Fianna Fáil Communications Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív TD has responded to RTÉ claims that a confidentiality agreement prevents them from revealing details of the recent settlement reached following the ‘Licence to Prey’ Prime Time documentary.
Deputy Ó Cuív commented, “While the exact detail of monies paid to Fr Reynolds may need to be kept private as a result of the agreement reached, I would now call on the RTÉ Board to accept the wider point and show some creativity in this matter.
“When I called for details of this settlement to be released I was motivated by a desire for the licence payers who are paying the bill for this debacle to understand the true cost. This requirement could be met by RTÉ coming forward and publishing the total figure for all costs associated with settling libel cases over the course of the last year, to include compensation, legal costs and any other appropriate headings. This can happen independent of any BAI inquiry.
“By embracing this suggestion, Fr Reynolds’ privacy would be protected and the confidentiality agreement would be honoured. But at the same time, the licence fee payers of this country would also have an idea of the extent of this problem within RTÉ, what it is costing us and have some reassurance that this is being taken as seriously as it should be.”
Deputy Ó Cuív also reiterated his calls for the legal advice received before the Prime Time broadcast to be published. He concluded “If the legal advice was incorrect, RTÉ should be seeking compensation. If was correct and was ignored, serious issues of corporate governance arise and need to be fully explored.”