RTÉ issues apology for hugely controversial map of Ireland featured on the Late Late Show
A map of Ireland excluding the six counties of Northern Ireland was featured on the Late Late Show earlier this month.
RTÉ has issued a series of letters of apology following a significant number of complaints made to the broadcaster about a map of Ireland featured on the Late Late Show earlier this month.
On the first show of the new season on Friday, September 1, a map of Ireland that didn’t include the six counties of Ireland was used during a conversation with Dr. Eva Orsmond as she discussed why people in deprived areas are three times more likely to get cancer.
Clip via The Late Late Show
The map prompted a huge reaction on social media, with Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald amongst many to express her anger towards RTÉ as a result.
— Mary Lou McDonald (@MaryLouMcDonald) September 2, 2017
According to the Irish News, RTÉ received over 200 complaints about the map, prompting Late Late Show executive producer John McMahon to issue a number of letters of apology.
In a letter to Barry McElduff, a Sinn Féin MP for West Tyrone, McMahon apologised for the use of the map, which he was said was provided by a third party and was “not an intentional slight on our audience north of the border”.
"I fully accept that as presented, the map appeared to many as a geographical map and as such appeared disrespectful and distressing to you and other viewers,” McMahon wrote.
"All I can do is assure you that it was not an intentional slight on our audience north of the border and I apologise for the upset caused to viewers both there and in the Republic."
McElduff took to Twitter earlier this week to acknowledge the apology but said that, in light of what he described as “creeping partitionism”, that he will continue to monitor RTÉ and will not be shy to issue a formal complaint again in the future.
“I have in my possession a letter which I received today from the executive producer of the Late Late Show, Mr. John McMahon, an apology because the Late Late Show recently put up a map of Ireland minus the six counties,” McMahon said in a video message on his Twitter account.
When RTE apologise.
Ireland is 32. 🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/pQ7hyPrjyx
— Barry McElduff (@BarryMcElduff) September 12, 2017
“Now, people took grave exception to that all over Ireland, not least in the north, not least in communities like Ballycolman here in Strabane and over here at the head of the town.
“And why did people take exception? Well, people are fed up of being written out of the script in the north, of being excluded by RTÉ, of this creeping partitionism, so today, I have received a letter from John McMahon, the executive producer of RTÉ’s Late Late Show and what I will say is that I will continue to monitor this type of thing within RTÉ and to complain when it arises.
“I would encourage others to do the same; formal complaints are important and today, I want to acknowledge the apology from RTÉ.”