BAI upholds complaint over Ray D’Arcy

The country’s broadcasting watchdog has upheld a complaint against The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ radio involving an interview conducted by the host on the subject of abortion.

BAI upholds complaint over Ray D’Arcy

Two complaints were made to the Broadcasting Association of Ireland (BAI), one upheld and one upheld in part.

In a complaint lodged by June Twomey, it was claimed the programme — aired on October 15 and which featured an interview with Graham Linehan and his wife, Helen — was “unfair and biased”.

In the second complaint, lodged by Brendan O’Regan and upheld in part, it was claimed the programme was “an attack on the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution”.

The complainant claimed the “attack” came from the Linehans and that it was a “soft” interview which was impartial and lacking in balance.

RTÉ said the programme focuses on human interest stories rather than the hosting of debates between antagonists and that “the focus of the interview was primarily on the personal trauma endured by the couple”.

RTÉ said the context for the interview was a video in which the couple recounted their experience of a diagnosis their first baby would not survive beyond birth.

The BAI upheld the complaint in part and said it did not find that Mr D’Arcy had not acted in a manner that amounted to advocating a partisan view.

Regarding Ms Twomey’s complaint, the BAI found the other perspectives provided were “insufficient” and that treatment of those other views were “cursory”.

An RTÉ spokesperson said it accepted the ruling.

“There is no further comment,” they said.

Cora Sherlock of the Pro Life Group said: “This is the second time in the space of six months that the BAI has upheld a complaint of media bias against The Ray D’Arcy Show on the issue of abortion.

“It’s not acceptable for Ireland’s taxpayer-funded broadcasting station to continue to provide a platform for people to promote their own personal agendas.”

Last December the BAI upheld a number of complaints against The Ray D’Arcy Show following an interview conducted by the host with Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International.

Mr O’Gorman was on the show last June regarding the publication of Amnesty’s report, She Is Not A Criminal: The Impact Of Ireland’s Abortion Law.

Complainants claimed Mr D’Arcy showed a lack of balance in the interview and that he did not challenge Mr O’Gorman’s view.

RTÉ defended the item but of the six complaints regarding the content of the show, three were upheld; two in part; and one rejected.

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