they are two completely separate entities. Aside from that, even if they were different, they still share the same gutter standards in journalism.

  • Órla

    “I am very proud of the standards our papers maintain.”


  • Jill

    What an ignorant comment. The London and Dublin editions of the Daily Mail are entirely different publications. The Irish Daily Mail is giving work to dozens of Irish journalists and seems to me to be very much an Irish paper. Regardless, Mr Bailey’s response is perfectly reasonable.

  • Rory

    The half decent thing to do would be for the reporter to apologise herself instead of a statement from the editor.

  • Norton Parker

    Although I think that the Mail is one of the few papers to report on the problems of immigration and crime in an honest and fair manner. Unlike the soft on crime soft on immigration crap that is passed off by the mainstream press and race carding passed off as journalism on TV. This was a massive error the reporter was clearly stupid not to do accurate research into the facts rather than repeating rubbish and rumour and calling it journalism. Plus the editor seems to have a upperty attitude in his reply I think he needs to just shut up and tell the journalist to beg the family for forgiveness. If the family refuse to accept the apology I would have her put on the nearest dole que, upperty bitch how dare she disrespect a working family in such a manner. She is obviously the kind of panties and suspenders corporate type whom think having a abrasive attitude, chewing on a pen and drinking in bars entitles her to think she is important. She is not, ordinary working people are better than her and this editor.