Aoife Kavanagh

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Aoife Kavanagh
Nationality Irish
Occupation Journalist and documentary producer.
Employer Various
Known for Presenter of 'Morning Ireland', RTE. Mission to Prey,
Defamation of Fr. Kevin Reynolds

Aoife Kavanagh is a former reporter and presenter for Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) and part of the team at the centre of the "Mission to Prey" scandal that has rocked the Irish national radio and television broadcaster. She resigned from RTÉ[1] following the publication of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) statement of findings[2][3] and the full report on the programme.[4][5] She rejected many of the findings of the report in her resignation statement and faced no sanction for her role in the programme.

Previously she was a presenter of RTÉ flagship radio programmes Morning Ireland (RTÉ Radio 1) and a reporter withPrime Time Investigates (RTÉ One). During her time with RTÉ she was highly regarded for her reportage from the developing world on conflict, human rights and development issues. She made national news headlines herself in 2011 however when she was at the centre of a controversy surrounding the defamation of Fr. Kevin Reynolds.[6] The defamation of Fr. Kevin Reynolds led to the suspension of the Prime Time programme, prompted an investigation and led to interventions by politicians as senior as the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.[7] The entire team involved in the programme including the Managing Editor of News and Current Affairs temporarily stepped aside from involvement in on-air programming to co-operate with the investigation.[8]

In 2011, a defamation/libel suit was filed against RTÉ[9] following one of Ms Kavanagh's reports on Prime Time. The episode was entitled "Mission to Prey"[10][11] - about sexual abuse by Irish Catholic Missionary Priests in Africa, including one whereby the Priest (Fr. Kevin Reynolds) was falsely accused of child-rape and fathering a child while a missionary in Kenya. The suit against the national broadcaster was settled for an undisclosed sum.[12][13][14][15]

RTÉ later broadcast an apology to Fr Kevin Reynolds.[16][17] The head of the Irish Missionary Union said Kavanagh's continuing presence on Morning Ireland after being found guilty of defaming Fr Kevin Reynolds was “unfair and unjust” and a demonstration of “double standards” in the media.[18]

RTÉ was fined €200,000 by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) as a result of the defamation of Fr Kevin Reynolds following what the BAI said were serious breaches of the Broadcasting Act 2009.[19][20] The report found that "Second-hand repetition of gossip appears to have been treated as corroboration, as Ms Kavanagh did not appear to have met or questioned colleagues who according to the primary source, were aware of the allegations".[21] Kavanagh resigned from RTÉ on 4 May 2012.[22] She had previously been tipped as a replacement for Charlie Bird in the role of RTÉ's US Correspondent after he left the States.[6] Director-General of RTÉ Noel Curran admitted the broadcasting of "Mission to Prey" was "one of the gravest editorial mistakes ever made" at RTÉ.[23]

  • "Far Away Up Close (Development series)" (2006)
  • "White Collar Crime" (2009)
  • "Mission to Prey" (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reporter resigns as RTÉ fined over Primetime broadcast". The Sunday Business Post. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "BAI statement of findings". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "BAI statement of findings". Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. May 4, 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "Anna Carragher's full report on Mission to Prey (via RTÉ)". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Report of the investigating officer". Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Aoife Kavanagh: Journalist who made the headlines". Irish Independent. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Taoiseach cites 'grievous drop' in RTÉ standards over Fr Reynolds libel case". BBC News. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Aoife Kavanagh removed from on-air programming over Fr. Kevin Reynolds defamation". RTÉ News. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Priest takes action against RTÉ". The Irish Times. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "RTÉ Prime Time - Mission to Prey (excerpt via YouTube)". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. [dead link]
  11. ^ "RTÉ Prime Time - Mission to Prey (full version via YouTube)". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. [dead link]
  12. ^ "RTÉ boss to be quizzed by TDs over priest libel". Irish Independent. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Bitter lesson for RTÉ in Reynolds' libel case". Irish Independent. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  14. ^ "RTÉ to pay damages to priest over abuse libel". The Irish Times. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  15. ^ "RTÉ settles priest defamation case". The Irish Times. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "Apology - Fr Kevin Reynolds". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  17. ^ "(Audio) Morning Ireland: RTÉ apology to Fr Kevin Reynolds". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "Reporter's broadcasts in wake of libel finding 'unfair'". The Irish Times. 23 November 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  19. ^ "BAI finds 'significant failure of editorial and managerial controls' at RTÉ". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  20. ^ "Report criticises RTÉ journalism standards". BBC News (BBC). 4 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "Sweeping assumptions raise concerns". The Irish Times. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  22. ^ "Mission to Prey reporter Aoife Kavanagh resigns from RTÉ". The Journal. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012. 
  23. ^ Cullen, Paul; McGreevy, Ronan (23 November 2011). "RTÉ shelves investigative series and concedes 'grave mistake'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 

External links[edit]