first_imgDeputy Padraig MacLochlainnDONEGAL TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn has called on RTE to issue a full statement on its libel settlement following comments about alleged homophobia.A protest against homophobia took place in Dublin this afternoon following controversy over comments made by the gay rights activist Rory O’Neill on RTÉ’s ‘Saturday Night Show’ last month.The State broadcaster is reported to have paid out some €85,000 in compensation in its defamation settlement over the comments made by Mr O’Neill, who performs as drag queen Panti. Journalist John Waters told the Sunday Business Post he will receive €40,000 while a further sum is to be paid to five members of the Catholic lobby group, The Iona Institute.The settlement was made following legal correspondence from the parties named in the January 11 interview with Brendan O’Connor, during which O’Neill discussed homophobia and same-sex marriage. It is understood that RTÉ bosses felt the broadcast would have been almost impossible to defend in any potential defamation action and moved quickly to settle the complaint.The Saturday Night Show last week broadcast an apology to those alleged to have been defamed in the original interview, and last night featured a debate on homophobia.RTÉ is understood to have received over 1,000 complaints from members of the public in relation to the broadcast. The vast majority are believed to express concern at the apology issued by the station. 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.”MacLOCHLAINN ANGER AT RTE OVER ‘HOMOPHOBIA’ BROADCAST was last modified: February 2nd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Deputy Padraig MacLochlainnhomophobialast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *