RTÉ’s Complaints Process

The Broadcasting Act 2009 (Sections 47 and 48) obliges all broadcasters to put in place a practice for dealing with complaints. The Act states that:

  • A broadcaster shall give due and adequate consideration to a complaint, made in writing by a person in respect of the broadcasting service provided by the broadcaster which, in the opinion of the broadcaster, has been made in good faith and is not of a frivolous or vexatious nature. Section 47 (1)
  • A complaint shall be made to the broadcaster not more than 30 days after the date of the broadcast Section 47 (2) (a)
  • A broadcaster shall prepare and implement a code of practice for the handling of complaints Section 47 (3)

Code of Practice for the Handling of Complaints

RTÉ is obliged under Section 39 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 to ensure that:

(a) all news broadcast is reported and presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of the broadcaster’s own views.

(b) the broadcast treatment of current affairs, including matters which are either of public controversy or the subject of current public debate, is fair to all interests concerned and that the broadcast matter is presented in an objective and impartial manner and without any expression of his or her own views, except that should it prove impracticable in relation to a single broadcast to apply this paragraph, two or more related broadcasts may be considered as a whole, if the broadcasts are transmitted within a reasonable period of each other.

(c) anything which may reasonably be regarded as causing harm or offence, or as likely to promote, or incite to, crime or as tending to undermine the authority of the State, is not broadcast .

(d) in programmes and in the means employed to make such programmes, the privacy of an individual is not unreasonably encroached upon.

(2) Nothing in subsection (1)(a) or (b) prevents (RTÉ) from transmitting party political broadcasts provided that (RTÉ) does not, in the allocation of time for such broadcasts, give an unfair preference to any political party.

RTÉ is also obliged to comply with the following Broadcasting Codes prepared by the BAI governing standards and practice in programming and advertising.

1. BAI General Communications Code (Advertising)

2. BAI Children’s Commercial Communications code (Children’s Advertising)

3. BAI Code of Programme Standards

4. The On-Demand Audiovisual Services Code (ODAS Code)

These codes are available on the BAI website – Click Here

In addition to above RTÉ also has its own internal Programme Standards and Guidelines.

Making a Complaint

If members of the public are of the opinion that a programme or a segment of a programme or an advertisement broadcast on RTÉ has:

  • Breached a provision of section 39 (1) (a), (b), (d) or (e) of the Broadcasting Act 2009


  • Failed to comply with a provision of the BAI Codes.

they are entitled to express their views by making a complaint to RTÉ. The complaint should be sent to RTÉ’s complaints office:

3rd Floor Admin Building
Dublin 4

or by e-mail to

RTÉ is committed to responding to all reasonable complaints concerning programme content or advertising which are not considered to be of a frivolous or vexatious nature. It is RTÉ’s policy that all complaints should receive meaningful replies which attempt to address issues raised in complaints. All complaints received in writing or by-email shall be replied to by an appropriate member of the production team within 20 working days.

Internal Review of Complaints

If members of the public who complain are not satisfied with the response they have received there is a review process available to them within RTÉ. The review will always be carried out by an Editorial Manager senior to the member of staff who replied to the complaint in the first instance. The request for an internal review should be sent to:

Head of Broadcast Compliance
Dublin 4

or by e-mail to

Complaints to the Compliance Committee of the BAI

Members of the public may complain to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) if they are not satisfied with the response RTÉ has made to their complaint. The BAI will consider the complaint and may carry out an independent review of the complaint and the response the complainant has received. Information on how to refer a complaint to the BAI is available on the BAI website or from the following address.

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
2-5 Warrington Place
Dublin 2

Telephone: (01) 644 1200

Making a Complaint about Advertising on RTÉ

Members the public who wish to complain about advertisements broadcast on RTÉ may also complain to the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI)