Today FM presenter asked to apologise for remarksWednesday, April 25th, 2012
The Catholic Communications Office is to refer a complaint about Today FM radio presenter Ray D'Arcy to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland unless it receives a full apology for comments he made in a radio broadcast on Friday last.
During his programme, Mr D'Arcy used a swear word when describing what he claimed the Catholic Church had done to this country.
He had been commenting on a newspaper report about the Dáil debate on a Bill brought forward by Socialist TD Clare Daly to legislate for the X case and allow abortion in cases where the mother's health was in doubt.
After referring to the “fornication” remarks by Fine Gael TD Michelle Mulhern, Mr D'Arcy made what the Catholic Communications Office described as a, “grossly offensive and factually inaccurate statement.”
It has since emerged that the Catholic Communications Office Director Martin Long sent a formal complaint to Today FM about the presenter's statement on Friday, demanding an apology and retraction.
In the statement, he said, “All those who hold the Catholic faith dear are deeply insulted by this appalling language. By any objective or subjective measure, lay and religious members of the Catholic Church have and continue to contribute to the common good of our society, particularly in the areas of poverty, social justice, health and education. People can criticise the church. That's fine. But when the criticism isn't rational, it's bias in my view. I ask that an apology and retraction be broadcast by the presenter at an equivalent time the next time the programme is broadcast.”
However, speaking on his Monday morning programme, Mr D'Arcy refused to apologise. He said however that his comments had been aimed at the church hierarchy and not, “people like my mother who is a devout Christian.”
While Mr D'Arcy repeated his apology for use of offensive language at an inappropriate time, he said the apology demanded by the Catholic Communications Office for his statement, “would not be forthcoming.” He added, “There won't be a retraction.”
by Sean Ryan