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RTE apology to Cowen for nude portrait story

RTE has issued a public apology to Taoiseach Brian Cowen for running a story about fake nude portraits of him.

The station received an official complaint from Mr Cowen's office about the report, which was broadcast on the RTE '9 o'clock news' last Monday.

Last night, it broadcast an apology for its story about the illegal hanging of hoax nude portraits of Mr Cowen in the National Gallery and the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin.

"RTE News would like to apologise for any personal offence caused to Mr Cowen or his family for any disrespect shown to the office of the Taoiseach," it said.

A spokesman for Mr Cowen confirmed that he had made a complaint about the story, which he said "went beyond the news values of RTE".

The report described how gardai were investigating who was responsible for leaving the nude paintings of Mr Cowen in the two galleries.

Last night, Fianna Fail Dublin-North TD Michael Kennedy called on RTE director general Cathal Goan to "consider his position".