Clarification on the Jobstown “Riot” as reported by Irish Independent

Clarification on the Jobstown “Riot” as reported by Irish Independent

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On Saturday evening the Irish Independent published a story online depicting the protest in Jobstown as a riot, and to illustrate this they published a picture of a teenager throwing a brick at a Garda car. In their hurry to put the story out they used a single photograph that, to everyone on the internet when saw it, looked like a badly photoshopped fake, and it set the internet and complaints line alight. The firefighting exercise started that very night.

However we are happy to report that the Independent assured us over the weekend that this was not the case and subsequently changed their online story using different photos, and for good measure another paper in their news group published raw video footage of of the incident. Subsequently we are happy to remove our original story. We are pleased that they have put out the full corroboration as it reassures us that our media have not sunk to the depths of media in other countries who do use similar tactics; for instance here is just one of many, this one involving the BBC.

We hope the furore we were unwittingly part of on Saturday night highlights to the media that they must be more careful with their selection of content when they publish stories like this, especially in this time of 24/7 news and the constant rush to get stories published. We imagine that someone in the Indo got a slapped wrist for that lack of judgement in this tech savvy world.

….. and it is a big however…

Although the photo is from a real event it does not negate the propaganda element of the published story, even in the rewritten version, which does not represent the day’s peaceful events. The article tries to represent the protest as a riot, it was not. They used the following caption under the offending photo (now omitted) which they place right at the top of their story:

“A rioter throws a brick at a garda car during a Anti Water charges demonstration in Jobestown yesterday”

Saying “a rioter” gives the automatic impression that he is one of many. From our knowledge and experience of media we do not believe this is accidental and it deliberately misrepresents the entire protest as a violent mob.

This incident happened after the protest (which included a sit down protest which is not mentioned) when the protesters had mostly moved off, and after the Gardai had sent in the riot squad; which begs the question of inflaming tensions and causality. The incident was the solitary act of one stupid teenage individual who was not part of an organised protest group. DDI, like the Right2Water campaign, abhor violence and hope this person is dealt with in accordance with the law by the Gardai. We also encourage water protesters to stay peaceful, root out agitators, and to remember that your real protest is not on the streets, it is in your peaceful non compliance with the charges.

We do believe however that some of the press are deliberately focusing on this to paint the protests as violent. The agenda seems to be to try to turn public opinion away and to deter families from attending protests so they are easier to deal with by more forceful policing. Nowhere in their article do they say “In an unrelated (or isolated) incident…”.; quite the opposite in fact, they built the whole story around arrests, hardly mentioning the legitimate protest that took place.

Just to clarify the Independent’s improper use of wording:

– in criminal law is a violent offense against public order involving three or more people. Like an unlawful assembly, a riot involves a gathering of persons for an illegal purpose. In contrast to an unlawful assembly, however, a riot involves violence.

This was one foolish kid after a thousand peaceful people had finished their protest and the Independent should retract these insinuations and make a separate report to repair the damage done to the Right2Water’s reputation.

This is not the first time this has happened. Only two  weeks ago the paper published a ludicrous story claiming the water protests were infiltrated with what they call “dissidents”, a word that simply means “disagreeing”, but a word the media have scandalised using it to insinuate violence, murder and bombings. To reinforce their point they printed a photo of a riot next to the headline, however the riot was actually going on in Brussels, not here.

This was not accidental either, it is a well researched sciuence called neuro-linguistic programming and is used in advertising, presentations and media, especially news. It causes the viewer to falsely associate completely unrelated things through clever wording, proximity or even colours. Here it was used to make the reader associate the water protests with murderous “dissident” [sic] terrorists and violent rioters.

We also had completely false reporting that 3 Gardai a day were being assaulted by water protesters and yet no evidence exists for these claims and no arrests have been made in 3 months of protests for assaulting Gardai. This again was an attempt at sabotage by parts of the media because any journalist worth his salt would always check his sources to make sure that story was provable. At the same time the media continually failed to report on the multiple assaults taking place daily by the other side of this dispute.

We call on the Press Council to investigate this apparent bias and breach of their codes of practice

Yes the media has a job to do and should report on incidents like this, but it appears there is an unbalanced agenda in certain parts of the press trying anything to discredit the water protests, while ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

Right2Water is a national peaceful movement and it will remain that way despite attempts by individuals to create havoc. We trust the Gardai will act in the correct manner in dealing with individual agitators, and not make the mistake of resorting to the unlawful use of force for collective punishment.

We take nothing for face value in the news and we will continue to be vigilant in our analysis. We have shown many times already how the truth is dressed up, concealed and re-worded for public consumption by politicians; and how those words are reported verbatim and without analysis by supportive media.

