Mr Colin Coyle of The Sunday Times and RTÉ

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeElizabeth Dolan Senior Investigator
Judgment Date18 Aug 2016
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator upheld RTÉ's refusal of the records. She found them to be outside the scope of the Act, having regard to the Statutory Instrument that sets out the extent to which RTÉ is subject to FOI
Record Number160213
Case Number: 160213 Whether RTÉ was justified in refusing access to records regarding its decision to cease the Eurosong/Mentor format of selecting Ireland's 2016 Eurovision entry Conducted in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act, by Elizabeth Dolan, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review Background

The applicant made an FOI request to RTÉ on 13 January 2016 for copies of records "regarding the decision to drop the Eurosong/Mentor format to choose Ireland's Eurovision entry in favour of RTÉ internally choosing the singer/song for Sweden 2016."

RTÉ did not issue a decision within the statutory timeframe, effectively refusing the request. The applicant sought an internal review of this effective refusal on 9 March 2016. On 13 April 2016, RTÉ issued its internal review decision. It refused access to the requested records, and explained why it considered them to be excluded from the application of the FOI Act. The applicant sought a review by this Office of RTE's refusal to grant his request, on 11 May 2016.

I have now decided to conclude my review by way of a formal, binding decision. In carrying out my review, I have had regard to the above; and to copies of the records at issue, which were provided to this Office for the purposes of this review. I have had regard also to the provisions of the FOI Act.

Scope of the Review

This review is confined to whether or not RTÉ has justified its refusal of the requested records.


The applicant's application to this Office did not say why he did not accept RTÉ's reasons for refusing the records. Although invited to, he did not make any submission to this Office.

RTÉ was brought under FOI in 2000, further to...

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