Inquiry being carried out into libel actions of RTE

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has been requested to carry out an inquiry into the slander of Fr Kevin Reynolds by RTE. In the programme Primetime Investigates, which was aired last May, it was wrongly stated that Fr Reynolds sexually abused a girl and fathered a child in Kenya, Africa. Fr Reynolds, last week, was awarded compensation for this defamation and received an apology from RTE.
However this incident has raised some serious concerns as to how RTE could have allowed this libel could have possibly occured. In an interview with Morning Ireland, Minister for Communications, Mr Pat Rabbite said he could not recall a lapse this serious. He said “the management of RTE understands the gravity of it and that public disquiet has to be allayed.”
 (Fr Kevin Reynolds)
The Cabinet, yesterday, called for an inquiry to be carried out to investigate in these matters and will report it’s findings in two months time.
Last night Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, of the inquiry, that “clearly there is a need to see that the very high standard (of journalism) which normally pertains be restored”.
RTE will not carry out an internal inquiry, it was stated, as there has been a “grevious” drop in their normally high standards. The Taoiseach said that the inquiry had to be “totally above board”.
RTE’s Director General, Noel Curran, has taken a step back from these matters, stating that he was not involved in the airing of the program in question; ‘Mission to Prey’. However, he did state that he took “absolute responsibility” for the matter and it would be treated “in the most grave way”
Curran said that there was a “process” which had to be carried out and this is why the people responsible have never lost their jobs. He admitted that a lot of mistakes had been made, one being the fact that a paternity test was never carried out to prove claims that Fr Reynolds had fathered a child, despite the fact that Fr Reynolds had offered to do one.
The new series of ‘Prime Time Investigates’ was due to be aired next month, but has been suspended. The Broadcast Authority of Ireland will report their findings in two months time.

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