Tuesday 19 March 2019

RTE drama about scandal whistleblower proves a huge hit

Charlene McKenna as patient Karen in the RTE drama 'Whistleblower'
Charlene McKenna as patient Karen in the RTE drama 'Whistleblower'

Louise Hogan

A third of the entire TV audience watched RTE's 'Whistleblower' -- a drama based on how a young midwife helped expose the activities of obstetrician Dr Michael Neary.

An audience of 488,000 people sat in on Sunday night to watch the first part of the drama, which aired on RTE1.

A spokeswoman for the State broadcaster described it as a "strong share" of the audience, with 34.1pc tuning in.

"We're gratified that such a large audience chose to watch this challenging drama which chronicled a significant episode in recent history," she added.

Jane Gogan, RTE's commissioning editor for drama, said it was hoping to convey to a wider audience the human cost of the injustices which were exposed and the power an individual can hold in altering situations.

The second part of the drama aired last night.

Sunday night's episode showed the concerns of a new midwife over the growing number of caesarean hysterectomies at the hospital.

After initially finding it difficult to get anyone to take her seriously, she reveals it to a health board administrator, triggering a more detailed investigation.

An inquiry subsequently found that during his 25-year tenure at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth, Dr Neary had unnecessarily removed the wombs of 122 women.

Last week, a private screening of the drama was held for patients of Dr Neary, RTE confirmed.

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