Sunday 18 February 2018

RTE hits back after suggestions it 'turned blind eye' to drugs on campus

RTE last night released a lengthy statement hitting out at suggestions that it turned a blind eye to drug use on its premises.

"RTE has been criticised over the past week for maintaining what has been described as a silence. RTE covered the formal proceedings in news programming, as is appropriate. The organisation, however, for the most part refrained from offering comment either on the proceedings or on other coverage or commentary which has flowed from it. This has been largely out of respect for our late colleague.

"Some have sought to interpret RTE's coverage as representing a concerted silence on RTE's part. This is not so. RTE has, however, not been slow or late in addressing the subject of levels of drug abuse in Ireland, including cocaine.

"A major 'Prime Time Investigates' programme in 2007, investigating the apparent incidence of cocaine abuse, commissioned testing of a number of selected workplaces or public places in Ireland. The programme included public spaces in RTE's own main workplace in this survey.

"RTE rejects any suggestion of tolerance of drug abuse among its workforce or at its premises," it states.

"RTE fully implements its standing policy in respect of drug or alcohol abuse; any incidence of drug use by staff or at RTE's workplace is unacceptable to RTE and is not condoned or tolerated."

It said that anyone with information about drug use should make this known to management and the gardai.

A staff policy is also in place that allows employees to get "assistance, advice and support".

"These matters are, and will properly remain, private," the statement read.

It added that RTE's management had never received any reports or alerts about drug abuse by Gerry Ryan.

Irish Independent

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