'Incoherent' weatherman was sick
Published 21/09/2010 | 05:00
A MET Eireann weatherman last night apologised to RTE listeners for his poor performance during a radio broadcast after it was claimed he sounded "incoherent" on air.
Callers to RTE's 'Liveline' yesterday claimed that Vincent O'Shea stumbled over his words when delivering the weather broadcast on RTE Radio One at five to midnight on Sunday.
Raising concerns, they claimed he had been "incoherent" during the broadcast and "less professional" than usual.
However, in a statement to the show, Met Eireann said Mr O'Shea's performance was down to an adverse reaction to prescribed medication.
And a spokesman said he had gone on to deliver the 6am and 7.55am broadcasts in his usual professional way.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Mr O'Shea apologised for his delivery on air and insisted he now felt "much better".
He said he had taken medication for a cold for the past week, but had been warned by doctors not to take it during the day.
"We have a very long night shift from 8pm to 8am and I had been taking medication," he said.
"The doctor said it could make me a bit dopey and I could slur my words. I think I took too many in work.
"I felt fine most of the night, but around midnight I felt disorientated," he added.
"I didn't read the weather well and it is not normal for me to be like that. I apologise that things weren't right and that the broadcast didn't go down well."
Mr O'Shea confirmed that he had not heard the 'Liveline' discussion, but said that people seemed to be on his side after they realised what had happened with his medication.
"People told me about it [the 'Liveline' programme]," he told the Irish Independent last night.
"I was satisfied with 'Liveline'. I feel satisfied that people were on my side."
RTE did not notify Mr O'Shea personally that it was going ahead with a discussion about his performance.
It told his employer Met Eireann that the topic could possibly be a segment on the show and Met Eireann sent Mr O'Shea a text to notify him.
"The gentleman (Mr O'Shea) had been on night duty and we did not want to call him," said a spokesman for Met Eireann.
"Obviously, we would have preferred if this (the 'Liveline' broadcast) didn't happen. But these things happen."
RTE last night said Mr O'Shea had not made any complaint about the broadcast.
"Neither RTE nor 'Liveline' made any allegations towards Mr O'Shea.
"Rather, the 'Liveline' team was responding to a significant number of calls to today's programme," said a spokeswoman.
"'Liveline' sought clarification from Met Eireann this morning and the transmission went ahead with its statement to hand."
RTE said Met Eireann would change the roster if there were fears that the treatment of Mr O'Shea'smedical condition could again impair his performance. "RTE takes last night's incident very seriously. Such lapses in broadcasting standards are not acceptable," the spokeswoman added.
"Met Eireann has conducted an internal investigation and it has offered an apology for the quality of the broadcast."