WATCH: David McCullagh and Eileen Dunne apologise on air for attendance at RTÉ function

WATCH: David McCullagh and Eileen Dunne apologise on air for attendance at RTÉ function

“I’ve let you all down and I’m sorry.”


RTÉ News presenters David McCullagh and Eileen Dunne both issued on-air apologies on Friday evening for their attendance at a retirement function on the RTÉ campus last week.

Photographs of a gathering to mark the retirement of RTÉ staff member Phil Collins appeared in The Irish Sun on Friday morning, in which McCullagh, Dunne and other high-profile RTÉ staff members such as Miriam O'Callaghan and Bryan Dobson could be seen not wearing masks and not observing social distancing guidelines.

RTÉ apologised for the incident on Friday, as did a number of staff members in individual statements.


Speaking to Virgin Media News on Friday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin described the photos as “very disappointing”, while RTÉ has promised a review of all of the circumstances that led to the gathering in an effort to ensure that such an incident doesn’t happen again.


As one of the main news stories of the day on Friday, RTÉ addressed the issue head-on in both the Six One and Nine O’Clock news on Friday evening, presented by David McCullagh and Eileen Dunne respectively.


Speaking on the Six One news, McCullagh said: “Now, as you saw in Fergal’s report, I am one of the people who unfortunately failed to properly observe social distancing here in RTÉ last week.


“It was an error of judgement which I deeply regret, for which I take full responsibility and for which I unreservedly apologise to you, our audience.


“None of us can afford to let down our guard, even for a moment, and I am very, very sorry that I failed to do the right thing on this occasion.”

On the Nine O’Clock News later in the evening, Eileen Dunne said: “So hands up, as you’ve seen, I too was photographed at the farewell for Phil and I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise for my lack of judgement, particularly to RTÉ colleagues who’ve worked so hard to keep this campus Covid-free over the past eight months.


“I’ve let you all down and I’m sorry.”