Seven complaints to the Press Ombudsman were upheld in 2021, including two relating to privacy issues around Covid-19.

However, one of the two Covid-19 complaints was overturned on appeal.

Another upheld complaint related to a story on school uniform policy at a school in Co Carlow. In that instance, the Press Ombudsman was critical of the newspaper's reliance on information gathered from social media.

The figures are contained in the Annual Report of the Press Council of Ireland and the Office of the Press Ombudsman.

In all, the Press Council of Ireland and the Press Ombudsman received 527 complaints in 2021, an increase of 50% over the previous year and the second highest number received in any one year.

Around 200 of the complaints related to coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Press Ombudsman Peter Feeney said the increase in complaints could be attributed to two factors, firstly, the number of complaints that referred to the reporting of issues relating to Covid-19 was approximately 200 while secondly, 50 complaints related to just three articles.

Mr Feeney said all complaints were completed within the target timeframes.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Future of Media Commission Brian MacCraith said it is "disappointing" that almost 12 months after completion of the commission's work, the report has not yet been released.

Speaking at the launch of the Press Ombudsman’s report for 2021, he said that while it is understood that the Government has had to deal with pressure and crises, including Covid-19 over the past 12 months, it is now time to act and he encouraged the Government to publish the report and its response to its 49 recommendations as soon as possible.

He also said he believed this will happen in the coming weeks.