Editor suspended over Kate nude snaps

Published Monday, 17 September 2012
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The editor of the Irish Daily Star has been suspended pending an investigation into the publication of topless photographs of the Duchess of Cambridge.

Editor suspended over Kate nude snaps
Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge visit Tuvanipupu Island (© Getty)

The publication's Dublin-based co-owners Independent News and Media confirmed on Monday night the suspension of Michael O'Kane.

The announcement was made just hours after Ireland's Justice Minister Alan Shatter said he was reviving abandoned privacy laws on the back of the scandal.

The controversial pictures appeared under the headline "Angry Kate to sue over mag snaps" in the paper on Saturday, but were not carried by the Northern Ireland edition.

Earlier a threat to close the Irish Daily Star after it printed the topless photos was branded "over the top" by the National Union of Journalists.

On Saturday co-owner Richard Desmond condemned the paper's decision to publish the photographs and said he will be taking immediate steps towards closing it down.

"I am very angry at the decision to publish these photographs and am taking immediate steps to close down the joint venture," said Mr Desmond, chairman of publisher Northern and Shell, which co-owns the tabloid with Independent News and Media.

"The decision to publish these pictures has no justification whatever and Northern and Shell condemns it in the strongest possible terms," he added.

A spokesman for Independent News and Media also described the publication of the pictures as "regrettable and in poor taste".

However general of the journalists union, Michelle Stanistreet, said closing down the Irish Daily Star would be "callous", uncalled for, and could put upwards of 70 people out of work.

"This is an over the top reaction which should be reconsidered calmly and with consideration of the full implications for Irish journalism and for editorial diversity," she said.

"There is no justification for putting the livelihood of workers at the Irish Daily Star in jeopardy because of disagreement over an editorial decision of this nature.

"It is a callous and crude attempt by Northern and Shell to protect their UK commercial interests with no regard for the livelihood of 70 Irish workers".

The photographs of the Royal couple were taken during their holiday in the south of France.

They were originally published in French magazine Closer, prompting the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to launch legal action for breach of privacy.

Chi, an Italian gossip magazine, has also published a 26-page spread with the topless photos featuring Kate.

A French court will decide on Tuesday whether to halt further publication of the photos.

The civil case, which was brought to seek damages and an injunction preventing further publication of the images which featured in Closer, was launched in Paris.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are continuing their Diamond Jubilee tour of south-east Asia and the South Pacific.

© UTV News
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15 Comments
Tommy Atkins in London, england wrote (741 days ago):
I wonder what would be the legal actions of Kate and Will idf these pics were published in an Islamic or non western country ? But let this happen in a country which hold the ideals of free speech and we are into the legal courts. Look she stoog topless near a public access road and she knew that there was always the possibility of being seen.
Peter in Dublin wrote (742 days ago):
Who else laughed when he said "what if a British tabloid printed topless pictures of Mary McAleese" LOLL you northeys crack me up :)
Ben in Dublin wrote (742 days ago):
These jobs will not be lost, its just threats from a guy that made his money in porn, thats wants a knighthood.(That wont happen) The Irish Star is half owned by a british company. Someone in the British media knew this was getting printed. It is her own silly fault. When/If she becomes Queen she will never live it down.
Tomc in Belfast wrote (742 days ago):
I've read many comments about "media rights" and "she should expect it", however, if a person goes out of their way to prevent public view, and another person decides to circumvent this and take a picture, then surely not only does this invade privacy, (of any person)it also facilitates voyeurism (as others view the picture and obtain sexual gratification from it). If someone creeped into your garden, climbed up a ladder and took a pic of you naked in the bedroom, that person would be arrested and brought before the courts. There are similarities - in so much as a device or equipment was utilised to overcome measures taken to prevent said pictures from being taken.
Claire in Belfast wrote (742 days ago):
Its doesnt matter whether they are royalty/celebrities or not...if a photographer took a picture of any woman topless without her permission then I think they have the right to sue. She was alone with her husband! His mothers life was destroyed, why cant they just leave them alone
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