RTÉ discusses Liveline programme complaints at Oireachtas committee hearing

The broadcasting company has insisted that the station was fully compliant with the broadcast statutory and regulatory obligations.

An image of Liveline host Joe Duffy.
Image: via twitter @DrHaroldNews

Ireland’s national broadcasting service, RTÉ, has told an Oireachtas committee that it received nine formal complaints about its Liveline broadcasts that debated Transgender issues earlier this year.

“RTÉ received approximately 110 contacts (emails and phone calls) regarding the three programmes and around two-thirds were positive and one-third negative. RTÉ responded comprehensively to nine formal complaints concerning the Liveline programmes,” the broadcaster explained.

Head of editorial standards, Brian Dowling stated that the broadcaster rejected all complaints about the three Liveline shows that took place on June 9, 10 and 13 this year.

“RTÉ also advised each complainant, in writing, of their legal entitlement to seek an independent adjudication if they were not satisfied with RTE’s rejection of their complaint by way of referral to the BAI,” Dowling added. “None of the nine complainants availed of referral to the BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland).”

Although RTÉ told the Oireachtas commitee that Dublin Pride did not make any broadcast complaint after ending its media partnership with the broadcaster, Jamie Kenny, who serves as the operations manager with Dublin Pride, said that the organisation “is a member of the trans equality together coalition and through that group, a formal complaint was made.”

He continued by saying that “RTE can either decide if they are going to stand by marginalised groups or not, that is a choice for them.”

Kenny further added: “Dublin Pride, however, will never throw our trans friends and siblings under the bus. Where our views align there is scope to work together but there are fundamental issues we will not budge on.”

RTÉ told the Oireachtas committee that it will not be publishing any of the complaints received surrounding the Liveline programme, but have no issue with any of the complainants publishing their own “and acknowledging they did not contest the response”.

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