Savage to be recalled to Oireachtas committee

Mon, Jun 4, 2012, 01:00

RTÉ CHAIRMAN Tom Savage is to be asked to attend for the third time before the Oireachtas communications committee over the role of the Communications Clinic in relation to the Mission to Prey documentary.

Labour Senator John Whelan said he would write to the chairman of the committee seeking Mr Savage’s attendance to clarify matters following his statement to the committee that there was no conflict in his role as RTÉ chairman and as a director of the Communications Clinic.

Mr Savage and his wife Terry Prone are directors of the company which advised the Irish Missionary Union about how to respond to the documentary which libelled Fr Kevin Reynolds.

Ms Prone said last week Mr Savage had no involvement when the Communications Clinic advised the religious orders and she did not tell him the IMU was a client.

Mr Whelan said “we are being asked to accept Mr Savage’s word that his wife, business partner and fellow director chose not to tell him” that their company was acting as PR adviser to the religious orders on the programme.

“This would appear to be at odds with his statement to the committee that in 3½ years as chairman of RTÉ no conflict of interest had arisen.”

The committee was preparing a report on the issue and heard last week through online and then print media about the Communications Clinic’s role, he said.

To have absolute clarity and to provide a complete and accurate report, it was necessary to recall Mr Savage, he said.