Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

The candidates before the debate last October Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Frontline

Fianna Fáil call for inquiry over RTÉ Frontline debate

The party said an independent investigator should be appointed, after new claims emerged over the treatment of Seán Gallagher.

FIANNA FÁIL HAVE called for a public inquiry after new claims emerged over the controversial RTÉ Frontline debate between presidential candidates.

The party’s public expenditure spokesperson Seán Fleming said an independent investigator should be appointed and the results of the inquiry published “point by point”.

He was speaking after an audience member alleged yesterday that production staff encouraged him to ask a hostile question to Seán Gallagher. Gallagher has also called for an inquiry over the claims, and said he is considering legal action.

Fleming said the RTÉ board should “get ahead of the curve” and commission an inquiry before any other revelations emerged.

“We’re now moving into the territory of the cover-up, and the cover-up is getting more serious than the original mistake,” he told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. “We’re now more confused than we were last Wednesday, and more facts are emerging.”

Last Wednesday the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland upheld a complaint from Gallagher over a ‘bogus tweet’ that was read out by presenter Pat Kenny.

Fleming said it was important for RTÉ to maintain its reputation and impartiality. ”I still believe there’s no political agenda operating on that show, but the more that emerges is making the general public question whether that agenda is there,” he said, adding: ”I’m worried that something like this could happen during the next election campaign.”

In a statement yesterday, RTÉ said that any further regulatory process relating to the debate was not a matter for the broadcaster “to decide or influence”.

Gallagher has said that he will be making contact with communications minister Pat Rabbitte over the new allegations, which were published in the Sunday Independent.

Education minister Ruairí Quinn said this morning that he expected the Cabinet to be briefed on the issue tomorrow.

More: Full coverage of the RTÉ Frontline debate controversy on TheJournal.ie>

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
30
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.