Belfast Telegraph

RTE's head of news Ed Mulhall quits

RTE's head of news Ed Mulhall has quit and the award-winning Prime Time Investigates taken off air for good over its defamatory Mission to Prey programme.

The editorial chief left the State broadcaster last month under a retirement scheme and before a watchdog's inquiry was complete or any findings made public.

The second major scalp claimed by the hugely damaging documentary was Ken O'Shea who resigned as current affairs editor and will move into a new role at RTE Two.

RTE said Mr Mulhall left the newsroom for personal reasons and was doing what he felt was in the best interests of the organisation.

It said Mr Mulhall, aged 56, walked away with a severance package being offered to all staff and with no special arrangements.

Noel Curran, director general at the state broadcaster, announced the departures as part of wide-ranging reforms across current affairs.

"Mistakes will happen in broadcasting and in journalism, no matter what changes are made. Programme makers must be and will be supported in making challenging programming," he said.

Mr Mulhall, who joined RTE as a radio producer in 1979, had worked his way up in the organisation and was made director of news and current affairs 14 years ago. His retirement took effect last month.

"It has been a privilege to have been entrusted with the important responsibilities of director of news and MD of news and current affairs and to have worked with such professional and dedicated colleagues," he said.

The departures hit the station just weeks after the RTE Board was forced to apologise to defeated presidential candidate Sean Gallagher over a tweet attributed to a bogus account.

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