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Joe Duffy apologises to Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh for 'defamatory comments' on Liveline

Duffy has acknowledged the “grave distress” caused to the Dublin South Central TD.

Joe Duffy and Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD.
Joe Duffy and Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

BROADCASTER JOE DUFFY has apologised on behalf of himself and RTÉ for “defamatory comments” he made about Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh on his Liveline radio programme.

The comments were made a number of days after last month’s general election during an edition of the programme in which members of the public called to suggest ministers in a “fantasy cabinet”.

One caller speaking on the programme suggested Ó Snodaigh as a potential minister for defence. 

In response to this caller, Duffy made an incorrect comment about Ó Snodaigh, stating: “Even though Aengus Ó Snodaigh has been found guilty of a public order offence involving the gardaí, but that’s in the past.”

After the programme returned from a subsequent ad break, Duffy retracted his previous comments and apologised, stating that he “read that piece wrong” and “it wasn’t Aengus Ó Snodaigh”.

Now, speaking on this afternoon’s programme, Duffy read out a lengthy apology to the Dáil deputy:

RTÉ and I unreservedly and sincerely apologise to Mr Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD for the defamatory and unfair publication of comments and statements concerning Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, published by me on this programme on the 12th of February 2020.

RTÉ and I sincerely acknowledge and accept that Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD was not convicted of a public order offence involving members of An Garda Síochána or any criminal offence as stated by RTÉ and I.

RTÉ and I accepted that this publication in respect of Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD did not comply with good broadcasting standards, and in particular the standards required of a public broadcaster such as RTÉ.

RTÉ and I sincerely regret, apologise and acknowledge the grave distress caused to Mr Ó Snodaigh TD arising out of this broadcast.

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The section of the programme where Duffy made the comments about Ó Snodaigh has also been removed from the RTÉ Radio Player podcast of the programme.

TheJournal.ie has sought a response from Sinn Féin about the above apology to the Dublin South Central TD.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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