Saturday 16 December 2017

She should have been pushed on drugs offences, says Byrne

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

Martin Grant

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

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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