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, which is published today.

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.