Today FM radio presenter Ray D'Arcy has refused to apologise for controversial comments criticising the Catholic Church.
Speaking on his show this morning, the Kildare native said his comments on Friday, where he said
that "the Catholic Church, in many ways, had f***** up this country", had been aimed at the Church hierarchy, and not "people like my mother who is a devout Christian".
While Mr D'Arcy repeated his apology for use of offensive language at an inappropriate time, he said the apology demanded by the Catholic Communications Office for his statement "would not be forthcoming".
"There won't be a retraction," Mr D'Arcy said, reiterating that it was the Catholic hierarchy and the "litany" of abuse scandals and other issues to which he was referring in his original comments.
Mr D'Arcy had made the comments in reference to a newspaper report on last week's ‘fornication’ remark by Fine Gael Mayo TD Michelle Mulherin, itself in reference to the Dáil debate on a private member's bill to legislate for the 'X case' recommendations on abortion.
The Office has threatened to refer Mr D'Arcy to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland for what it called his "grossly offensive" statement.
Director Martin Long sent a formal complaint to Today FM about the presenter’s statement on Friday afternoon demanding an apology and retraction.
"All those who hold the Catholic faith dear are deeply insulted by this appalling language," he wrote.
"By any objective or subjective measure, lay and religious members of the Catholic Church have and continue to contribute to the common good of our society, particularly in the areas of poverty, social justice, health and education."
Contacted about the matter yesterday, Mr Long said the statement by Mr D’Arcy was not a rational argument; it was an example of media bias against the Church.
"People can criticise the Church. That’s fine. But when the criticism isn’t rational, it’s bias in my view," he said.