Tag Archives: RTE

Member of the Defence Forces or HSE at a coronavirus test centre set up on the LÉ Samuel Beckett, at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin 2, last month

This morning.

RTÉ is reporting that a nursing home resident who was tested for Covid-19 nine days ago died last night.

The resident’s test results had not come through by the time of their death.

RTÉ is also reporting a nursing home resident is very ill in hospital and still waiting for their Covid-19 test result, after a swab being taken eight days ago.

Fergal Bowers has tweeted:

RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live last night with the host (above) and Professor Sam McConkey (right) and Dr Matthew O’Toole

On RTÉ One’s Claire Byrne Live last night.

Ms Byrne, broadcasting live from her shed, told viewers that she had tested positive for coronavirus at the weekend.

A week ago, on the evening of March 16, Ms Byrne broadcast from the same location as she had been showing symptoms and was self-isolating.

Last night she said her symptoms had since “abated” and added “I’m not too bad at all actually”.

Ms Byrne said:

“Now I told you last week that I had gone into self-isolation because I was displaying some symptoms at the time. It was symptoms of a head cold that I thought I had.

“Since then I’ve been tested and that result was positive for Covid-19 and I’m one of the now 1,125 people in Ireland with coronavirus and as we learned today sadly two more people have died, bringing to six the number of lives claimed by this disease.

“And when we hear about those deaths, that’s what makes us all feel so worried and so anxious about this.

“So tonight what I want to do is to tell you about what happened to me over the last week. So I was here last week, I was talking to you, I was telling you about the symptoms I had of a head cold that my GP had referred me for a test.

Continue reading

This morning.

Via RTÉ News:

RTÉ is planning to broadcast an hour of ‘school on TV’ to support children and their parents at home.

It is part of a cross-platform teaching initiative that is being pulled together by RTÉ at short notice with the support of the Department of Education.

It is hoped that the one-hour programme will begin on Monday 30 March. It will run from 11am to 12pm, Monday to Friday on RTÉ2, with a shorter “catch-up” segment later in the afternoon. It will be aimed particularly at children in 1st to 6th class.

RTÉ to launch ‘school on TV’ teaching initiative (RTÉ)


From Ireland V Italy game in Six Nations in 2013; and Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical officer at the Department of Health on RTÉ News last night

This morning.

Minister for Health Simon Harris is to meet representatives of the Irish Rugby Football Union after it sought “reasoning” behind Mr Harris’ call to cancel the Six Nations Ireland V Italy rugby game on March 7 because of a coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy.

Last night, the IRFU released a statement saying:

“The IRFU is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Harris as to the specific reasoning behind calling for the cancellation of the Ireland V Italy Six Nations fixture in the context of the Government’s overall travel policy to and from Italy and other affected countries.

“Until such time as the IRFU has had contact with the Minister and gets an understanding of the government’s strategic policy on travel to and from Ireland and the cancellation of mass gatherings, it is not in a position to comment further.

It’s been reported there have been 90 suspected cases tested in Ireland but none have tested positive for the virus.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Jackie Fox spoke to Dr Tony Holohan, chief medical officer at the Department of Health and asked him if it would be possible for the game to be played “behind closed doors”.

Dr Holohan said that would be a matter for the IRFU.

Ms Fox also asked him about St Patrick’s Day.

From the interview…

Dr Tony Holohan: “This won’t be the only mass gathering that we will look at. But this was one that was coming quite soon and obviously involving an area in Europe that has been added to the list of countries that you’ve just outlined where community transmission is taking place and we felt we couldn’t make no other responsible advice or decision.”

Jackie Fox: ‘But there’s nothing to stop the 2,500 thousand Italian fans still travelling to Ireland. Should flights have been cancelled rather the game?”

Holohan: “No, we don’t think that would be a proportionate measure. The WHO is not recommending cancellation of, or restrictions on foreign travel. We make specific travel advisories available and in this country we do that through the Department of Foreign Affairs and their website there. And we make available information then through the points of entry to the country to raise awareness.

“And we’ll be stepping up that as part of the decision that was taken yesterday with more information and physical presence of HSE staff and more posturing and leaflets and so on at the airport. To raise awareness of the symptoms that could occur so if you’ve travelled back from one of the listed areas that you’ve set out which are Japan, Singpore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, and one of the four regions, now identified in Northern Italy, which are Lombardy and Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piemonte alongside mainland China.

