RTÉ ‘not a house market cheerleader’

RTÉ was not a cheerleader for the boom despite its series of high-profile house-buying programmes, the banking inquiry has heard.

Ed Mulhall, the station’s then head of news and current affairs, made the claim during the latest Oireachtas banking inquiry meeting.

He told the cross-party group the broadcaster regularly put forward “contrarian” views on the economy, and pointed to a number of examples, including Boom and Future Shock in April 2007, which was followed by an infamous Prime Time interview with economist Morgan Kelly.

Mr Mulhall said this showed the broadcaster was highlighting concerns over the property market and wider economy.

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However, despite the view, Fianna Fáil senator Marc MacSharry, Fine Gael TD Kieran O Donnell, and Socialist Party leader Joe Higgins, among others, questioned the accuracy of this claim.

Citing programmes such as I’m An Adult, Get Me Out of Here and A House in the Sun, which aired as regular series at the time, Mr MacSharry asked how one-off shows could compete with the overriding message of “sustaining” the boom.

Mr Higgins said many young families were convinced to “buy now” because of these shows, some of which had links to property interests.

However, Mr Mulhall said this must be seen within the station’s wider output.

Read more of today’s news here

 

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