Irish radio host apologises for calling parliament proceedings ‘Nuremberg trial’

Public service radio boss said the presenter’s actions were ‘not appropriate’


An Irish radio host has apologised after he tweeted that the Committee of Public Accounts were hosting a “nonsensical Nuremberg trial”. In his now-deleted tweet, he encouraged listeners to tune into his radio show as a “distraction”.

“I want to apologise unreservedly to the Oireachtas [Irish Parliament] Committee for my ill judged comment regarding this week’s hearings,” he said in a tweet earlier today. “There was no intention to trivialise the proceedings”.

The proceedings in question are the appearance of TV presenter Ryan Tubridy, host of the Late Late Show in Ireland, and his agent Noel Kelly, at the Committee of Public Accounts.

Tubridy is at the heart of an ongoing crisis for the public broadcaster RTÉ, who also host Fanning’s radio show. Noel Kelly also represents Fanning.

Numerous inquiries have been launched into the broadcaster since it admitted on 22 June that it had underreported payments made to Tubridy by €345,000 (£295,000) over five years. The scandal has been called “one of the most shameful and damaging episodes” in RTÉ’s history by the new director general, Kevin Backhurst.

Backhurst called Fanning’s comments “not appropriate,” but did not say whether RTÉ management had spoken to him. 

Alan Kelly, a member of the Irish Parliament, raised Fanning’s tweet at a meeting of the Committee of Public Accounts. “That is not appropriate from my point of view, as an employee or a contractor working for RTÉ,” he said. “I thought it was very insulting”.

Fanning was not the only person to reference the famous trials. Tubridy and his agent told the committee that they were “just following instructions” so many times that one politician, Catherine Murphy, accused him of using the “Nuremberg defence”.

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