Amnesty Event Falls Flat

The Amnesty Event at An Feile failed to sparkle.
And certainly no fireworks.
The Panel chaired by Patrick Corrigan
Allison Morris…Irish News BBC Investigative Reporter.
Kevin Magee….BBC Investigative Reporter
Barry McCaffrey….a reporter with “The Detail” .
What we had was virtually a re-hash of last years event. the narrative exactly the same …that newspapers are under-staffed and under pressure, that there are too many press officers in government departments.
Questions from the audience, particuarly one about Leveson and phone hacking and a question which speculated that some aspects of the media were merely parroting British propaganda during “Conflict” were too easily side-stepped.
What I fail to understand is that Amnesty, which effectively sat on its hands during the years 1969-1998, pleading Amnesty “policy” of the local office not getting involved in a local dispute.
Except for some passing references to the difficulty of journalists working in totalitarian countries and a reference to an exhibition downstairs on Afghanistan….there was no international dimension.
Worryingly Paddy Corrigan spoke of this event on INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM as being an annual event.
I honestly dont see a connexion between the important work that Amnesty does and the relationship between local journos and Stormont.
Yet one interesting fact.
Journalists are now under threat of physical violence at riot scenes. The PSNI are not overly sympathetic and there is no real organisation behind the riots.
In the good old days, a journalist could turn up at a riot scene in the Lower Shankill and be seen chatting to the likes of Johnny Adair and effectively get treated well by the mob.
Now that there is no organisation, covering a riot has become dangerous.

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8 Responses to Amnesty Event Falls Flat

  1. wolfe tone says:

    Did Allison Morris shed any more light on her spat with Anthony McIntyre at all????

  2. factual says:

    To be fair to Amnesty I see they’ve called for a special inquiry into Omagh bomb:

  3. factual says:

    I see that Alan in Belfast….


  4. Kev O'Higgins says:

    I was wondering if you had any further detail on your claim;

    “Amnesty “policy” of the local office not getting involved in a local dispute.”

    I am reading elsewhere the current local Director of Amnesty writing in relation to the mass murder at Omagh in 1998;

    “backing their call for an independent public inquiry into the circumstances leading to the bomb and the investigative failures that followed.”

    Has the policy you mentioned ceased? Is there any material that confirms the existence of such a policy?

    btw: I entirely agree with the current local Amnesty Director calling for such an investigation. I am just surprised that a hands off approach was previously in place and would appreciate clarification as I cannot source material on the policy you mention.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for this comment.
      LOCAL Amnesty never got involved in Norn Iron.
      As I recall, Radio Free Belfast (in which more than one law student was involved) broadcast the phone numbers of local Amnesty members asking that listeners phone hem re Internment.
      One of the numbers reguarly read out was a Unionist MP and later Government minister.

      Amnesty dodged the issue.
      Nothing to do with them….they were concerned with China, South Africa, Cuba, etc.
      It was lawyers from other countries which got involved and lawyers from here were forming other alternatives to Amnesty….CRJ for example.
      While occasionally I have contributed to Amnesty, I think their record here is deplorable.

      Paddy Corrigan is calling for an Inquiry into Omagh.
      Paddy was not around in the 1970s.

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