RTÉ finds multiple breaches of Covid-19 guidelines at retirement party

ireland
A health and safety review found that five breaches of Covid-19 guidelines took place.
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By Digital Desk Staff

A health and safety review conducted by RTÉ has found that five breaches of Covid-19 guidelines took place at a retirement party on its Donnybrook campus.

A number of the broadcaster’s top presenters and staff - including Miriam O'Callaghan, Bryan Dobson and David McCullagh - were photographed at the gathering last month where social distancing rules appeared to have been breached.

Following a review into the incident, the Irish Examiner reports that three breaches of Covid-19 public health advice were identified, along with one breach of Level 5 restrictions and one breach of RTÉ's internal Covid-19 protocols.

The breaches at the gathering included a failure to maintain social distancing, a failure to wear a face covering, and a failure to avoid crowded places.

Level 5 restrictions of the Government’s Living with Covid-19 plan were also breached, as the gathering took place indoors and was not an essential service.

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The gathering also breached internal RTÉ protocols surrounding visitors to its site.

Recommendations

The review recommended that those present at the gathering retake RTÉ's Covid-19 induction training.

It also recommended that a communications plan be put in place to reinforce the broadcaster's Covid-19 protocols and that visitor access be reviewed.

RTÉ has said it will implement the findings of the review in full.

A Garda inquiry is also underway to establish if there were any breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

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RTÉ Director General Dee Forbes reiterated an apology on Monday, saying that the breaches should not have occurred.

"What makes this all the more disappointing is that this incident is not representative of the way our staff conduct their work in general, which is to be absolutely diligent in relation to public health guidelines and Covid-19 protocols,” she said.

Ms Forbes said there had been a commitment to ensuring the safety of everyone who visits RTÉ across all productions since the pandemic began.

Those involved in the gathering have apologised for their attendance at the retirement party for a long-time colleague.

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