RTÉ will not appear before Oireachtas committee over Liveline debates

It is understood that in its response, RTÉ has told politicians that it will engage with Dublin Pride directly, something some committee members say is preferable to a committee appearance.
RTÉ will not appear before Oireachtas committee over Liveline debates

Kenneth Fox

RTÉ bosses will not be asked before an Oireachtas committee to discuss a series of Liveline programmes which discussed trans people or the ending of a partnership by Dublin Pride.

The Irish Examiner reports that a renewed invite may be sent by the Oireachtas Media Committee to invite RTÉ staff in to discuss the organisation's overall strategy after RTÉ told members that a formal statutory complaints procedure is being undertaken in relation to the programmes.

It is understood that in its response, RTÉ has told politicians that it will engage with Dublin Pride directly, something some committee members say is preferable to a committee appearance.

An RTÉ spokesperson said: "The Joint Committee has written to RTÉ this evening confirming it will not proceed with the proposed hearing next week."

Fianna Fáil senator Malcolm Byrne, a member of the committee told the Irish Examiner that the controversy could bring to light much-needed discussions about trans-inclusivity

"It's good that there is a discussion around trans rights. I think the issue is that some of the language in the shows didn't just cause offence, it caused genuine hurt. But the intention from RTÉ is to engage in discussions with Dublin Pride and that's a better avenue for discussion.

"I hope that if some good can come of this it's a discussion around how we can be more inclusive of trans people."

The ending of the partnership came in the wake of a Liveline segment on trans issues featuring what Dublin Pride said were "harmful" discussions.

Dublin Pride criticised the airing of "transphobic" views on the RTÉ radio programme.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, RTÉ said airing "uncomfortable" public discussions is a central aspect of its "prescribed purpose" as the national broadcaster.

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