Our personal experience as DDI with has shown us how stories are edited down to create a pre-determined negative message from some quarters; it’s what we call news creation. We expect it now because we realise different media outlets have different political leanings. Our Ben Gilroy’s own experience with RTE, in which a 2 hour interview was edited down to 2 half sentences used out of context to create the impression of a lie that didn’t exist, is case in point and is subject to a future court action.

We will continue to look for the story behind every story and bring it to you. Eventually one of two things will happen; either the press start reporting the whole truth, or the people will stop reading the press. Let’s see which it will be.

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  • Posted November 17, 2014


    Boycott the Independent. Liverpool did it with the Sun for lying and it has suffered ever since.

    • Posted November 17, 2014

      john mannion

      indo has less pictures

  • Posted November 17, 2014

    Peter Jones

    here’s another example of what the media are capable of!

  • Posted November 17, 2014


    apparently it was a garda who threw the brick.

  • Posted November 17, 2014

    Donal Murphy

    Do you only allow comments that agree with your agenda? If it disallowed, can I get some feedback on why?

    • Posted November 17, 2014

      Admin D

      You get all replies printed Donal.
      If you are talking about your comment on the last article they all went when it went

  • Posted November 17, 2014

    Pat McGrath

    If you aspire to being better than the dish-rag Indo and its stablemate red-tops, please do better than to copy and paste legal definitions from American on-line sources – “in criminal law is a violent offense against public order involving three or more people.” What’s wrong with giving proper Irish legal definitions of riot / rioter in proper English, spelled correctly? To do otherwise is to damage your credibility IMO of course.

    • Posted November 17, 2014

      Admin D

      Sorry Pat but that was from the Encyclopedia Britanica actually

  • Posted November 17, 2014

    Joe Burns

    DDI’s response to this, by jumping to a conclusion that the image had been PhotoShopped and this response above, doesn’t inspire any confidence in DDI.

    Do you seriously think that the Irish people need conspiracy theorists running the country? Our economy is in freefall because of FG, FF, L & SF. While I support the concept of Direct Democracy, I have lost all confidence in your ability.

    When I saw the photo I searched for the photo online and searched by the photographers name. I found a video made by the Sunday World which could not have been faked and clearly showed one thug throwing a brick.

    My response on FB was that one brick thrown by one man does not a riot make.

    Your (Almost) detraction of the story, when you were clearly in the wrong does nothing for your credibility. This is not the first time that DDI has posted misinformation and jumped to conclusions. If you make a mistake, at least have the decency to put your hands up and say you made a mistake. Since you cant be honest or credible, you should not waste your time trying to get elected.

    The fact that the Indo claimed a “Riot” based on 1 incident, would be sufficient reason to make a complaint to the Press Ombudsman.

    • Posted November 18, 2014

      Admin D

      Exactly our point, claiming riot is misinformation. Bringing in the riot squad is also an abuse of power. These things MUST be highlighted to people before people become desensitised to them as the become ever more common, if you hadn’t noticed that is the trend

  • Posted November 18, 2014

    Shea Fitzgerald

    The photo was real, the guy threw the brick, the Tániste was illegally detained, by more than one person.
    You were involved in the furore by shooting your mouth off while not in possession of the facts. That’s not unwittingly and in your article above you hope that the media learn some kind of lesson out of this regarding the way they report on events? Your position on this is at the very least, critically unwise. You really should be aware that continuing to defend the indefensible makes you look thicker than that brick!
    By the way, how do you know the brick thrower was a teenager? First, he wasn’t there at all…photoshopped in…now HE is a teenager that had no connections to anyone? How do you know these things?

    • Posted November 18, 2014

      Admin D

      the newspaper said he was a teenager
      However the face is deliberately blurred out for no apparent reason
      Having seen a copy where the face is not blurred he certainly wasn’t a teenager

      • Posted November 18, 2014

        Shea Fitzgerald.

        No admin, YOU said it. I quote from your article above:
        “The incident was the solitary act of one stupid teenage individual who was not part of an organised protest group.”

        Now you say “he certainly wasn’t a teenager”.

        • Posted November 19, 2014

          Admin D

          Do you have any point to make or are you just trolling?
          Did you read the newspaper report?

          • Posted November 20, 2014

            Shea Fitzgerald

            No, not trolling. I didn’t read the Irish Independent article in the paper but I became aware of it and the subsequent controversy through numerous other means. I was brought here by a Facebook link.

            My point, I suppose, is that your credibility as a political entity from this whole episode is very suspect since you seem to pick and choose the facts you believe and make statements based on these “facts” without checking whether or not they are true AND when you are shown to be incorrect, are not capable of admitting that. Why should someone at the Indo be slapped on the wrist for reporting factually? (rhetorical)

            I won’t be voting for you and since I can’t find an un-subscribe at the bottom of this page, I would be obliged if you could ensure that my email address is expunged from your database.

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