Two prominent Irish broadcasting personalities, both men, have been accused of indecent sexual behavior.
One is RTE television sports producer Kieran Creaven, a 55-year-old married man who appeared in court in Leeds in England on Monday accused of grooming a 13-year-old girl for sexual activity.
The other is 24-year-old camp comedian Al Porter, a star of TV3 and Today FM radio station. Allegations of indecent behavior against him wreaked havoc with his high-profile career as he quit his radio show and a stage pantomime, and TV3 suddenly pulled a repeat screening of a flagship show he co-hosts.
The scandals exploded into the public domain just a week after former Gate Theatre artistic director Michael Colgan apologized for “politically incorrect” behavior to members of his staff following their complaints of sexual harassment and bullying. Colgan denied his behavior should be compared to “sexual crimes.”
Irish showbiz is reeling from sex allegations so soon after Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of sex abuse by several stars.
Creaven, a sports producer for 20 years with RTE, is accused of flying from Ireland to meet up at the Queens Hotel in Leeds with someone he believed to be a 13-year-old girl but which was in fact a fake online identity created by a group that seeks to expose adults trying to contact children for sexual purposes.
He was charged on Monday with attempting to meet a child following grooming and attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity. He was granted bail to appear at the higher Leeds Crown Court on December 19. RTE said Creaven was suspended until further notice.
In Dublin, the producers of the Olympia Theatre Christmas pantomime issued a statement confirming Porter is stepping aside from his lead role in the show, Polly and the Beanstalk, following claims of inappropriate behavior. At least four men have accused him of groping them.
On Sunday Porter, one of Ireland’s most successful comedians who has also starred in Britain, resigned from Today FM, where he has presented a lunchtime show since February this year.
Just the night before, TV3 cancelled its repeat showing of the final episode of Blind Date, which Porter co-hosted. The station said it would be inappropriate to broadcast it following allegations of “inappropriate” behavior.
The BBC said it is yet to decide whether a scheduled Radio 4 series fronted by Porter will go ahead next year.
One of the complaints, reported in the Irish Independent, was from a young male musician who accused Porter of offering a sex act after earlier making “unwanted lewd remarks.”
Porter, who has consulted a lawyer, said in a tweeted statement: