Irish government urged to probe allegations regarding Ryanair’s safety policy

The Irish government has been urged to investigate allegations made in a recent Channel 4 documentary about Ryanair’s safety policy.

According to Irish broadcaster, RTE, opposition party, Fianna Fail, has written to Ireland’s Oireachtas (parliamentary) Committee on Transport, seeking an inquiry into the claims.

The Channel 4 programme, Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit, included allegations of safety concerns among Ryanair pilots. Ryanair has rejected the claims and has issued proceedings against Channel 4 and the programme makers as well as a former pilot who featured in the documentary, and the Mail and Mirror newspapers.

Fianna Fail’s transport spokesman, Timmy Dooley, said: ‘This documentary raises important issues that require further investigation. It is in the public interest and the interests of the airline that we get to the bottom of what has been reported. I believe the airline could benefit from cooperating with an investigation to clear its name.

‘Ryanair is one of Ireland’s great business success stories. It is one of the largest and most recognisable brands in the world,’ Dooley said, adding: ‘Its reputation could be put at risk by the allegations in this documentary.’

Ryanair described the Channel 4 documentary as defamatory. Ryanair has rejected ‘the false and defamatory claims made by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, which wrongly impugn and smear Ryanair’s outstanding 29-year safety record based on nothing more than anonymous hearsay claims made by individuals whose identity was concealed, and/or by representatives of pilot unions of Ryanair’s competitor airlines masquerading as a non-Ryanair Pilot Group,’ it said.

‘We will not allow a Ryanair employee to defame our safety on national television just three weeks after he confirmed in writing to Ryanair that he had no concerns with safety and no reason to make any confidential safety report to either the IAA (Irish Aviation Authority) or Ryanair,’ the airline said after dismissing the pilot who was featured in the documentary.

A Channel 4 spokesperson said: ‘We stand by our journalism and will robustly defend proceedings.’