Marriage Equality Referendum: Comedian Oliver Callan reminded of broadcaster’s guidelines

Comedian Oliver Callan, who provides independent productions to RTÉ, has been reminded of RTÉ’s guidelines on avoiding comment on the marriage equality referendum after he publicly backed a yes vote.

The star of Callan’s Kicks backed moves to extend marriage rights to same sex couples at an event in Dublin.

Mr Callan said he would not have been able to forgive himself if he had not aided the yes side.

He joined actor Gabriel Byrne and author Roddy Doyle on stage at the Noble Call for Marriage Equality night to push for a yes vote in the May 22 poll.

However, the appearance went against controversial RTÉ guidelines which state that staff members and those contracted to the broadcaster should not publicly comment on the vote.

“RTÉ has clear guidelines to ensure fairness in its coverage around referendums and elections.

“These guidelines have been issued to all staff and contractors, and RTÉ is engaging with staff and contractors as required to ensure the guidelines are understood,” a spokesperson for the broadcaster said.

Gabriel Byrne used the marriage equality event to state he would be “massively disappointed” if the reform did not pass.

The RTÉ ban on comments regarding the referendum by performers not involved in the news division has been condemned by some critics as an infringement on freedom of speech.

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