Dublin Chief Executive Questions Standards Adopted By RTÉ’s Prime Time


Dublin Chief Executive John Costello Was “Shocked” That Prime Time Would Decide This Was An Issue Worth Covering.

The Prime Time Programme Logo and insert Dublin Chief Executive John Costello who has questioned the Standards adopted by the RTÉ programme

Dublin chief executive John Costello has in his wide ranging annual report questioned the “standards” and “editorial choice” adopted by RTÉ’s Prime Time days after Dublin’s historic five in-a-row.

There had been discussions on the Sunday Game during the summer about the funding that Dublin receives from the GAA.

But the timing and tone of the RTÉ Prime Time programme which aired just a couple of days after Dublin defeated Kerry in the All Ireland Final outraged many within Dublin GAA and the Dublin supporters.

Prime Time suggested that due to Dublin’s “abundant resources of population and sponsorship there will never again be real equality in the game.” There was also suggestive tones that Dublin’s recent success was due to their “financial advantage.”

Dublin chief executive John Costello said he was “shocked” that Prime Time would decide this was an issue worth covering.

“Dublin football teams have ‘raised the passions’ of supporters, commentators and viewers for a long time,” Costello wrote.

“Though the issue of funding for games development in Dublin was discussed in detail on the Sunday Game during the summer, I was somewhat shocked when, with the dust not even settled on our historic All-Ireland football success, RTÉ’s flagship investigative programme Prime Time included the debate as an ‘issue’ worth covering.

“Without moderation, what happens on social media where attention and populist outrage are craved is largely beyond our control and unworthy in many instances of rational debate.

“However, one would – and should – expect different and higher standards to apply to our national broadcaster and to a programme of the calibre of Prime Time. Perhaps not.

“By any reasonable and objective assessment, it was a strange editorial choice so quick after the historic five in-a-row victory.

“Most of those approached by the programme to discuss the issue – many of whom were still celebrating the five-in-a-row success – were unhappy with Prime Time contriving to make a cause célebre of Dublin’s success.

“Let’s be clear when perhaps their editorial team were not so clear,” he continued.

“Prime Time essentially used how the GAA funds a team of Games Promotion Officers to encourage, coach and support young children to play Gaelic games through their primary schools and GAA club nurseries, in the most densely populated region in the country to raise questions with regard to the achievements of our senior football team.

“As they say you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.”