Councillor apologises for Gazette mock-up

by Gazette Reporter

DUBLIN Gazette Newspapers were at the centre of a political storm this week when local councillor John Bailey (FG) produced a mock-up version of The Dun Laoghaire Gazette that promoted himself among his constituents.
Cllr Bailey personally delivered a leaflet with a mock-up of the newspaper to the homes of approximately 300 people.
The mocked-up version of The Dun Laoghaire Gazette contained several changes to a story about Amgen and the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), including moving it from page two to page one, cutting and pasting paragraphs from the original story, putting a banner across the story reading “Bailey – The Local Man Putting People First”, and highlighting his own comments in red.
All of the changes put Cllr Bailey in the best possible light, and made it appear that The Dublin Gazette brand politically endorsed Cllr Bailey.
Dublin Gazette Newspapers is happy to clarify that this is not and never has been the case.
When contacted by The Gazette and made aware that this practice represents breach of copyright, Cllr Bailey stopped distribution of the leaflets. However, many of them had already been posted to his constituents.
When first contacted by The Gazette, Cllr Bailey said: “I printed it [the mock-up] on the back of my leaflet.  I always try to promote the paper and I don’t see what the big deal is.”
When made aware that the changes he had made to the original piece and his unlawful use of The Gazette’s title and design constituted a breach of copyright, Cllr Bailey said: “I created the leaflet last Friday [April 26] because I considered the piece in The Gazette [on Amgen and National Rehabilitation Hospital] to be very accurate and gave all sides of the story.
“I have used extracts from the Gazette once or twice before and it was never an issue.”
When questioned about whether Fine Gael headquarters was aware of his activities in this regard, Cllr Bailey said: “No, they did not know. It’s up to me what I do on the ground.
“I wasn’t aware of it [any breach of copyright] when I made the leaflets but when I was [made] aware I withdrew it immediately.  I absolutely apologise unreservedly for any trouble caused.  I have no problem with apologising.”
A local resident, who received the material from Cllr Bailey, said: “I find this, to say the least, distasteful, as it is disrespectful, and a misrepresentation of the event.”
In a statement to The Gazette, Fine Gael party headquarters said: “The images and content featured on leaflets distributed by Cllr John Bailey were not sourced, conceived or conceptualised by Fine Gael. Cllr Bailey acted on his own volition with regard to this matter.
“Our understanding is that he ceased distribution of this literature and has apologised unreservedly to Dublin Gazette Newspapers.  The distribution of this type of literature is not something Fine Gael would condone or support.”

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