Friday 30 September 2016

'I could never campaign at RTE' - Charlie Bird will publicly campaign for equal marriage

Elaine McCahill

Published 10/04/2015 | 08:56

Retired RTE Journalist Charlie Bird, a supporter of the I'M Voting Yes.Ask Me Why campaign who hosted the launch by the Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality at the National Library of Ireland,Kildare street Dublin yesterday.Pic Tom Burke 9/4/2015
Retired RTE Journalist Charlie Bird, a supporter of the I'M Voting Yes.Ask Me Why campaign who hosted the launch by the Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality at the National Library of Ireland,Kildare street Dublin yesterday.Pic Tom Burke 9/4/2015

Former RTE stalwart Charlie Bird has revealed he is delighted he can publicly campaign for equal marriage as he no longer works at the national broadcaster.

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The former broadcaster's comments come after it was revealed last week that RTE stars were warned against voicing their opinions on the upcoming marriage equality referendum.

An email was sent to all staff telling them not to express their views on their social media accounts in compliance with the national broadcaster's neutrality policy.

"I no longer work at RTE but when there was an election campaign or a referendum, it was strictly done on the basis of neutrality and that's right," Charlie told the Herald.

"You have to be impartial; balance and impartiality - that's what is important."

When asked if he was pleased to be able to lend his voice to a campaign now that he no longer works for RTE, he said: "I suppose so, getting involved in things like this was one thing I couldn't do because I was in RTE," he said.

Charlie was speaking at the launch of the Yes Equality: The Campaign for Civil Marriage Equality's new campaign called, I'm Voting Yes, Ask Me Why.

The campaign looks to initiate a national conversation on the issue and will tour Ireland over the next few weeks asking people to share their reasons for voting yes at public meetings across the country.

Charlie will attend some of the events and act as a facilitator for those who wish to speak.

RTE's gagging order: Broadcaster warns staff not to make comment on marriage referendum  

"A Yes in May's referendum would mean a great deal to me. It will mean my descendants can marry whoever they fall in love with in years to come," he said.

"I will absolutely be voting Yes. For me it's just a natural thing - it's the most natural thing in the world, it's not rocket science."

Herald

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