The Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, is to bring proposals to Government within months for the establishment of an Independent Press Council.

Speaking at a Law Society of Ireland seminar on privacy, the minister said, the press council would comprise newspaper owners, journalists and others representing the public interest.

Mr McDowell told the seminar he did not believe any government should police the media.

He said the Irish media is far less intrusive than media in other countries such as Britain. However, he said sections of the Irish media fall far short of many international standards when reporting on individuals.

Mr McDowell said the proposed press council would be suitable for all the country’s newspapers to subscribe to it.

He said the council would be given statutory powers by the Oireachtas and would be first port of call for people whose privacy has been unfairly invaded by newspapers.