RTE Pulls Interview Over Legal Upset



RTE has removed content from the RTE Player featuring Rory O’Neill’s interview on The Saturday Night Show.

In an interview following a performance by O’Neill’s alter ego Panti, host Brendan O’Connor spoke to the performer about homophobia in Ireland. O’Neill spoke about how he believed Ireland had a bad rep but as a small country could change much faster.

“I bet every single person in this audience has a cousin or a neighbour or the guy who you work with who is a flaming queen! I mean, you all know one. And it’s very hard to hold prejudices against people when you actually know those people. Because Ireland is such small communities grouped together, everybody knows their local gay!

Maybe twenty years ago it was ok to be really mean about him, but nowadays it’s just not ok to be really mean about it.

The only place that you see it’s ok to be really horrible and mean about gays is on the internet in the comments and people who make a living writing opinion pieces for newspapers.”

Rory O’Neill

When O’Connor asked who the writers were that O’Neill was talking about he named Breda O’Brien and John Waters, as well as the Iona Institute.

“Y’know, just feck off! Get the hell outta my life! It astounds me there are people out there in the world who devote quite a large amount of their time and energies to trying to stop people achieving happiness.”

O’Connor noted that he knew John Waters and that he wouldn’t think that he was homophobic.

On Tuesday evening, O’Neill tweeted from the @PantiBliss Twitter account and said the show had been pulled as someone mentioned was “legally upset.”


The appearance on Saturday night was quite popular online, although there were comments from a small number of conservative onlookers expressing displeasure at the interview.

Panti refused to name who was behind the take down, although followers of the popular performer continued to speculate last night.


As readers have noted, the video posted to YouTube by Broadsheet.ie has been taken down.

RTE made a statement to TheJournal.ie, confirming the removal of the video and subsequent re-upload with parts cut from the show.

Last weekend’s The Saturday Night Show was removed from the Player due to potential legal issues and for reasons of sensitivity following the death of Tom O’Gorman as would be standard practice in such situations.


There was no mention of Tom O’Gorman in the removed clip, which was clarified from the  @PantiBliss Twitter account this evening.


The Irish Independent has named John Waters as the person behind the legal complaints, stating that sources confirmed he had contacted RTE over the interview and asked for it to be removed. They say the columnist’s solicitors then sent a legal letter to RTE.



[Image: YouTube]

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Neil Markey

Founder of Krank.ie. News and current events nerd who likes cute animals and fighting with politicians on the internet. QRG has called me a “maverick Irish blogger” but I’m mostly just being an opinionated jerk. You can find me mouthing off on the Twitter-machine @Nerin_

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  1. Rachel Mathews-Mckay

    Disgraceful! Essentially we are still subject to the censoring of our television and public debates. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that RTE are all to happy to portray LGBT “gay” people who are funny, fashionably conscious, re-decorating their homes and/or who can bake a good cake, but the minute we have something important to say we’re paired up with bigots on Prime Time or chopped up int he editing suite as is the case with Rory’s interview here. Let us be heard! #rte #homophobia #censorship #darkages

  2. Carmel

    I thought Rory addressed the issue of homophobia quite well. People need to learn that homophobia isn’t always the angry, ranting “gays will burn in hell” stuff that it tends to be portrayed as.

  3. David F. Dwyer
    David F. Dwyer

    Rory O’Neill said “The only place that you see it’s ok to be really horrible and mean about gays is on the internet in the comments and people who make a living writing opinion pieces for newspapers” and then said he was talking about Breda O’Brien, John Waters and the Iona Institute.

    As far as I’m aware being called “really horrible and mean” isn’t legally slanderous. It’s a personal opinion about someone else’s opinion. Legal sabre rattling that’s all this is. There was no need for RTE to cave to demands from Iona or whoever, it would just be thrown out of court. That said, it doesn’t surprise me. Remember Portraitgate a few years ago?

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