Hold Firm [Updated]






This evening.



This afternoon.

More as we get it.


From top: At retirement party for RTE receptionist supervisor Phil Collins (right) were RTE News chiefs Hilary McGouran (left) and Jon Williams (centre); Bryan Dobson; Broadcasters David McCullagh (left) and Miriam O’Callaghan; Today’s Irish Sun

This morning.

Via The Irish Sun:

RTE’s top news stars apologised last night after it emerged they briefly posed for photos without masks or socially distancing at a leaving bash for a colleague.

Hosts Bryan Dobson, David McCullagh and Miriam O’Callaghan were among attendees at an “impromptu gathering” for departing Phil Collins.

All three stars apologised and an RTE spokesperson told the Irish Sun:

“RTE and those involved regret this occurred . . . Over the last few days we reminded all staff of their obligations to keep themselves and the site safe.”

The state broadcaster last night confirmed a “small number” of officials and on-screen talent attended a low-key bash earlier this month.

RTE’s top news stars apologise over briefly posing for pics with no masks or distancing at colleague’s farewell bash (Irish Sun)


Dr. Gabriel Scally

On Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One.

Claire Byrne asked Public health physician. Professor Gabriel Scally about the RTÉ gathering…

“I was actually speechless when I saw the photographs. It’s quite remarkable, people standing with their arms around each other, amazingly photographs of people close together, standing on a mat which says ‘keep at least two metres distance’. A mat that says it and they’re standing on it with their arms around each other’s backs and around each other’s shoulders in some cases. And not only, I understand it was, the view will be it was a momentary absence of caution but these photographs were put up on the RTÉ’s internal website. I think it’s astounding.”

Dr Scally added:

“I was looking on RTE’s news website there for their coverage to see what the position was but I can’t find anything about it on RTÉ’s news website…”

Ms Byrne then read out a statement from RTÉ News boss Jon Williams, which said:

“I deeply regret not thinking through the consequences of a momentary lapse of judgment. It was wrong and I’m very sorry.”

Dr Scally responded:

“Well that’s good, I think saying sorry is the right thing to do…because it was irresponsible, it was a terrible lapse, not just on behalf of one or two people but quite a number of people.”

Later, Ms Byrne said:

“Just on the photographs, RTE tell is that the photographs were published on a website for retired RTE staff. It’s a public website run privately by former RTE staff members so it’s not strictly the RTE internal website, just to clarify that.”



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86 thoughts on “Hold Firm [Updated]

  1. Charger Salmons

    I dread to think what that is on David McCullagh’s shoe but his close proximity to Miriam might have something to do with it …

    1. Brother Barnabas

      not wishing to embarrass you, old fellow, but most adult males left that particular habit behind in their early teenage years – your daily routine isnt typical

      1. Charger Salmons

        I see you’re now a fully-fledged member of my Papi/Scottster/Giggidy-Goo stalker gang.
        Such a sad sight.
        You’ve become ordinary Brother.

        1. Brother Barnabas

          jeez-mareez, pal – just trying to stop you embarrassing yourself without even realising it

          that’s what I get for trying to do a bro a good turn…

          1. Charger Salmons

            You’re on a yellow card warning and one post away from being put in Charger’s Quarantine Corner, joinining those other losers who are so indescribably boring as to not warrant either consideration or a response.
            I don’t mind abuse,hectoring,banter or a piss-take but I can’t abide dullards.I’d even engage with Nigel before one of those.
            Use it or lose it.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            you’re quite right, charger. who am I to comment on another chap’s hobby ? (even if it is contrary to God’s teaching). indeed, in many respects, it’s what defines you. I’ll never again mention it.

          3. Papi

            Ignored by the racist bigot? Oh me! Shall I ever recover from such beastliness?
            It’s so unfair they won’t just let you spew your hatred unhindered, isn’t it, Spaffer?

    2. Ger

      Was hasnt Phil Collins been offered her own chat show? Its been a week since she retired! How will she survive?

