Saturday 3 December 2016

She should have been pushed on drugs offences, says Byrne

Martin Grant

Published 06/04/2016 | 02:30

Gay Byrne. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Gay Byrne. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne has criticised the interview with drugs mule Michaella McCollum shown on RTÉ, saying she should have been pushed harder.

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RTÉ has been forced to defend the glossy interview - watched by 550,000 people - amid claims that McCollum wasn't challenged enough about her crime.

"I think it would have been very easy to push her a bit harder insofar as she wasn't pushed at all," Mr Byrne said last night.

"I don't know whether that was by agreement," the 81-year-old added.

"There were a whole host of questions which were not even put to her. I thought it was a typical 'getting to know you' interview.

"I thought she looked very well and spoke very well and it was a bit of a PR campaign and what did you expect...

"But it was a bit of a coup to have her on so quickly - I suppose that has some value and there was a curiosity in her."

RTÉ previously defended the interview, saying McCollum (pictured above inset) made "frank admissions about the damage her actions may have caused".

Irish Independent

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