herald

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Three complaints of bullying and harassment at RTE

Actor Gabriel Byrne. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Actor Gabriel Byrne. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

RTE has received three formal complaints of bullying and harassment since 2013.

The national broadcaster released details of allegations of inappropriate behaviour on foot of a Freedom of Information request.

However, it declined to say which departments the complaints stemmed from, citing confidentiality.

The gender of the people who made the claims is also unknown.

Sexism

The revelation comes in the wake of claims last month by actor Gabriel Byrne who said a culture of "abject sexism" was rife at RTE during the 1970s.

He said the climate at the time was "ridiculous".

"There are still a few people walking around the place, who are regarded as, I don't know what you'd call them...sex pests?" he said.

Byrne said a former girlfriend was subjected to harassment during her time working with the broadcaster.

"One of those guys made her life a misery through his sexual improprieties," he said.

Byrne, who worked on RTE's soap opera The Riordans during the 1970s, said it was common knowledge that certain men were serial offenders.

"People just knew it - that's so and so, he took his trousers down at a meeting," he said. "It was a joke."

In an interview with RTE Radio 1's Sean O'Rourke, Byrne said the idea of complaining about inappropriate behaviour was "not an option" at the time.

In response to the request for information on harassment complaints, RTE said that under its policy on the prevention of harassment, a panel was available to help staff experiencing problems.

Dignity

"RTE takes very seriously its duty of care towards its staff and contractors and to those providing services who are under the control of RTE," it said.

"This is reflected in the policies that RTE has in place.

"RTE believes that all staff have a responsibility to treat their colleagues with dignity and respect to ensure that the workplace is kept free of harassment and bullying."

The statement added that the broadcaster strives to maintain a "healthy, safe and productive work environment".

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