BAI finds 98FM and Adrian Kennedy’s Dublin Talks Show dealt with bereaved mother unfairly

Jennifer Ryan of Terminations for Medical Reasons (TFMR) took a complaint to the BAI following her interview on Adrian Kennedy’s Dublin Talks show last August.  Her complaint was “Upheld in Part” (significant parts) by the BAI whose ruling can be found here


Below is a copy of a press release from TFMR.

BAI finds that 98FM and Adrian Kennedy’s Dublin Talks Show dealt with bereaved mother unfairly and failed to take appropriate action to avoid offence.

On the 25th August Jennifer Ryan agreed to be interviewed on 98FM’s Dublin Talks Show while on holidays in Spain with her young family.  When Jennifer was pregnant with her daughter Jessica a number of years ago she received a devastating diagnosis at her anomaly scan.  Her daughter had a fatal foetal anomaly and if she were to survive to term would die during delivery or shortly after.  Jennifer made the decision to travel to Liverpool Women’s Hospital where she delivered her Jessica early and brought her back home to Ireland for a funeral with her family.

After her interview Jennifer was kept on the line and was challenged in an appaling manner by one particular caller who cross-examined her on the child’s burial, asking whether or not tey had a Christian service, even referring to her having “the audacity to bring that child home”.  This caller was allowed to call Jennifer a liar and referred to her experience as “a Walter Mitty pro-abortion story”.

“I found the whole experience very traumatic” said Jennifer.  “I had my personal faith and my funeral choices challenged.  I was accused of lying and participating in the killing of my daughter.  I found myself in this position live on air and I was not adaquately protected from this type of abuse by Adrian Kennedy or the Dublin Talks show.”

In it’s findings, the BAI referred to “the facilitation durng the programme of a caller who made a range of abusive and offensive regards against the complainant” and that the caller in question “repeatedly questioned the complainant’s honesty, made allusions (both direct and indirect) to her complicity in what he considered to be murder (the termination of her child), made suggestions that her story had the quality of a ‘Walter Mitty’ tale of fantasy, queried the burial of her child, stated that she was lying about her experience and implied that she was lying so as to advance the cause of those who favour liberalising Ireland’s abortion law”.

Gerry Edwards, Chairperson of TFMR Ireland, has called upon Adrian Kennedy and 98FM to apologise to Jennifer following this BAI ruling.  “Jennifer shared her most tragic personal experience so as tohelp other women who have been in this situation and those who, unfortunately will find themselves in a similar situation in the future.  Jennifer and many other bereaved mothers and fathers share their experiences bravely and selflessly to that others can understand exactly what the impact such a devastating diagnosis and Ireland’s current laws have on women and their families.  The majority of broadcasters in fairness treat this subject matter and those who share their experiences with the dignity that is deserved.  However, we are not anybody’s playthings and cannot be misused for anyone’s cheap interpretation of entertainement.  Nobody would challenge a mother bereaved by a drunk driver in this manner.  It is similarly unacceptable to treat any of us in this manner.  I hope that both Adrian Kennedy and 98FM will reflect on the decision and on their behaviour and will immediately make an appropriate public apology to Jennifer”

TFMR Ireland is a Company Limited by guarantee. Its directors are all parents who have recieved a diagnosis of Fatal Foetal Anomaly and have either travelled abroad to avail of termination of pregnancy services or been forced to continue with their pregnancies against their will in Ireland.

Gerry Edwards can be contact on 086 1021306
TFMR Ireland can be contacted at 
Team@TFMRIreland.com
Donations to TFMR Ireland can be made using PayPal or iFundraise.ie