Irish State Broadcaster Apologises for Religious New Year’s Sketch

Religious figures have raised outcry over the New Year's Eve Sketch - Image Source: Twitter

IRELAND’S state broadcaster, RTE, has apologised for airing a controversial religious sketch featuring God and the Virgin Mary.

RTÉ issued a formal apology following a number of complaints againstsn complained about a satirical sketch segment in the New Year’s Eve countdown programme, which was broadcast prime time Irish television.

The state broadcaster acknowledged that many viewers were offended by the sketch and said that around 1,100 complaints have been received.

It said: “RTÉ recognises that matters which can cause offence naturally differ from person to person, within comedy and satire in particular.

“Having reviewed the feedback and complaints received up to this point, RTÉ wishes to apologise to those who were offended by the segment.

“The formal complaints received by RTÉ are being entered into our complaints system and will be responded to in accordance with the relevant statutory process.”

In the controversial satirical sketch, God is described as being “the latest figure to be implicated in ongoing sexual harassment scandals” due to his Biblical relationship with the Virgin Mary.

The clip ended with a line that movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who is serving a 23-year sentence in the US for rape and sexual assault, had “requested for a retrial in Ireland”.

Archbishop Eamon Martin tweeted that he was “shocked” that the programme’s producer or editor “didn’t realise how deeply offensive was a mocking ‘news report’ accusing God of rape & reporting his imprisonment”.

Ireland, traditionally a deeply Catholic country, has in recent years experienced societal growing pains as new generations attempt to use the Irish tradition of humour to distance themselves from their devout Catholic predecessors.


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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...

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