RTE is in the process of making the biggest mistake in its history.
The national broadcaster had a simple choice following the finding that its Prime Time Investigates programme had grossly defamed parish priest Fr. Kevin Reynolds.
It could have made public all the relevant facts surrounding the case and taken severe action, including sackings, against those responsible for the debacle.
It could have decided to creep into the dank cave of darkness where bankers, politicians, higher civil servants and the Catholic Church thrive on a diet of secrecy, obfuscation, denial and arrogance.
Sadly, the broadcaster is heading for the darkness of the cave.
Those in charge in RTE have clearly deluded themselves into thinking that they can bluff their way out of the affair while retaining the very high level of respect and credibility built up over many years by Prime Time and Prime Time Investigates.
They have, in effect, decided to inflict serious damage to the credibility of the organisation as a whole and 100% damage to the credibility of the Prime Time programme.
And for what?
So that those responsible for the debacle are protected from the consequences of their actions.
If they continue as they are Prime Time will rightly be seen as nothing more than a joke programme.
Lying politicians, priests, bankers and others who have, until now, rightly feared the dreaded call from Prime Time staff will now welcome the opportunity to strut the Prime Time catwalk and sneer at questions put to them by a totally discredited programme.
RTE should immediately apologise for attempting to avoid responsibility and follow that up by taking the painful but crucially necessary action to protect Prime Times’ hard won credibility.
There is no alternative.