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Fr Reynolds: please don't sack any RTE staff over my libel case

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Fr Kevin
Reynolds: 'No
grievances, no
bitter memories,
no resentment'

Fr Kevin Reynolds: 'No grievances, no bitter memories, no resentment'

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THE defamed priest at the centre of the 'Prime Time Investigates' controversy has insisted he wants no one to lose their job with RTE as a result of the now infamous broadcast.

Fr Kevin Reynolds told the Irish Independent he holds no ill feeling towards anyone about his treatment at the hands of RTE.

He was speaking in the wake of the massive shake-up of RTE's current affairs programming, sparked by the controversy.

Fr Reynolds, who was falsely accused of fathering a child while working in Kenya, said he was putting the entire saga behind him.

"I have no hang-ups, no grievances, no bitter memories, no resentment and no ill will towards anybody. The one thing I will say is I don't want to see anyone losing jobs from this," he said.

"The only road to pursue is the road to forgiveness. I'm a priest, that is it for me."

The managing director of RTE at the time the programme was aired, Ed Mulhall, is to retire, while Ken O'Shea resigned from his post as editor of current affairs and will be transferred to an assignment in television.

Executive producer Brian Pairceir and reporter Aoife Kavanagh are currently not involved in any on-air programming. RTE has also axed the award-winning series.

Fr Reynolds said the support of friends and family had helped him to deal with the fallout.

"I'm very happy now. People have been very supportive. I'm waking up from it now and putting it behind me," he said, speaking from his home in Ahascragh, Co Galway.

"It's not a bother on me now. I've been dealing with this for a long time now."

Sympathise

Fr Reynolds revealed that people continued to approach him to sympathise and ask how he was coping.

"It happens all the time. Not with parishioners any more but with strangers," he explained.

The parish priest added that he had developed a firm friendship with his solicitor Robert Dore in the aftermath of his libel case against RTE.

"We are good friends. He has visited me here," he added.

While Fr Reynolds and Mr Dore were disappointed that they were not informed of the completion of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) report into RTE's conduct, the priest stressed that he was now leaving the incident in the past.

"I've no hang-ups. I don't want to see people losing their jobs," he said.

Mr Dore wrote to the BAI requesting a copy of the report before it was put into the public domain. However, he will not get a copy of the report while RTE is studying it.

The broadcaster received a copy of the report on Thursday and has until April 20 to respond. The BAI said it could not give a copy to Fr Reynolds as RTE had yet to respond.

It pointed out that the priest had not made a complaint to the BAI, nor was he involved in the investigation.

The investigation was launched after 'Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey', aired on May 23 last year, falsely accused Fr Reynolds of raping a minor and fathering a child in Kenya 30 years ago.

RTE has apologised and accepted the claims were without any foundation. Fr Reynolds was awarded undisclosed damages by the High Court.

Irish Independent