RTE RADIO ONE current affairs programme DriveTime has broadcast an apology to Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams over a story which ran on several news bulletins saying he had withheld evidence about his paedophile brother.
Newsreader Eileen Dunne read the apology as part of the 5 o’clock news bulletin on the programme last night.
The original story which was broadcast last October said that Northern Ireland’s Director of Public Prosecutions had asked for a review of a decision not to prosecute Adams for withholding evidence about his brother, Liam Adams.
In the apology, Eileen Dunne said the report should have said Adams allegedly withheld evidence.
Liam Adams was sentenced to sixteen years in jail last year for raping and sexually abusing his daughter when she was aged between 4 and 9 years old.
Adams said that Sinn Féin had repeatedly rang RTE on the evening that the report was broadcast but the allegations were repeated.
The full apology from RTE said:
On the 7th of October, Drivetime broadcast an inaccurate report which was repeated on a number of news bulletins during the programme in relation to Mr Gerry Adams TD.
This report incorrectly stated that the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions had asked for a review of the decision not to prosecute the Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams for withholding evidence about his brother.
The reports should have stated that the Northern Ireland Director of Public Prosecutions had asked for a review of the decision not to prosecute the Sinn Féin leader for allegedly withholding evidence about his brother.
RTE apologises to Gerry Adams for this error.
Gerry Adams said he welcomed the apology.
“On 7 October, RTE’s Drivetime broadcast an inaccurate report about me,” Adams said in a statement.
“Despite several phone calls to RTE by the Sinn Féin Press Office, this inaccurate report was repeated on several subsequent news bulletins”.
“I am happy that RTE has now apologised for this inaccurate report which was damaging to me and upsetting for my family”.
Separately, Labour MEP Emer Costello has criticised RTE’s interview with Adams on Morning Ireland this morning during which, she said, he was not asked about being a suspect in the Jean McConville murder investigation.
“Instead, the Sinn Féin President was given an opportunity to outline his reasons for lodging a complaint about the PSNI, and to criticise his political opponents North and South on various fronts,” she said.