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RTÉ removal of Senator's comments was an "editorial decision"

John Whelan said Bord Gáis had “sold the government a pup” on Irish Water.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

RTÉ SAYS THAT it removed part of its Late Debate programme from a podcast as a “editorial decision”.

Labour Senator John Whelan appeared on the programme on 5 November, when he made comments about Bord Gáis and its ability to deliver Irish Water.

Whelan claimed that the gas company had “sold the government a pup” over the water company.

He went on to make other remarks doubting the ability of Bord Gáis to deliver the company, arguing instead for Bord na Móna to be awarded the contract.

He later had another exchange with host Cormac Ó hEadhra over the issue.

An RTÉ spokesperson said that the decision to remove some remarks from the podcast had been taken on editorial grounds “as can happen with a live show”.

Senator Whelan told TheJournal.ie that the episode is a “storm in a teacup”.

“I cannot understand why RTÉ has taken the bizarre decision to censor that part of the programme. I think the presenter hit the panic button far too early once he heard the words legal and libel in the same sentence.

Unfortunately, that may be the default position in RTÉ these days – that they’re ultra cautious and overly sensitive.

Whelan said that he was worried that it may have a “chilling effect” on debate and fair comment.

Read: Waterford Whispers News: ‘I turned down RTÉ, we would be too much for them’

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