Defamation laws and social media the biggest threats to the press

330 complaints were made about the press in 2017, up from 261 the year before.

That's according to the Press Council of Ireland's annual report which also found that the number of upheld complaints were down compared to 2016.

The complaints related to articles published in newspapers, magazines and online publications, relating mostly to the invasion of privacy and inaccurate reporting.

Press Ombudsman Peter Feeney says there are three main threats to the freedom of the press in Ireland today: 'One is the defamation laws which are having a crippling effect on the freedom of expression and the press, the second is the power of google and Facebook etc. in sucking up so much of the online advertising revenue and the third is the ownership and the future viability of newspaper groups without consolidation'.