Minister 'blocking new RTÉ inquiry'

Thu, May 10, 2012, 01:00

SEANAD REPORT:THE FAMILY of a missionary who had been “pronounced guilty” by the national broadcaster of criminal activity felt that RTÉ, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and the Minister for Communications were colluding to prevent an investigation of this aspect of the station’s controversial Mission to Prey programme, Michael Mullins (FG) said.

While welcoming the authority’s report into the defaming of Fr Kevin Reynolds, Mr Mullins said he wanted the Minister to ensure that the segment of the RTÉ report referring to Br Gerard Dillon was probed.

This man’s family had been in touch with hundreds of people in South Africa, where he had ministered for six decades, but there had been no corroboration of the claim made on the RTÉ programme by one individual.

This was a matter of great concern to Br Dillon’s family.

Stressing the importance of encouraging physical activity in the combating of obesity, Eamonn Coghlan (FG) said he hoped there would be a rethink by the Garda in seeking a €10,000 fee for the policing of the annual triathlon event in Athy, Co Kildare.

The organisers would not be able to absorb this financial burden, he said, adding that, aside from the economic advantages of such an event, it was a key to community activism and the enhancement of civic pride.

David Norris (Ind) said a serious issue arose in relation to the handing over of details about Irish citizens to what was clearly an incompetent authority in a foreign jurisdiction.

He was commenting on the proposed referral to an Oireachtas committee of a proposal concerning the exchange of information between the EU and the US on air passenger details.

Mr Norris contended that the matter must be debated in the House before any final decision was made.