  2. frank

    The real story here is that after the stratospheric success of Genesis and a glittering solo career poor Phil Collins ended up working as an RTE receptionist. Sad really

    1. The Dude

      When The Mask Slips…

      Remarkable how stupid these people are when acting as a collective.

      Maybe individual’s thought processes went like this:

      1. I am unnecessarily inside at a group gathering.
      2. But it’ll be tolerated as everybody’s wearing masks.
      3. Everyone’s getting their photo taken: I need to be seen as part of that.
      4. They’re standing together for group photos inside: I’m not going to be seen as a party pooper.
      5. Well sure if nobody else is wearing a mask, why should I?

      And so we have a really good example of:

      A) The herd mentality of the few fronting this organisation. Do not expect independent minds anytime soon.

      B) The sense of self-entitlement based on their own perceptions of their own exceptionalism.

      After GolfGate etc who can take any of the people photographed seriously if and when they next cover C19?

      Overpaid glorified gatekeepers that are so stupid they pose breaking rules that they demand from others.

      Why must Irish citizens pay a propaganda tax that excessively pays such GolfGate Keepers?

  3. eamonn

    “put your best foot forward,mirian” said the photographer – It is all the rage with the insta’s, “you’re rocking it baby!

  4. SOQ

    Of course they are not wearing muzzles- they are the ones pumping out this nonsense Did they honestly think those pictures would not be leaked?

    The real question is- why do many of them look like they are wearing dental mouth openers?

      1. SOQ

        So- anyone who believes the 40 years of WHO advice stating that masks do not prevent the spread viruses, then changed after a couple of low grade papers- is a conspiracy theorist now is it?

        On your bike clown.

  5. ReproBertie

    I see people in the background wearing masks and in the first photo you can see that John Williams has his mask in his hand so he clearly removed it for the photo.

    1. E'Matty

      Yeah, they say you should take your mask off for close quarter photographs with a group, hold the mask in your hand whilst posing for the photo, and then put it back on (repeat as necessary). Supposedly, it’s what medical professionals do in surgery to ensure proper hygiene. It’s what the vast majority of mask wearers have been doing for months anyway so it must be right.

  6. eoin

    So I guess none of these people actually believe in the terror news they pump out all day every day for the masses?

    1. Fergalito

      “Terror news” – really ?

      “All day, every day?” Gas …

      Ah gerrup the yard, yer hyperbole settings are too high …..

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Funny that they all suffered from that disease – ‘error of judgement’ at the same time. EOJ-20 is more catching than Covid-19

  7. GiggidyGoo

    State Broadcaster
    Employees and ‘Contractors’ of RTE
    Function held on RTE premises
    Our money, our taxes.

    And RTE thinks that “RTE and those involved regret this occurred . . . Over the last few days we reminded all staff of their obligations to keep themselves and the site safe.” absolves them? “Reminded”?

    It’ll be a joke of theirs at their cosy dinner parties “ Ha haa, …. standing on on Keep Your Distance sign – gas is t it. And us reporting the state and NPHET propaganda day in day out to the plebs, hee heeeee – suckers’

  8. Muggins

    The usual massive sense of entitlement. Lost all credibility. Don’t want to see their faces or hear their voices again.

  9. Charger Salmons

    Is anyone really surprised how poor the state broadcaster really is ?
    The lead item on last night’s 9pm news – on Covid-19 – didn’t carry a single question about government policy.
    Instead George Lee waffled on in the studio like a Ministry of Information spokesman about how Ireland – ‘ we’ he called it – must do this and must do that to get the R rate down.
    Journalism has become government groupspeak and Covid-19 has replaced Brexit with the same unquestioning obedience towards the official line.

    1. ReproBertie

      “The lead item on last night’s 9pm news – didn’t carry a single question about government policy.”
      I was under the impression the role of the news was to report the news. There are other programmes, such as Prime Time, where policies are questioned.

