An investigation dealing with corruption in the Irish government has resulted in two newspapers being charged with violating the law for threatening to reveal conclusions of the Moriarty Tribunal. The investigation deals with reports Irish businessmen paid Charles Haughey for his assistance in steering communication contracts in their direction. The tribunal’s initial report allegedly identifies up to 12 civil servants who were involved in awarding the contract to Denis O’Brien’s company. The documents the Irish Times and the Sunday Business Post were forbidden to print claims the judge in the does not accept evidence given to him by civil servants in the case.
The essence of a free press is the ability to print information that will not please everyone. If the two newspapers are printing invalid information they would be subject to libel laws and prosecuted. But, preventing publication of information has no place in a free society.