Cllr David McManus calls for “consequences” after RTÉ gathering

The national broadcaster has issued a statement following an RTÉ gathering occurring during Level 5 restrictions

Deputy Mayor of South County Dublin, Councillor David McManus, has called for “consequences” after RTÉ’s farewell gathering for a colleague.

The event occurred on November 15 which saw RTÉ presenters posing for photos without wearing face masks.

RTÉ stars including Bryan Dobson, Miriam O’Callaghan, David McCullagh and RTÉ News Managing Director Jon Williams have apologised for their “serious lapse of judgement”.

Sick of this narrative. No, we HAVEN’T all broken the rules at some point.No, we HAVEN’T all had lapses of judgment.No, we HAVEN’T all attended ‘impromptu’ parties with balloons and personalised banners

— Alvagh Cronin (@AlvaghCronin)

In a statement, RTÉ said that while social distancing was observed at last week’s gathering, “a number of those present briefly posed for a photo with their departing colleague, before returning to work”.

The statement continues: “These contacts were not close contacts as defined by HSPC guidelines.

“They were brief casual contacts, which while well-intentioned, were unnecessarily risky and should not have happened.”

This evening Cllr McManus has said, “RTÉ must show there are consequences or it’s double standards”.

In a statement, he said: “The RTÉ statement fails to mention if any lessons will be learnt or if any individuals will face any consequences at all from this fiasco.

“Two RTÉ presenters that breached guidelines were at work today (Friday) and appeared on radio and television which signals that they will face no consequences. All they can offer is an apology, but it’s just words.”

Not sure how you have a lapse of judgement about not socially distancing, when you are having your photo taken, while standing on a sign telling you to socially distance!!

— Colin McDermott (@Colin_McDer)

His statement continues: “Phil Hogan resigned but will RTÉ be held to account? If not, it’s double standards.

“Ordinary people cannot visit other households, they cannot attend mass – meanwhile RTÉ staff threw a party and posed for photos.

“It looks like the state broadcaster lives in another universe. There are great staff in RTÉ and unfortunately, they have been let down by some presenters and the inadequate response to this fiasco by RTÉ management.

“Ultimately, politicians are accountable to the people every five years at the ballot box. Who is RTÉ accountable to for the €189 million in state funding that they receive?”

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