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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 23 January, 2020

Rabbitte meets with RTÉ board after BAI report on Mission to Prey

The Communications Minister meets the board this morning in the wake of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s damning report into the ill-fated Prime Time Investigates programme.

Pat Rabbitte
Pat Rabbitte
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER PAT Rabbitte is this morning meeting with the board of RTÉ following the publication of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s (BAI) report into the defamatory Mission to Prey programme.

Rabbitte meets with the board at the broadcaster’s Donnybrook headquarters at 8am this morning.

The BAI published its report on Friday finding that there has been a “significant failure of editorial and managerial control” at the State broadcaster in the production of the Prime Time Investigates programme which libelled Fr Kevin Reynolds last year.

RTÉ was fined €200,000 for a “serious breach” of broadcasting regulations and the reporter who worked on the story, Aoife Kavanagh, resigned.

Already RTÉ has apologised to Reynolds for falsely claiming he fathered a child whilst working as a missionary in Africa in the 1980s and paid undisclosed damages following a High Court settlement.

On Friday, Rabbitte said that report was more serious that he thought, describing RTÉ’s work on the programme, broadcast last May, as “a shoddy, unprofessional, cavalier, and damaging piece of work”.

He said that his confidence in the board has been shaken and meets them this morning to discuss the findings of the BAI report. The board, chaired by Tom Savage, is charged with the governance of RTÉ.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Andrew Doyle, has said that he wants to bring Savage and the station’s director general Noel Curran before the committee to discuss the findings of the investigating officer Anna Carragher.

Doyle told Morning Ireland that the appearance would offer the pair a chance to outline how the broadcaster plans to “restore the trust of the people in RTÉ’s ability to carry out such programmes”.

Father Kevin Reynolds is not out for revenge – solicitor

In full: The BAI report into RTÉ’s Mission to Prey programme

‘It’s more serious than I suspected’ – Rabbitte on BAI report

‘We will continue to learn from these grave errors’ – RTÉ Director General

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Hugh O'Connell

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