Letter to President Trump on his visit to Ireland - Seamus Dooley NUJ

5 Jun 2019

Dear President Trump,

When you visit Ireland you will meet many NUJ members.

Don’t be surprised if Irish reporters or photographers are less deferential than you may wish or if they undermine attempts to stage-manage media opportunities.

You will be accorded respect, of course, and we expect the same from you.

Like so many colleagues around the world, I have been shocked by your relentless public attacks on journalists.

I want to take this opportunity to call on you to end your war on the media. You have helped create a climate of fear and given licence to others to attack media workers.

Journalists are not the enemies of democracy. It is our function to speak truth to power.

It is only when journalists are bullied into silence that tyranny flourishes.

Our own president, Michael D Higgins, is very fond of quoting the injunction of a Welsh media commentator Raymond Williams: Journalists should always “be the arrow, not the target”.

I hope you don’t mind me suggesting that you reflect on that quotation.

Séamus Dooley, Irish secretary, National Union of Journalists, UK and Ireland