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Prime Time has got its courage back after Fr Reynolds fiasco, says Kenny

PAT KENNY has hailed two investigative reports by Prime Time as proof the RTE current affairs show has "got back its courage" after the Fr Kevin Reynolds fiasco.

He described the two reports by the RTE Investigations Unit – one on how criminal gangs are preying on clothes donated to charities and a second on deaths in the Bethany Home – as RTE resuming what it does best.

"This is a real toe in the water after the Fr Reynolds case.

"It's a tough area to go back into, but all media organisations make catastrophic mistakes from time to time.

"You have to get back your courage and that's definitely what's happening," Mr Kenny said.

However the 65-year-old said he had been thrown by recent events on the revamped programme, including the news that co-host Claire Byrne is expecting her first child, and said he expected more changes.

"I know Claire will be there till September at least. Prime Time remains a work in progress. It's been a mad flurry of activity, trying to get systems up and running, so I imagine Prime Time will draw breath for the summer."

An RTE spokeswoman said that, while both documentaries were transmitted on Prime Time, they were the work of the new RTE Investigations Unit, which is a separate entity to Prime Time.

The father-of-two will be hoping that changes to Prime Time after the summer could include the current affairs debate programme moving to 9.30pm on Monday nights, the slot of his previous Frontline programme.

"The problem with the 10.30pm slot we have now on Tuesdays is that it's bedtime for a lot of working people.

"You could put nude bowling on at that time of night and no one would watch," he said.