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RTE-row priest is left in dark over BAI probe

DEFAMED priest Fr Kevin Reynolds is being kept in the dark about the results of the investigation into his defamation by RTE.

The report completed by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) was given to RTE but is being withheld from Fr Reynolds.

He has been told he will not get a copy of the report until RTE has finished studying it. The defamed priest may be kept dangling for a further fortnight as RTE was given until April 20 to respond to it.

The West of Ireland priest, a former missionary, was defamed by RTE's Prime Time Investigates when it reported he fathered an African's woman's child which was later disproved with a paternity test.

The priest's request for a copy of the report was turned down by the BAI which will hold a meeting to determine its publication. As first revealed by the Herald, the BAI wants to fully publish the report but parts of it may end up being redacted or blacked out.

Fr Reynolds' solicitor Robert Dore wrote to the BAI requesting a copy of the report before it was put into the public domain.

But the BAI responded by claiming it cannot be given to Fr Reynolds as RTE has yet to respond, as he neither made a complaint to the BAI nor was he involved in the investigation.

"The BAI can't give it before the process is complete," a BAI spokeswoman said.

Neither is RTE going to give Fr Reynolds a copy of the report as that decision lies with the BAI.

The report was yesterday delivered to RTE director general Noel Curran. No copies were sent to anyone else involved in the controversy.