BAI rejects complaint against Galway Bay FM

A complaint made against the Keith Finnegan Show on Galway Bay FM has been rejected by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The complainant states that the programme included a discussion of homelessness. The discussion included three contributors, the presenter, Galway City Mayor, Cllr. Noel Larkin and later in the show, Mr. Martin O’Connor of COPE, a social services organisation.

The complainant states that the contributors made what he considers to be derogatory comments about foreign nationals and homeless people. The complainant references some of the comments, as follows:-

Presenter – “those Romanian type of people, indeed, again not being racist…”

Cllr. Noel Larkin referring to homeless people – “they make that decision themselves to sleep there” and later “…if you have to sleep rough on the street, there is, there is some inherent problem there…”

Mr. Martin O’Connor – “In terms of the profile of people who are rough sleeping…. they don’t have habitual residency status in the country.”

The Complainant states that the presenter read out what he considers to be a partial/full statement from Galway City Council regarding homeless services. It is his view that no balance was provided nor was there a voice on behalf of homeless people. In his view, the presenter took the Council’s statement as factual without posing any alternative viewpoints.

Galway Bay FM states that they acknowledged receipt of the complaint and deny the contents of the complaint. They state that having listened to the broadcast again, they consider the complaint to be without foundation.

At its meeting held on 26th April 2017, the Compliance Committee of the BAI considered and rejected the complaint.

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