“If you’ve come back from any of those regions in the last 14 days and experienced flu-like symptoms such as a cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or a fever, you should stay at home, make contact with your GP and be guided by your GP from there. ”

Fox: “The IRFU are meeting with the minister today. If they choose not to take this advice, do authorities have the power to stop this fixture from going ahead?”

Holohan: “I think the IRFU is a responsible organisation and will be willing to work with us to ensure that a measure that we have advised like this which nobody wants to find ourselves in a position of having to to cancel or recommend not take place, I’m sure that they, as a responsible organisation, will be, just as we are, minded to act in the interests of the health and welfare, not only of their spectators but for their players.”

Fox: “But could they, for instance, play the game behind closed doors?”

Holohan: “Well, that will be a matter for them.”


Holohan: “It is an unfolding infection. We don’t know everything about it. We know that the pattern of severity in relation to it, based on the information about it out of China and other places that have experiencing significant number of cases can be severe, that in 20% of cases, approximately, people have a severe illness. And in a small percentage of cases but it would be substantially higher that is currently the case with ‘flu, unfortunately deaths are occurring at a rate of about 2%. But that is not insignificant and it would be nothing other than irresponsible of us if we weren’t to respond fully with the containment measures that we now have in place to try and limit the spread of that in the first instance and prepare ourselves fully in the event that we do have community transmission taking place in this country to minimise the impact on the population here.”

Fox: “Briefly, can I just ask you briefly about the next mass gathering that’s due here, on St Patrick’s Day. Are there plans or is that being looked at at the moment?”

Holohan: “Mass gatherings of all kinds take place all of the time as I’m sure you know from small meetings to large conferences and sporting and other fixtures. So as well as the decision that we recommended in relation to the rugby match, we’ve set up a process to enable anybody, any organiser of a mass gathering to get in touch and for us to consider, according to the guidelines I mentioned, the guidelines that would have informed our decision yesterday in relation to the match, to give that advice in relation to those mass gatherings.

It can be difficult to predict for something that’s a number of weeks away because we could find ourselves in a situation where other regions of the world are affected. Italy was not an area of concern for us a week ago and it’s now the reason why we’ve made this recommendation. So this is a fast-changing situation so it’s impossible to make a prediction now as to where we might be for a an event that could be, you know, five, six weeks, or more weeks away.”

Listen back in full here

Previously: La Forza De Destino 

This afternoon.

Sinn Féin councillor for Artane-Whitehall in Dublin City Council Larry O’Toole (above) tweetz:

“The breakthrough. My successful challenge to State Censorship (Section 31) in the early nineties. Took a case because RTÉ wouldn’t broadcast my interviews during the Gateaux strike. I’m afraid that censorship mentality still exists in RTÉ.”



Any excuse.

Section 31

Larry O’Toole?

Related: A trade unionist who took RTE to court (Irish Times, Catherine Cleary, May 18, 1998)

Earlier: Rallying Cry

This afternoon.

“After 15 years working in the Sunday Independent, I’m delighted to be joining the weekends on RTÉ Radio 1.

The weekend is a time to pause, take a breath and review the week, and it’s also a time when people like a different, more reflective kind of radio, maybe even a bit of fun.”

Marian’s legacy will inspire us to continue to explore, challenge and debate the issues that truly matter to Irish people.”

Brendan O’Connor.






Brendan O’Connor gets weekend mid-morning slot on RTÉ Radio 1 (RTÉ)

From left Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin, Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and Sinn Fein President Mary Lou during the leaders’ debate on RTÉ One’s Prime Time

This afternoon

RTÉ Radio One’s Ray D’Arcy has told his listeners he counted how many times the word “change” was used times during last night’s Prime Time leaders’ debate.

How much change, Ray?

The word was used by the three candidates a total of 357 times.

Three hundred and fifty seven.

Earlier: How Was It For You? [Updated]


This evening.

“RTÉ is very mindful it has a duty to the public to reflect events as they unfold.

During the course of the campaign and over recent days RTÉ has taken into consideration the notable change in the dynamic of the campaign on the ground, and representation and statements by political parties.

The dynamic has also been consistently reflected in all opinion polls since the campaign commenced.

