Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Public Accounts Committee

2020 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 33: Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Programme E - Broadcasting

9:30 am

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I have a question on the centenary coverage for Ms Forbes. By and large, there was some good coverage and the programme was informative, particularly for a young audience. There was fairly balanced coverage but I have two little criticisms.

First, on the re-enactment of the media coverage around the signing of the treaty, I query the setting. Mr. David McCullagh did very well but he was in a very modern studio and more modern than the one we are in now. The programme did not catch the atmosphere as well as it could have because a modern studio was used. However, in general, the content was good.

I have another small criticism or suggestion as last weekend the programme was repeatedly broadcast. I received a number of complaints and phone calls that the programme was repeated ad nauseamon the RTÉ channels as a commemoration of the weekend when British troops left Ireland. That was inaccurate in the sense that, obviously, for the people who live in the North they know that British troops have not left Ireland. People currently, looking back over the last four decades, have lived in one of the most militarised parts of the world. I am just pointing out that there was a huge inaccuracy. In the round I can say that the coverage was good. In future it is important that RTÉ is mindful that when talking about Ireland there are 32 counties on the island.

As no members have indicated a wish to comment then that concludes questions. I thank Ms Forbes and her staff from RTÉ and all the witnesses from the Department for joining us today. I thank all of them for the work involved in preparing for this meeting and the substantial documentation that was supplied prior to this meeting was useful. I also thank the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr. Seamus McCarthy, and the staff for attending and assisting with today's committee meeting.

Is it agreed to request the clerk to the committee to seek any follow-up information and carry out any agreed actions arising from this meeting? Agreed. Is it also agreed that we note and publish the opening statements and briefings provided for today's meeting? Agreed.

The meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts is suspended until 1.30 p.m. when the committee will resume in public session to consider correspondence and any other business of the committee.