RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh told the Workplace Relations Commission that she was sexually harassed at the national broadcaster

Lawyers for Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh broadcaster say she was sexually harassed and harassed while working for RTÉ.

The TV presenter is due to testify at a public hearing next month what she thinks happened – but the alleged perpetrators will remain anonymous by order of the Workplace Relations Commission.

Ms Ní Chofaigh has filed an Employment Equality Act complaint against the state broadcaster alleging discrimination through harassment in July 2019 and subsequent victimisation.

“We absolutely reject all allegations against RTÉ,” said Mairéad McKenna BL, appearing for the broadcaster for a preliminary hearing at Lansdowne House, Dublin 4 this morning.

“My position would be that if it went public, an order would be given not to name it [alleged] Perpetrator. What we’re really looking for is anonymity in relation to that [alleged] perpetrators,” Ms. McKenna said.

Ms McKenna said RTÉ would ask for a directive to the press not to identify suspected perpetrators in the event of a “blunder” by the lawyer during the course of the hearing.

Referee Breiffni O’Neill concurred with this approach, adding: “I would very much hate to see a direction I give being ignored.”

Ms Ní Chofaigh did not attend this morning’s hearing but was represented by solicitor Claire Bruton BL, who was retained by Ailbhe Moloney of Arthur Cox Solicitors.

Ms Bruton said she had “no problem” with an order to the press not to name the alleged perpetrators, but added: “My client is very keen that the matter goes public.”

She referred to an internal investigation report that named three people, one of whom was a “public figure.”

The judge, Mr O’Neill, said one aspect of the allegation regarding alleged comments made after a photo shoot had to be heard in a private session.

Ms Bruton said her client was harassed and “paused in the office” after raising the issue.

Ms McKenna said there was a duplication of proceedings in relation to High Court proceedings on the matter – Ms Bruton replied that the Court of Appeal had ruled that a personal injury claim and a statutory inquiry under the Employment Equality Act could run in parallel – and that she would continue to deal with the matter in writing.

Ms Bruton said she would summon two or three witnesses in addition to Ms Ní Chofaigh, who would need at least three hours to give direct testimony.

“I wonder if Ms. Bruton would identify the additional witnesses she is referring to,” Ms. McKenna said.

“I will identify you in my entries – Ms McKenna, you could do the same,” Ms Bruton replied.

The parties have been given five weeks to submit written comments, with the case scheduled to last three days at the end of June.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/blathnaid-ni-chofaigh-to-tell-workplace-relations-commission-she-was-sexually-harassed-at-rte-41613924.html RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh told the Workplace Relations Commission that she was sexually harassed at the national broadcaster

Fry Electronics Team

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