Christy's call | 

Ex-Dublin mayor questions cost to RTÉ of covering Queen’s funeral

The national broadcaster confirmed that it will be covering the funeral both on television and online

Christy Burke

Sarah SlaterSunday World

A former Lord Mayor of Dublin is questioning the cost of covering and sending RTÉ personnel to London to cover the State funeral of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.

On Friday, the national broadcaster confirmed that it will be covering the funeral both on television and online, with long-time TV and radio anchor Ray Kennedy presenting the special programming.

Reporter Kate Egan will also provide commentary of the funeral which will be held at Westminster Abbey in London.

The funeral will be attended by numerous world leaders, including Taoiseach Micheál Martin and President Michael D Higgins.

Independent councillor Christy Burke said that while it is sad that “the Queen who is a mother, grandmother and great grandmother has died following her 70 year reign questions have to be asked as to why RTÉ feels it is right to cover the event live?

“The Director General of RTÉ Dee Forbes should explain how much it is costing to cover the funeral and send personnel over there?”

The former Lord Mayor added: “Can’t those who really want to watch the funeral tune into other broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Sky, online or the radio if they have those streaming services.

“After all, the taxpayer is footing the bill and the national broadcaster needs to be transparent.”

Cllr Burke’s remarks follow those of Newstalk radio presenter Kieran Cuddihy who slammed RTÉ for their decision to show the Queen's funeral live on Monday saying "she's not our Queen”.

During his show on Friday Mr Cuddihy said: “Remember everything that's broadcast on RTÉ is taxpayer's money.

"And I know they'll say there are people up North for whom the Queen is head of State, but I hate to break it to RTÉ, but those people are not watching RTÉ."

He continued: "She's not our Queen so I don't know why we're spending our money putting it on our national broadcaster.

“But I didn't realise that wave of nostalgia, that nostalgia for the days of empire had even reached these shores.

"And it reached Dublin, and it reached Donnybrook and Montrose to be precise”.

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