Following legal issues between Trinity College’s student newspaper, clinic the University Times, and David Quinn of the Iona Institute the College Tribune now understands that matters have arisen between Quinn and Trinity News, who have received legal letters owing to their coverage of the affair.
Trinity News published an article in issue 7 of their paper in which they stated that the University Times had been threatened with legal action by the founder of the Iona Institute, David Quinn. This arose following the publication of two articles by the University Times that directly confronted the line of argumentation used by the Iona Institute in an online video entitled ‘The Case for Man/Woman Marriage’.
In their coverage of the incident Trinity News stated that; “after the release of the video, the Iona Institute’s Youtube account was temporarily shut down and then reinstated. Google stated that it was not shut down for reasons of censorship, a claim that has been contested by the founder of the Institute, David Quinn,” [emphasis added].
A clarification of the above statement was added on the 11th of February, which read; “This article initially stated that Mr. Quinn “contested” Google’s claim that the Iona Institute’s YouTube account was not closed for reasons of censorship. In fact, while he initially contested this, he later accepted that this was an “automatic procedure on their part.’”
The College Tribune now understands that Trinity News has come under fire from David Quinn in relation to their coverage of the controversy between him and the University Times.
In a reply, which was published in the University Times on 12th February, Quinn accused Trinity News of “dismissing” his concerns in relation to the articles, namely that the University Times had defamed him by effectively describing him as “a racist” who had “formed a ‘bigoted hate group’”.
It is understood that Trinity News were sent a series of legal letters from solicitors representing David Quinn. This is believed to have been the reason for the publication of a clarification to their earlier article relating to the problems between the University Times and the Iona institute.
If legal action is taken against Trinity News it will mean that both Trinity papers will have been forced to back down by Quinn in a single academic year. This may also have implications for other student media outlets and how they cover issues relating to Quinn and the Iona Institute.
Trinity News declined to comment on the issue. The Iona Institute were also contacted, but failed to reply by the time of publication.
~ James Grannell