Fianna Fáil has written to the Oireachtas Committee on Transport seeking an investigation into allegations about Ryanair's safety record which the company strenuously denies.

Tranport spokesman Timmy Dooley has written to the committee chair John O'Mahony for an examination of claims made in a recent Channel 4 documentary and to hear the airline's views. 

Ryanair has rubbished the programme's findings and has issued defamation proceedings against a pilot it sacked after he appeared in the programme.

The airline is also suing the UK's Channel 4, the Mail and Mirror newspapers and the documentary producers over the story. 

However Mr Dooley said an Oireachtas inquiry into the rejected allegations would be in Ryanair's interests. 

"This documentary raises a series of important issues that require further investigation. In the public interest and the interests of the airline, it is important that we get to the bottom of what has been reported," said Mr Dooley.

"Ryanair is one of Ireland's great business success stories. Having transformed the industry through aggressive competition, it is now one of the largest and most recognisable brands in the world.

"Such a large multi-national company trades on its reputation and unfortunately that could be put at risk by the allegations in this documentary."

"I am aware that Ryanair has denied the allegations. I believe the airline could benefit from cooperating with an investigation to clear its name," he added.

He said he would like the company to have "opportunity to lay to rest any concerns about its safety procedures" before the committee.