Minister Sherlock extends olive branch to Simon McGarr

2 Apr 2012

Innovation Minister Sean Sherlock TD told Silicon Republic tonight that he has had a change of heart and wishes to extend an invitation to solicitor Simon McGarr to attend the Digital Rights Forum in Dublin’s Science Gallery.

Earlier today McGarr was quoted on about how he had been removed from tomorrow’s panel at the Minister’s behest.

Minister Sherlock earlier tonight tweeted: “Change of heart. Happy to have simon mcgarr on panel amarach. If he’ll accept. Time to make amends.”

Speaking with Silicon Republic the Minister said he took umbrage with McGarr over the Stop SOPA Ireland campaign because he felt strongly that the ‘SOPA’ tag was incorrect and was capable doing more damage to the country’s digital reputation as the campaign had claimed the statutory instrument could have done.

The campaign, which was launched by McGarr, TJ McIntyre and Michele Neylon attracted more than 80,000 signatures against the statutory instrument which was signed at the end of February.

He said that after reflection he did not wish to exclude McGarr. Sherlock is driving a new Copyright Review aimed at supporting the growth of digital media industry and innovation but at the same time protecting digital rights.

“I think it’s time for everybody to put the swords back in the scabbards, myself included.

“The only way tomorrow will be successful if we recognise the fact that one way or another Stop SOPA Ireland does reflect a civil society view

“I took grave umbrage at the fact that calling the statutory instrument ‘SOPA’ is a complete misnomer. However, there is no point in disengaging with the Stop SOPA Ireland campaign.

“The right thing to do is have Simon on the podium and see if we can work out a strategy where all members of online community work with Government on a consensus basis to remove any barriers to innovation,” Sherlock said.


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years