Friday 23 March 2018

David Quinn: The Savile scandal has echoes of our own child abuse nightmares

The BBC's response to the Jimmy Savile revelations has been eerily reminiscent of both the Catholic Church's response to its child abuse scandals, and to our own national broadcaster's handling of the Fr Kevin Reynolds case.

Writing about the BBC in the London 'Times' on Wednesday, David Epstein had this to say: "It turns out that the BBC is no different from any other large organisation when it comes to handling a crisis. First there has been denial, then reluctant acknowledgement ... then the internal inquiry rapidly overtaken by external inquiries, then the abject apologies and finally the admission that the system failed."

When news of the Fr Kevin Reynolds libel action first emerged, RTE's initial response was a fierce defence. Later we had a station executive announcing that "rolled heads learn nothing". Then we had several inquiries and appearances before Oireachtas Committees plus several resignations. In the meantime, Fr Reynolds received a huge out-of-court settlement.

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