Sinn Féin Justice and Equality Spokesperson Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD today called on RTÉ to issue a public statement clarifying the broadcaster’s actions following the recent Saturday Night Show.
The Donegal North East TD said:
“This week the Justice and Equality Minister published the General Scheme of a Children and Family Relationships Bill. This is an important piece of legislation that recognises the diversity of families in Ireland and puts the rights of children and their parents centre stage.
“The government has promised a referendum on marriage equality in 2015 following a recommendation by a majority of the Constitutional Convention to amend the constitution to allow same sex marriage.
“Recent actions by RTÉ regarding its Saturday Night Show have been deeply disappointing and the public service broadcaster’s decision to pay out a considerable cash settlement without a challenge is worrying.
“Those who publicly advocate inequality cannot hide behind defamation legislation when they are called out on the views they seek to gain popular support for. The demand of significant sums of public monies by such individuals or groups in place of a right to reply sets a deeply worrying precedent.
“Timidity in broadcasting serves no-one and as a public service broadcaster RTÉ must place itself beyond reproach.
“Public monies make up the lion’s share of RTÉ’s annual revenue therefore the public have a right to know how this money is being spent. RTÉ management must now make a public statement clarifying their actions following the recent Saturday Night Show.
“It is my strong view that inequality wherever and however it expresses itself must be robustly challenged.”