We now consider it necessary to amend our original approach, respond to the changes in the campaign, and continue to put the audience first in the making of Tuesday night’s programme.”

RTÉ statement this evening.

Mary Lou McDonald to take part in leaders’ debate (RTÉ)


David McCullagh and Miriam O’Callaghan of RTÉ’s Prime Time; Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald, during the seven way RTE leaders debate

On January 14 last, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that the election would take place on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

The following day, January 15, RTÉ released a press statement announcing details of its TV election debates. It noted:

In the final days of the campaign The Prime Time Leaders Debate will see the party leaders from the two largest political parties invited to take part in a live head-to-head studio debate.”

“In approaching election coverage the RTÉ Election Steering Group has regard to objective and impartial criteria, such as the results of the last comparable election (in this instance, the General Election 2016) and the results of intervening elections, such as the 2019 Local and European elections. Other factors are also considered in RTÉ coverage of the campaign.”

This morning.

RTÉ’s Political Correspondent Paul Cunningham reports:

“RTÉ’s General Election steering committee will meet at 11am to consider representations from Sinn Féin for Mary Lou McDonald to participate in the Prime Time leaders’ debate tomorrow night.

“Under the existing plan, the debate will be between the Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar and the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.

“Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty, who made the request to RTÉ in person yesterday, has argued that recent opinion polls prove that the criteria used to exclude Ms McDonald are redundant.”

More as we get it.


Prime Time presenter Miriam O Callaghan with, from left: Micheál Martin of Fianna Fáil, Enda Kenny of Fine Gael and Eamon Gilmore of The Labour Party before a three-way leaders’ debate during the 2011 General Election

From the book Electoral Management: Institutions and Practices in an Established Democracy: The Case of Ireland by Fiona Buckley and Theresa Reidy…

In a chapter by Kevin Rafter:

Televised leaders’ debates have been a feature of Dáil elections since February 1982 with the sole exception of the 1989 election when agreement was not reached to organise a debate.

The seven debates between February 1982 and May 2007 shared several common features. In the first instance, participation was confined to the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, the two largest parties, which in effect turned the encounters into ‘Prime Ministerial debates’ as holder of the office of Taoiseach (Prime Minister) have been drawn from these two parties.

In addition, there was always only one televised debate per campaign, and all these debates were hosted by RTÉ.

The nature of the leaders’s debate changed in the 2011 general election. The number of debates increased to four while the number of host broadcasters increased to three with the involvement of TV3 and the publicly owned Irish language service, TG4.

The debate on TG4 took place in the Irish language (all earlier debates were in the English language).

Finally, and undoubtedly the most important change in 2011 was an increase in the number of participating party leaders.

The leader of the Labour Party, traditionally the third largest party participated in all four debates while one of the debates was a five-way encounter involving all parties with a minimum representation in the outgoing Dáil.

Since 1988, the organisation of presidential debates in the USA has been overseen by an independent commission although they are still defined by ‘behind-the-scenes arguments about everything from the format of the questioners to the length of the response time, the placement of cameras, the height of podiums, and the location of water glasses’.

In an Irish context, these ‘debates about the debates’ involves private interaction between the main political parties and broadcasters. At the 2011 general election, each of the three broadcasters ultimately involved in broadcasting debates (RTÉ, TV3 and TG4) negotiated separately with the five main political parties. This was a different approach to the UK experience where the broadcasters ‘communicated and agree a concerted approach’.

RTÉ’s hosting of two leader debates in 2011 was preceded by eight months of informal conversations, email communication and formal face-to-face meetings.

In a post-election review, one RTÉ executive offered advice for colleagues involved in future debate negotiations:

“…avoid getting drawn into lengthy discussions on formats or rules and regulations – we make the TV, they provide the candidates – and at no stage did we get drawn into the sorts of intricate rules which were a feature of the UK debates.”

...The importance of being impartial and fair, and being seen to be so, was a central feature of RTÉ’s approach to election coverage in 2011.

Indeed, at the final internal SC [steering committee] meeting before polling day it was noted ‘with satisfaction that RTÉ’s coverage hadn’t featured as an election story and this was very welcome as an indication that we were providing extensive, accurate and fair coverage’.

There you go now.

RTÉ committee to meet over Sinn Féin participation in election debate (RTÉ)