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RTÉ chair and DG back before Oireachtas committee over Fr Reynolds case

Tom Savage and Noel Curran face more questions from TDs and senators over the Fr Reynolds defamation case.

THE CHAIRMAN AND Director General of RTÉ are back before the all-party Oireachtas committee on communications today to face questions over the Fr Reynolds defamation case.

Chairman Tom Savage and DG Noel Curran will face more questions from TDs and senators from 2pm today following heated exchanges at a meeting which had to be adjourned last week.

One TD, Mattie McGrath, called for Savage to resign during the course of last week’s session. Another committee member, Senator John Whelan, echoed calls for Savage to resign at the weekend, accusing the RTÉ chairman of “spin doctoring” at last week’s meeting.

The meetings have arisen out of the RTÉ ‘Mission to Prey’ episode of Prime Time Investigates which libelled Fr Kevin Reynolds last year. Today’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 2pm.

Fr Reynolds later agreed a settlement with the broadcaster at the High Court over the false allegations while a BAI investigation later heavily criticised the programme.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, committee chairman Andrew Doyle said: “Our Committee has an important oversight role in the general policy direction of public bodies.

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“Consequently, our overriding concern is to ensure a pathway is found to restore public confidence in the national broadcaster, whose reputation was seriously damaged by the serious editorial and managerial failures in this case.

“Building on discussions with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and RTE last week, the Committee will continue to explore with Mr Curran and Mr Savage what procedures would be introduced in general policy at RTE to safeguard against a repeat of the irresponsible journalism in this case.”

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As it happened: Call for RTÉ Director General and Chairman to both resign>

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Hugh O'Connell

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