The Secretary of the National Union of Journalists has said he wants the fees for freedom of information (FOI) requests abolished, according to a report by RTE News.
Speaking at an Oireachtas Committee, Seamus Dooley said access to personal and public information was a feature of a modern functioning democracy, and while it may be a difficult argument to win, waiving fees was in the public interest.
Journalist, and especially freelance journalists have been able to make use of FOI requests to gain information that was thought to be in the publics interest.
Mary Raftery was an example of one such journalist who embraced FOI according to Dooley who added: "Who could argue that her work was not in the public interest".
He said the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) had represented Mary Raftery and continued to represent people like her throughout the country.
THE NUJ is opposed to commercial state companies being exempt from FOI, though it acknowledged that there were commercial sensitivities.
Committee Chair, Ciaran Lynch TD wondered if the NUJ had considered the idea of a registered user fee which would attract a one-off annual cost.
Mr Dooley said it was something that could be looked at.
Dooly also said that the perceived, aggravative and annoying user who manipulates the FOI system was an urban myth. However, he added that there was legislation in place to deal with such people.
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