INM

  • Minister Denis Naughten says he's sorry the controversy over his conversation with a lobbyist from Independent News & Media has taken up 4 days of attention in the Dáil.

    The Roscommon-based Minister insists he did nothing wrong when he told the PR Executive that the proposed INM takeover of Celtic Media was likely to be referred to the Broadcasting Authority for scrutiny.

    It's alleged Mr Naughten’s intervention was insider information and possibly in breach of stock market rules, as it led to the conversation being shared with Denis O'Brien and no other INM shareholder.

    Minister Naughten again apologised in the Dáil this morning:

  • The Communications Minister Denis Naughten says he sincerely regrets expressing a personal opinion on what would happen with the proposed INM takeover of Celtic Media.

    But the Roscommon-based Minister insists he did nothing wrong.

    He's come under criticism for allegedly telling a representative of Independent News and Media, Eoghan O'Neachtain, that the proposed merger with Celtic Media would be referred to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for scrutiny.

    The conversation took place before the Minister made that information public, and it's argued this would have given INM a competitive advantage, in breach of stock market rules.

    But Minister Naughten claims he said that sending it to the BAI was likely, not guaranteed:

    Meanwhile Fianna Fail is not calling for Denis Naughten’s resignation, but wants the Taoiseach to explain why he’s happy with the Minister’s explanation of the matter.

    Last night, Leo Varadker said Minister Naughten had given a clear explanation of what happened, but Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says the issue is very serious, and the Taoiseach has to explain why he’s happy with Minister Naughten’s explanation.

  • Minister  Denis Naughten is addressing the Dáil this evening in relation to claims that he had discussions with a public relations executive acting for Independent News and Media about his decision to refer the company's proposed takeover of Celtic Media to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

    In his speech, Mr Naughten said he did nothing wrong and did not give inside information.

  • The Communications Minister says he acted to the letter of the law when it came to the proposed takeover of the Celtic Media Group by INM.

    Denis Naughten confirmed he had a conversation with someone representing INM about referring the matter to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, before he made it public knowledge that that's what he would do.

    However the Minister says he didn't express a definitive view during that phone call and a referral to the BAI was just one of a range of options.

    Speaking in the Dail Minister Denis Naughten denied he passed insider information to Independent News and Media, contrary to suggestions in a court affidavit filed by the state's corporate watchdog.

  • The Communications Minister Denis Naughten remains under pressure today over the controversy surrounding  a proposed merger of Independent News & Media and the Celtic Media group.

    It's alleged that the Roscommon-based Minister told a representative of INM about a Broadcasting Authority review of the merger deal - two months before he made it public.

    This has led to claims of insider information being given to Independent News and Media, and its largest shareholder Denis O’Brien.

    In the Dail yesterday evening, Minister Denis Naughten says he discussed the issue in a personal capacity, and denied any wrongdoing.

     

    However,  Fianna Fáil's Communications Spokesperson Timmy Dooley took issue with the Minister discussing the issue with a PR executive working for INM in a personal capacity.

     

    Last night, the Taoiseach Leo Varadker said Minister Naughten had given a clear explanation.