Complaints to BAI over TV3 cancer disclosure

 

THE BROADCASTING Authority of Ireland (BAI) has received 70 e-mails complaining about the TV3 news broadcast on St Stephen’s Day disclosing the cancer diagnosis of Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan.

A spokeswoman for the BAI said people would be advised that they had 30 days from the broadcast date to make formal, written complaints. There was no comment from TV3 on the matter yesterday.

Meanwhile, Minster for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin said she and her Government colleagues were “appalled” at the way the story was disclosed.

“We’re all appalled, I cannot over-state, we are appalled at the manner in which the story was broken,” she said. “Public people are public people but people are entitled to be sick in private.”

Mr Lenihan intends to make a public statement in early January.

Ms Hanafin told RTÉ Radio One’s News at Oneprogramme that she had spoken to Mr Lenihan.

“Yes, I had a long chat with Brian and of course we’re all very shocked at the news, but he’s very upbeat, I have to say, and willing to take on the challenge of his treatment.”

Ms Hanafin said thousands of people across the State were successfully battling illness with good medical care and support from their families.

“And Brian will get that as well and, as Cabinet colleagues, we’re all behind him, and I know certainly from the good wishes that he’s been getting from all over the country, so is the general public.”

Ms Hanafin said the news of Mr Lenihan’s diagnosis was difficult for himself, his wife, children and other family members.

“But, you know, it’s a diagnosis, treatment is good . . . and we’re all behind him.”