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Scannal

Scannal - Na Bliana 2011

RTÉ One, Thursday 29 December 2011 at 8.30pm

In the closing days of the year, Scannal looks back at some of those scandals that shocked, outraged and entertained the Irish public throughout 2011.

This was the year that was turbulent politically, socially and economically. It was a year that saw the demise of some of the rich and powerful. This was the year that saw some ignominious exits from the political stage, fuelled by gossip, rumour and scandal. The era of the super-injunction was ushered in and just as quickly ushered out thanks to parliamentary privilege. It was the year that the Government gave notice that it is adopting a new and less deferential attitude to the Vatican. Sometimes the scandals were seismic enough to reshape the tabloid industry itself, the very culture who trade in celebrity, salacious gossip and personal intrusion. But most scandalous of all, 2011 was the year that the wheels seemed to come right off the economy.
Who can forget those men behaving badly?

Signore Silvio Berlusconi, fighting an array of scandals and facing trials on charges ranging from tax fraud to paying for sex with an under-aged prostitute, and under intense pressure to resign for weeks as the market crisis threatened to spin out of control.

Another bad boy in the spotlight was - DSK - the former boss of the International Monetary Fund, Monsieur Strauss-Kahn accused of forcing a hotel maid to perform sexual acts in a luxury suite. He acknowledged a "moral error" but insisted he did not act violently.

The clean cut soccer star, role model, can do no wrong Ryan Giggs faced his own headaches as the celebrity got a super-injunction to prevent publication of allegations of an affair with a former Big Brother contestant.

Closer to home it emerged that Leinster House telephone lines had hummed to the tune of €2,639 in premium-rate phone calls that helped Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae win RTÉ's Celebrities Go Wild contest.

Journalism itself came under the spotlight with shocking revelations that Rupert Murdoch's News of the World had been embroiled in a phone hacking scandal which saw two judicial inquiries established, a grilling by MPs, heads rolling in News International and the senior ranks of the police. It lead to demands for new press regulation and the closure of the paper.

"I come from a Christian ethos, and I do know that this type of activity for some people is day-to-day work, but I do believe ---it becomes inappropriate if it's on my land," declared DUP Alderman Alan Graham on his discovery of the filming of a music video for bikini clad R&B star Rihanna on his Co Down farm.

There was nothing Christian about the Vatican's attempt to frustrate inquiries into the ongoing scandal of child sexual abuse, according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in his highly charged Dáil speech criticising "the gimlet eye" of the Holy See.

Perhaps one of the most disturbing stories of 2011 was the charging of a number of Irish Travelers with slavery offences at a halting site in Bedfordshire.


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