Sunday 25 February 2018

TD calls on RTE chairman to quit over Mission to Prey broadcast

INDEPENDENT TD Mattie McGrath has called for Tom Savage to resign from his role as chairman of RTE.

He told an Oireachtas Committee that Mr. Savage’s position is untenable after the Mission to Prey programme wrongfully accused Fr Reynolds of raping a woman and fathering a child in Kenya while a missionary 30 years ago.

Mr Savage accepted there were grave and exceptional failures implicit in the case which raised questions that go to the very heart of the State broadcaster public purpose.

Mr Savage added that RTE accepts the findings of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) report that found the station was guilty of failures in editorial and managerial controls over the now-defunct Prime Time Investigates.

Fianna Fail's Eamon O Cuiv requested a breakdown of figures on how much of the taxpayer's money RTE has paid out on defamation cases.

The BAI fined RTE €200,000 and Fr Reynolds has been awarded compensation for damages to his reputation.

Several journalists involved in Mission to Prey have been been moved to new roles in RTE, the presenter Aoife Kavanagh resigned and head of news Ed Mulhall retired early.

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