Taxpayer-funded media station, RTÉ, has refused to reveal how much it paid for a documentary on abortion which has been described as “wholly biased” and a “taxpayer-funded promo for the Yes side in the referendum to repeal the 8th”.
Gript investigator, Gary Kavanagh, wrote to RTÉ asking how much it had paid for the rights to air ‘The 8th’ which took a sympathetic and supportive view of the campaign to repeal the right-to-life clause from the constitution.
In reply, the station said that “RTÉ does not comment in relation to fees or rights for its acquired programmes”
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Pro-life group the Life Institute said that it was unacceptable that a “wholly biased” documentary on abortion was both given funding from Screen Ireland before being “handed another lump of taxpayer funds through RTÉ”.
“Why won’t RTÉ reveal how much they paid to air this documentary which was produced using lavish taxpayer funding?” the pro-life group said. “The fact remains that ‘The 8th’ was a taxpayer-funded promo for the Yes side in the referendum to repeal the 8th – but RTÉ is now telling the taxpayer that we don’t have the right to know how much of our funding was splashed out on this propaganda piece. So much for transparency and accountability.”
Screen Ireland – a public body – gave €150,000 of taxpayer funds to make The 8th. The documentary was also supported to the tune of €30,000 by the Ford Foundation, a wealthy US-based outfit – and says that it received ‘generous support’ from George Soros’s Open Foundation, and another American foundation, Sabrina Merage.