The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has recommended that RTÉ be fined €200,000 after finding that the broadcaster breached the Broadcasting Act in its 'Prime Time Investigates' programme which libelled Fr Kevin Reynolds.
The investigation into the circumstances which led to the libel, found that the programme was not fair and that it broadcast serious, damaging and untrue allegations about Fr Reynolds.
The BAI Statement of Findings and the Report of the Investigating Officer also criticised the editorial and managerial controls within RTÉ, which it said failed to recognise the great injustice which could be done to Fr Reynolds.
Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said: “This afternoon, I have received a copy of the Report prepared by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.
“The investigation undertaken by the BAI was conducted at my request and in the context of the serious issues that were raised in regard to the programme.
“It is clear that the Report poses a fundamental challenge for RTÉ if it is to re-establish the high level of trust that it has enjoyed amongst the Irish people.
“Regaining that trust is critical for RTÉ given that it is the public service broadcaster and significantly funded by the TV licence.
“I have arranged to meet with the chairman and board at 8am on Tuesday morning to discuss the report published today by the BAI following Ms Carragher's investigation.”