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BAI: No reason to review Frontline presidential debate decision

The BAI also said it had passed on a recommendation on how to deal with RTE’s Prime Time Investigates programme which made allegations against Father Kevin Reynolds.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A BAI COMMITTEE has said it has not seen any direct evidence that would make it review the decision last week to uphold complaints by Seán Gallagher against RTE’s Frontline programme.

The compliance committee of the BAI said today that it will consider the matter further “in the event that any direct evidence emerges”.

The committee made the statement following allegations at the weekend by a Frontline audience member that programme makers had influenced his question during the presidential debate last October.

The commitee met today to discuss matters arising from the decision over the Frontline presidential debate and RTE Radio One’s Today with Pat Kenny programme.

Committee members noted that RTE has instituted a full editorial review of its programme-making practices and has requested RTE to communicate any findings of the review upon its completion.  RTE this evening agreed to pass on the findings of the editorial review.

Earlier today Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the government would not order an independent review into the debate.  The Taoiseach reiterated the independence of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland in overseeing broadcasting.

‘Mission to Prey’

Separately, the BAI compliance committee has passed on a recommendation to the Authority on whether RTE’s Prime Time Investigates programme ‘Mission to Prey’ breached the Broadcasting Act.

An investigation was carried out by investigating officer Anna Carragher into whether the programme was objective and impartial in how it dealt with allegations against Father Kevin Reynolds. The commitee formulated a recommendation based on the report which will be passed on to the Authority, which is obliged to accept the recommendation.

In a statement this evening, the committee said it would be “inappropriate” to make further comment pending consideration by the Authority of the recommendation.

Cabinet will not order review of Frontline programme – Kenny >

Further regulatory process over Gallagher complaint is ‘not a matter for RTÉ to decide or influence’ >

McGuinness blames Gallagher’s undoing on ‘lack of credibility’ – and not RTE >

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