      1. Charger Salmons

        Jesus, you surely can’t be that servile ?
        RTE News’ job is to ask difficult questions of politicians and ” experts ” that the public would want answered.
        It’s not to go along to news conferences and say ” would the minister like to enlighten us with his views on this subject and we’ll just play that out accordingly without rigorously questioning you about it. ”
        It should also be the job of RTE News to find people who vehemently oppose current government policy and give them equal air time.It’s not as though there’s a shortage of them.
        It’s particularly vital that they carry out this job when there is no effective opposition party to do it as there isn’t in Ireland at the moment.
        Governments in Ireland have been consistently let off the hook about Brexit and Covid-19.
        It’s why they hold the electorate in such contempt.

        1. ReproBertie

          The role of the news bulletins is to report the news.

          Of course RTÉ has a role in questioning the government and that role is fulfilled through interviews with government ministers and opposition TDs as well as spokespeople from various interest groups to say nothing of investigations and deep dives into topics on the current affairs programmes.

          I do not believe it is the job of the news bulletin programmes to seek out someone who disagrees with government policy on every topic being reported on.

          1. Charger Salmons

            ” I do not believe it is the job of the news bulletin programmes to seek out someone who disagrees with government policy on every topic being reported on. ”

            I’m not sure you understand very clearly how news operates but let’s condense it down to its simplest form.

            Government says this is what we want.
            Journalists, acting on behalf of the viewers, ask why and demand they justify their decision.
            Ideally this should be done live but very rarely is in Ireland, hence the NPHET news conferences not being broadcast live.
            Opposition, who have just as much right to airtime as government, put across a different view.
            Journalists ask why and demand they justfiy their view.
            If there’s no opposition to do this who should fill the void ?
            Well, guess who ?
            Your way is exactly how governments control the news agenda.

        2. Micko

          “Jesus, you surely can’t be that servile ?”


          I reckon the Gov & HSE could outright let people die in nursing homes and these guys wouldn’t bat an eyel….

          Oh wait…

          1. Micko

            Come on Bertie. Yer grasping at straws now.

            Are you actually gonna do the “Blurgh. yeah well – what’d you do about it Micko?” response.


          2. Daisy Chainsaw

            They’re old and in a nursing home. They’re going to die soon anyway so why do you care if it’s with, of, from, by or near covid?

          3. ReproBertie

            Of course he cares Daisy. He cares so much he mocks and belittles those who did nothing while he did nothing.

          4. Micko

            Well the HSE DID do something I suppose.

            They put untested Covid infected people into the nursing homes.

            And yet you guys still stand up for them…

          5. ReproBertie

            Off you go there micko and find me the post where I stood up for the HSE. You never know, you might even find the ones where I criticised the decision to allow visitors into the care homes after the homes themselves decided not to let any in. You probably missed them at the time because you were so busy taking all that action against the HSE.

          6. Micko

            I didn’t kill the old people Daisy – the doctors made those decisions.

            Only 131 of those who died with COVID made it to ICU. 131 from 2010 poor unfortunates.

            That leaves 1879 people who Doctor’s decided not to put into ICU or some that didn’t even get to the hospital as they were deemed too sick or too old.

            But yeah – it’s my fault. Get annoyed at me if it helps love

          7. ReproBertie

            But what did you do about it micko? Since you seem to think me not having done anything about it is a mark of my servility you must have done something. Anything else would be hypocritical.

          8. Micko


            You’re just repeating yourself now. “WHAT DID YOU DOOOO MICKOOOOO| WHAT DO YOU DOOOO!!!”


            Also, Micko starts with a capital ‘M” Bertie

            Silly boy – must try harder.

          9. ReproBertie

            Yeah, dodging around the question because the truth is that Micko’s a hypocrite. Smugly looking down on people who did exactly what he did.

          10. Micko

            It is awesome up here. Looking down on you – the little people

            Although, I prefer “Smugocrite” if I’m honest Bertie..

            And – YOU have a stress free weekend.

