Statements & Speeches

RTÉ's Response to 'The Times' Article 15/10/2015

This morning’s article in The Times is factually incorrect. At no time was a threat delivered that a Minister would not appear on the programme as a result of his press advisers not seeing the questions in advance.

In the case of yesterday's programme, advance access to audience questions on specific individuals’ circumstances post-budget queries was given to ministerial advisers as standard practice. The primary purpose of the post-budget programme is to enable the more detailed, personal and specific queries raised by individual voters and businesses to be addressed to the most accurate degree possible, and that requires some research to be done by government advisers on the individuals’ specific questions.

This protocol was agreed in advance as has been standard practice for years and there was no debate about access to the questions prior to going on air for that specific programme.

We would like to reiterate that RTÉ does not advise Ministers or guests of questions in advance of interviews. The Today with Sean O’ Rourke editorial team have complete and total editorial control of the programme and only they determine which calls go to air and in which order.