District Court president hits out at inaccurate reporting
The president of the District Court has hit out at media outlets for carrying “inaccurate, incorrect, unbalanced and incomplete” reports on road traffic cases.
The remarks, thought to refer to widespread reports indicating only 40 per cent of drink driving cases before District Court judges led to conviction, were made during a retirement sitting for Judge William Early, The Irish Times reports.
The Department of Justice maintains that the accurate conviction rate for drink driving is between 85-88 per cent.
It has said that the contradictory figures published by the media are misleading because they include adjourned and struck out cases.
Judge Rosemary Horgan, speaking in the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin, is reported to have said: “The public is entitled to expect high professional standards from journalists and editors.
“Inaccurate, incorrect, unbalanced and incomplete reports of either the facts of an individual case, or a statistical trend in a particular category of cases, is both a disservice to public interest and to public debate.”
Tommy Broughan TD, who was given the misleading figures in response to a parliamentary question, said the Courts Service of Ireland had failed to provide “full information” about how many cases were adjourned or struck out.
He told The Irish Times: “Therefore, an analysis was completed of the information provided by the Courts Service.”