Posted on January 31, 2014 4:42 PM   |   Permanent Link   

Dublin Bay North Labour TD and member of the Oireachtas Communications Committee, Sean Kenny, has welcomed the statement made earlier today by Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte.

"Minister Rabbitte has rightly said that it would be a matter of serious concern if public debate was cast aside and our defamation laws were resorted to in the lead up to the forthcoming referendum on gay marriage. I agree with him, and I was very concerned when I heard of the payment of damages by RTE to the Iona Institute, when there was no finding, nor even a case involved. I am also concerned at the lack of transparency in relation to this, in terms of the amount of money paid, and the precise reason for doing so."

"As a member of the Oireachtas Committee dealing with communications issues, I have been receiving complaints about this matter, and I have forwarded on correspondence to the Committee so that it can be raised. This issue needs to be dealt with and I believe the Committee needs to ensure public awareness of how RTE deals with situations like this is made public, and procedures for same to be amended if required."

"RTE is the State broadcaster and in receipt of public monies, and it cannot allow itself to be in a position where debate is suppressed because of fear of legal action, whether the issue is about social issues or indeed, other issues."