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Friday, July 19, 2024

Chay Bowes, who was involved in the campaign to leak information about Leo Varadkar, has sold his shareholding in The Ditch


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Chay Bowes, the campaigner, is no longer a shareholder in The Ditch, the notorious website responsible for the departures of two junior ministers and an inquiry into An Bord Pleanála. The Companies Registration Office’s annual return, filed on April 7, reveals that in February, Bowes’ one-third stake in Ditch Media was transferred to a company called Clonard Consulere Gentium.

Bowes, along with writers Eoghan McNeill and Roman Shortall, co-founded the media venture in 2021. All three were directors of the business, until Bowes backed away from that role last year. He has now also given up his shareholding, his stake in the business having been transferred in February to Clonard Consulere Gentium, according to the annual report. This company is controlled by Adam Connon, General Counsel to Paddy Cosgrave’s WebSummit.

Cosgrave has been a vocal supporter of The Ditch and is a friend of Bowes, having helped to publicise the Leo Varadkar revelations. This case involved the disclosure of a confidential agreement between the Government and the Irish Medical Organisation regarding a new GP contract, which was leaked to Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail, a personal friend of Varadkar’s and the president of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP). An Garda Síochána launched an investigation into the case, although no action was taken. The Taoiseach has since apologised for his actions.

Despite its size, The Ditch has become successful since its launch in 2021, specialising in breaking news stories based on information gained from public sources such as land registry and planning documents. Its stories resulted in the resignations of Robert Troy (FF) and Damien English (FG).

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