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Senator joins call for resignation of RTÉ chairman

Last week’s Oireachtas committee meeting saw “Pontius Pilate hand-wringing”, says Labour’s John Whelan.
May 20th 2012, 7:40 AM 2,863 11

A LABOUR SENATOR has called for the resignation of RTÉ chairman Tom Savage following last week’s meeting of senior management from the broadcaster and the BAI with the Oireachtas communications committee.

The meeting was held to discuss issues arising from the Fr Kevin Reynolds defamation case.

Addressing the meeting last week, Savage said that RTÉ accepted the findings of the BAI inquiry into the Mission to Prey programme and could offer no excuse for the serious lapse that led to the error concerning Fr Reynolds.

He also said that the RTÉ board is undertaking an unprecedented examination of the broadcaster’s programme-making culture to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

However, Labour Senator John Whelan has accused Savage of “spin doctoring” at last week’s meeting:

It is abundantly clear to me from his opening statement that what we were being served up was more Pontius Pilate hand-wringing from a PR professional and a maestro of the art of spin doctoring.

“We now have a farcical proposition that the effective head of RTÉ, its commander-in-chief, is
washing his hands of any responsibility for the systematic failures; poor morale; low standards and in certain elements the group-think culture spawned by the cult of the clique and cronyism.”

“These problems and corporate failures do not emanate from the bottom up but infuse the State
broadcaster from the top down,” Whelan added.

The senator says he will be seconding TD Mattie McGrath’s calls for Savage’s resignation when the committee meets with the chairman on Tuesday.

RTÉ director general Noel Curran is also expected to participate in the meeting.

Earlier: “Your position is untenable” – TDs criticise RTE heads over Mission to Prey >

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Susan Ryan


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