It looks like the battle for control of Independent news and media (INM) is reaching its end game.
This morning an anonymous buyer bought 13 million shares in the group.
RTE business editor, David Murphy, said the buyer couldn’t be Dermot Desmond, Denis O’Brien or the O’Reilly’s because they would have to notify the Irish Stock Exchange of any such purchase.
All I can say is – bless his innocence.
If Denis O’Brien and his pal Dermot Desmond win the battle the first casualty, apart from the current CEO Gavin O’Reilly, is likely to be the Editor of the Sunday Independent Anne Harris.
Harris wrote a trenchant article recently drawing attention to the dangers for press freedom if Denis O’Brien gains control. She expressed particular worry about O’Brien’s close relationship to Fine Gael.
The reason all this matters to the Sunday Independent is that we may be about to lose one of the most important tools of transparency – press freedom.
Take a government with an obscene majority, allow a media mogul who has influence – O’Brien makes no secret of his desire for influence – with the dominant party and before long it may not be just an appearance of the dictatorial.