            Stahhhh safe

          11. E'Matty

            @Reprobertie – What did Micko do about it? He kept (and continues to) raising this issue online trying to raise awareness of this national scandal. That’s really all a citizen can do now, seek to raise awareness of an issue in the hope it gains momentum and those in power are forced to address it. It needs to become a massive political liability before they’ll ever do anything. Micko can only start the ball rolling. He can’t single handedly roll it into cabinet. That’s where we all come in, where we should amplify the issue online and try get it into the mainstream consiciousness. Whilst Micko has been trying to raise awareness of this scandal, instead of supporting this, commenters like you have tended to take a defensive position. It’s like you believe that by accepting what Micko says about the nursing homes, you’ve stepped outside the Pale and joined the “looney conspriacy theorists”. It’s a pretty damning indictment on Irish society when it’s the much maligned and abused so called conspiracy theorists who are the ONLY ones crying foul on the indefensible decision to push these sick elderly patients back into the nursing and care homes without being tested. One only has to look at the age profile and location of the deaths recorded to date to see that it is the elderly in nursing and care homes who make up the vast majority of the total alleged Covid deaths.

          12. ReproBertie

            “ commenters like you have tended to take a defensive position. It’s like you believe that by accepting what Micko says about the nursing homes, you’ve stepped outside the Pale and joined the “looney conspriacy theorists”.“

            You’d do well to avoid coming into conversations half way through and acting like you know what’s going on. I haven’t disagreed with anything Micko said about the nursing homes. You’ll find plenty of posts from me criticising the decision to allow visitors after the nursing homes said they wouldn’t take any. Go back further and you’ll find posts from me In March talking about how we needed to do a better job on minding the nursing homes than Spain had managed to. The devastation in the nursing homes is a national scandal, especially when we were warned by what happened in other countries that it was a high risk.

            This conversation is about Micko doing exactly as much as I did but calling me servile for doing so.

            You have a great weekend Micko! Just one more weekend after this before this Level 5 nonsense finally ends.

          13. Micko

            Well that’s something we can all agree on Bertie

            As soon as L5 ends we can all relax a bit

            Now everyone go and have a good weekend!

            See ye Monday :-)

          14. ReproBertie

            No SOQ I have said several times that I felt that the move to level 5 was a step too far and that Level 3 seemed to be working. I’ve also been in favour of county level restrictions rather than national.

            Enjoy the weekend.

  10. One username per commenter please

    So are you pro-mask now Bodger? Is this why the outrage? It’s so hard to follow these days.

    1. Bodger

      I am not remotely outraged, but it is enjoyable to see the peddlers of fear and nonsense getting a taste of their own bullpoo.

    2. E'Matty

      I think it’s the sheer hypocrisy and arrogance of it that grates so much. Like the judges, politicans and media figures in Clifden, these RTE media figures, who have all played a role in pumping up this national hysteria, are clearly not particularly concerned about contracting the virus themselves. Either that, or they don’t believe the advice/guidelines they claim to on air. There’s families who have not seen one another in person since before March, so terrified are they of this virus. These media figures played a role in creating that fear.

      1. Bidger

        You’re right! Media figures do play a part in formulating narrative. Such as the anti mask narrative, the QAnon narrative, and the most recent one that democrats (or is it demorats, hard to keep up with the lingo these days). One could even call these hysterics. And when one trots out all of the above, then pipes fury into the fact that the “enemy” were caught up in a story vaguely related to one of these narratives (in this case, the anti/pro-mask) then yes, that is pretty hypocritical. And arrogant.

  11. ian-oh

    I really hope Miriam goes for President some day just so she ends up finding out what people outside of the RTE bubble think of her.

    I’d imagine it would be ‘not much’.

    Of course most of the real commentary about her will take place on places like here and Twitter etc. as RTE & the indo will be too busy telling us how great, impartial and apolitical she is. We’ll all have a good laugh about that. Except me. Because I tend to avoid RTE and the indo so will miss the hilarity.

  12. GiggidyGoo

    Section 6(1) of SI 326 of 2020.
    So, who organized it? If no one comes forward, then maybe D4bes may be held responsible.
    Have the Gardai called yet?

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