AddThis SmartLayers

Reporter to first media moderator

A former evening newspaper journalist is stepping down from his role as Ireland’s first media moderator.

Professor John Horgan retires next month from the post of Press Ombudsman after a seven-year stint – bringing down the curtain on a 50-year association with newspapers.

The 73-year-old has been a man of many parts – beginning his writing career in 1962 as a reporter on the now defunct Dublin-based Evening Press.

After spells with the Catholic Herald and The Irish Times, where he was sent to cover the war in Biafra, John switched careers and went into politics.

In the late 1960s he was elected a Labour senator and then MP in Ireland’s lower house before serving as an MEP in Brussels for two years until 1983.

Academia was his next port of call – first as a lecturer and then Professor of Journalism at Dublin City University until his retirement in 2006.

The following year he became Ireland’s first ever Press Ombudsman after being appointed to the position by the Press Council of Ireland.

The body was launched in January 2008 – partly to deal with the growing incidence of ever more costly litigation and to head off the threat of a new privacy law.

Daithi O Ceallaigh, Irish Press Council chairman, led tributes to the Press arbiter at a reception to mark his impending retirement, thanking him for his “pivotal role in developing the Irish system of voluntary regulation underpinned by statutory recognition.”