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Priest wants no sackings for RTE libel

THE defamed priest at the centre of the Prime Time Investigates debacle says he doesn't want anyone at the station to lose their job.

Fr Kevin Reynolds (right), who was falsely accused of fathering a child while working in Kenya, says he is now keen to put the entire saga behind him.

"The one thing I will say is I don't want to see anyone losing jobs from this," he said in the wake of a staffing shake-up at RTE.

"I have no hang-ups, no grievances and no ill will towards anybody," he continued. "The only road to pursue is the road to forgiveness. I'm a priest, that is it for me."

The managing director of RTE at the time the programme was aired, Ed Mulhall, is to retire, while Ken O'Shea resigned from his post as editor of current affairs and will be transferred to an assignment in television.

Executive producer Brian Pairceir and reporter Aoife Kavanagh are currently not involved in any on-air programming. RTE has also axed the award-winning series.

Fr Reynolds said the support of friends and family had helped him to deal with the fallout.

"I'm very happy now. People have been very supportive. I'm putting it behind me," he said from his home in Ahascragh, Co Galway. "It's not a bother on me now. I've been dealing with this for along time now."

Fr Reynolds revealed that people continued to approach him to sympathise and ask how he was coping.

"It happens all the time. Not with parishioners any more but with strangers," he explained.

He added that he had developed a firm friendship with his solicitor in the libel case against RTE, Robert Dore.

RTE has apologised and accepted the claims were without any foundation. Fr Reynolds was awarded undisclosed damages by the High Court last year.