RTÉ Brexit expert accepts apology from Cork-based MEP Billy Kelleher

RTÉ Brexit expert accepts apology from Cork-based MEP Billy Kelleher
Billy Kelleher MEP

RTÉ journalist Tony Connelly has accepted an apology from MEP Billy Kelleher, following a series of tweets sent by the former Cork North Central TD.

Micheál Martin distanced himself from the comments from Mr Kelleher, which appeared to criticise Tony Connelly and RTÉ for its coverage of the European Parliament and called for a cut in the TV licence fee.

RTÉ News managing director Jon Williams said Mr Kelleher's comments were "bizarre" and "disappointing".

Mr Kelleher said he was not criticising Mr Connelly, but rather RTÉ's coverage of EU issues.

RTÉ's Europe Editor Tony ConnellyPhotograph: Hany Marzouk
RTÉ's Europe Editor Tony ConnellyPhotograph: Hany Marzouk

Mr Martin did some damage control on the issue today saying: "Tony Connelly, in particular, has earned the appreciation of the Irish people for his consistent and very hard work. RTÉ deserves credit for the comprehensive nature of its work."

Tony Connelly has since tweeted to say: “Billy Kelleher phoned a short time ago to offer a gracious apology and to insist that his Tweet last night was not directed at me personally but was a result of sadness over Brexit coming to pass, and frustration that his constituents feel the EU is not properly explained and explored by the Irish media.

“In other words, as he would see it, in the absence of healthy and fair coverage of the EU, the eurosceptics will always win.

“I have fully and gratefully accepted Billy's apology and explanation and am happy to draw a line under the episode.”

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