Ernest Dempsey — The hearing of Lennox, the dog held in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is just a few days ahead and it will be decided in this hearing whether the dog’s owner can have another appeal against the dog with no history of aggression but which has been ordered for putting to death by a court in Belfast. A bad sign showed today is in the famous paper Belfast Telegraph regarding Lenox’s trial.
The paper apologized to the Belfast City Council (BCC), i.e. people ripping the harmless dog from his family and labeling him dangerous, for publishing an article titled “So, what’s poor Lennox done to deserve to die?” this year in January. It would have been convenient for all readers and writers to have a look at the article and see how it approached the topic of Lennox’s imprisonment by the BCC. But it turns out that the article page is no more there—either temporarily suspended, or what seems more likely, permanently deleted. We surely can guess from the title and the “clarification” published today that in the earlier article, the paper questioned the dog’s arrest and subsequent order of execution.
The question making the title of the article So, what’s poor Lennox done to deserve to die? speaks for itself. But today’s apology for publishing the article has come as a big disappointment for advocates of free and unbiased media as the paper has openly accepted the baseless allegation that Lennox is dangerous. It reads that since the evidence of the Council was accepted in both the Magistrates Court and the County Court and also that Lennox on account of its breed was a threat to the public. In other words, a paper that once in the near past had questioned the injustice done to a harmless dog has suddenly accepted the controversial decision of the magistrates as valid. This leads animal rights advocates to ask whether this paper has any integrity and boldness to stand by its word.
It is particularly disappointing to note that the original article page is no more visible. For Belfast Telegraph, freedom of speech may not matter. But the fact stands that Lennox was and remains innocent and harmless. However, recently some reports of the intimidating methods of operation of the BCC have come to surface wherein a woman in London has made public the harassment inflicted on her by the BCC officials while the court in Belfast is running a one-sided trial of her without any justification.
Supporters of Lennox are still campaigning for the dog’s release against the authoritative abuse of the BCC by its officials. Lennox’s supporters have already been demanding denying Belfast the Olympic Torch. Belfast Telegraph’s withdrawal of truth and criticism has landed on the spirit of advocates of freedom as a dark cloud. But it is hoped that they will not stagger in their support for Lennox and will remain loyal to the greater cause of justice to the helpless forms of life that are tortured by those who don’t know the meaning of the word “justice”.