22/Aug/2014 - Last News Update: 12:07

RTE staff members step aside for duration of probe into Fr Reynolds libel case

Category: Northern Ireland

Published: 23rd Nov 2011 17:53:12

The managing director of RTE News and Current Affairs Ed Mulhall has decided to step aside from his role while an independent investigation is carried out.

It follows a Prime Time Investigates documentary which made false allegations against a priest.

The programme claimed Fr Kevin Reynolds had fathered a child with a minor.

Several other staff in news and current affairs have also stepped aside while the probe is completed.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) will investigate the circumstances which led to the broadcasting of 'Mission to Prey' last May.

It will report back in two months' time.

It is the first time the station has been investigated by the BAI.

RTE's director general Noel Curran said the libelling of Fr Reynolds was "one of the gravest mistakes" RTE had ever made.

The documentary accused Fr Reynolds of fathering a child with a minor in Kenya. It later emerged the allegation was untrue and RTE paid a substantial settlement to the cleric.

Mr Mulhall's decision to step aside was by agreement with Mr Curran.

The editor of current affairs Ken O'Shea will also stand down from his role for the duration of the inquiry.

RTE said the executive producer of Prime Time Investigates, Brian Pairceir, and reporter Aoife Kavanagh would not be involved in any on-air programming for this period.

The Irish broadcaster said the next series of the Prime Time Investigates programme had been deferred until editorial reviews have been completed.

On Wednesday, Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said the defamation of Fr Kevin Reynolds by RTE had raised grave issues.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Mr Rabbitte said he could not remember a lapse of such magnitude.

He said public anxieties had to be addressed.

On Tuesday night, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it was important the high standard of journalism at RTE was restored.

BBC News External Link Show Citation

Latest News

Harvard Citation

BBC News, 2011. RTE staff members step aside for duration of probe into Fr Reynolds libel case [Online] (Updated 23rd Nov 2011)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/204853/RTE-staff-members-step-aside-for-duration-of-probe-into-Fr-Reynolds-libel-case [Accessed 22nd Aug 2014]

News In Other Categories

  • Martin McGuinness: DUP ministers 'divided over health'

    Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said he is seeking an urgent meeting with the chief medical officer about problems faced by the health service.
  • Scottish independence: HSBC boss makes 'capital flight' claim

    Uncertainty over an independent Scotland's currency could lead to "capital flight" from the country, the chairman of HSBC has claimed.
  • Tardis toilet appears on Bristol to Bath cycle path

    A Tardis has appeared alongside a cafe on the Bristol to Bath cycle path - with a Victorian-style bathroom inside.
  • Bristol Academy extends reach overseas with first foreign students

    With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
  • 400 jobs hope with hospital plan in Mostyn

    A plan to build a £30m hospital to help autistic people with mental health issues could create 400 jobs.
  • Iraqi Christians reach France after fleeing Islamists

    France has welcomed about 40 Iraqi Christian refugees who were flown to Paris from Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.