The NUJ has called on RTÉ Board Chairman Tom Savage to make a full statement on the involvement of the Communications Clinic in advising the Irish Missionary Union in relation to 'Mission to Prey'.

Irish Secretary Séamus Dooley said confirmation the IMU had been advised by the clinic raised questions which members of the Oireachtas committee may wish to raise directly with Mr Savage.

Yesterday, highlighted an IMU Strategic Plan which detailed how the union had sought the advice of the Communications Clinic in advance of the broadcast of Prime Time Investigates.

Mr Dooley said: "Last week Mr Savage gave a robust defence of public service broadcasting. His defence of RTÉ and the manner in which he dealt with questions from a number of members was appreciated."

Mr Dooley said he was "deeply disappointed by the tone of some of the questioning" and said he found the hostility towards RTÉ and the role of public service broadcasting disturbing.

“Unfortunately the revelation that the Irish Missionary Union had been advised by the Communication Clinic raises questions which he needs to address directly. Programme makers have found this latest development deeply uncomfortable.

"Failure to do so would not be in the interest of RTÉ and it is essential that Mr Savage, as a Director of the Communications Clinic, deal with this issue as a matter of urgency."

The chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on communications, Andrew Doyle, has said that no request has been submitted to him or the secretariat of the committee from any member of the committee to invite Mr Savage back before them.

He was responding to queries regarding calls by Senator John Whelan that Mr Savage should be brought back before the committee as a witness.

Senator Whelan made the call following reports that the Communications clinic had advised the Irish Missionary Union in advance of the screening of the Mission to Prey programme.

Tom Savage and his wife Terry Prone are directors of the Communications Clinic.

Terry Prone said she never told her husband about the company's involvement in advising the Irish Missionary Union in advance of the programme.

Meanwhile, Mr Doyle said decisions are taken by the committee under "business of the committee" and decided upon at that stage.

He added that all issues, including requests from members, are considered in this way.

Mr Doyle said the committee's role is to ensure a pathway is developed to restore public confidence in the national broadcaster and this remains the objective of the committee.

He added that the committee has still to conclude its deliberations.