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Fianna Fáil complains over RTÉ's use of Fine Gael by-election candidate to discuss Essex lorry deaths

 

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Fine Gael’s Verona Murphy. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Fine Gael’s Verona Murphy. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Fine Gael’s Verona Murphy. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Fianna Fáil has criticised RTÉ over the amount of coverage given to a Fine Gael by-election candidate.

The party is unhappy with the broadcaster's use of Verona Murphy, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), to discuss the Essex lorry deaths on the 'Six One News' and 'Prime Time' last week.

Ms Murphy is also the Fine Gael by-election candidate in Wexford. She told the Irish Independent she will step aside from her IRHA role as soon as the writ for the by-election is moved and resign if elected to the Dáil, saying: "I don't have to stand aside until a writ is moved."

Fianna Fáil's director of elections, Barry Cowen, said: "I've noticed the amount of coverage and I will be raising the issue with RTÉ.

"I expect appropriate and fair balance as the campaign proceeds." The party's Wexford by-election candidate, Malcolm Byrne, complained to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) last summer after Ms Murphy appeared on Virgin Media's 'Ireland AM' alongside Fine Gael senator and Dáil hopeful Neale Richmond to discuss Brexit.

Her Fine Gael affiliations were not mentioned.

An RTÉ spokesperson said the interviews last week were unrelated to any candidacy. "No writ has been moved for any by-election. Unless and until that time, there are no candidates and it is entirely legitimate to interview any individuals," they said.

Irish Independent