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08th Mar 2024

RTÉ explain why Lankum’s pro-Palestine speech was cut from Choice Prize recording

Stephen Porzio

Blindboy Boatclub and CMAT had criticised RTÉ for the omission.

RTÉ has said that a technical issue was to blame for Irish band Lankum’s acceptance speech at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize being initially omitted from a recording of the event.

The folk band took home the album of the year prize at the ceremony and used their platform to talk about the current situation in Palestine.

Band member Ian Lynch said: “We’re very grateful to get this award, but to be honest it’s really hard to see how we can celebrate it with an actual live genocide going on right at this moment in time.

“It feels like there’s very little to be celebrating to be honest and every day seems more and more hopeless than the one before it.

“You know, you’re trying to appeal to the consciences of people who may or may not have a conscience to begin with and there’s a lot of despair out there.”

“Maybe we can put enough pressure on the government to introduce some actually meaningful sanctions on Israel. They are master tacticians and if the pressure raises high enough, they’re going to have to something about it.”

Lynch also encouraged people to protest against Israel through other methods.

“There’s are other ways to get things done. There’s occupations, direct action, boycotts,” he added.

“Go into the supermarket, find every Israeli product you can find, and f**k it in the bin. It’s a good way to do it. It’s a good start anyway.

“We all need to be doing exactly what we can because in years to come, your grandkids are going to be sitting on your lap and they’re going to be going: ‘Nana/Granda, what did you do during the Palestine genocide?’

“And you are going to feel like an absolute p***k if you can’t tell them that you did everything in your power to stop this horrendous genocide.

“We want the Palestinian people to be able to feel happiness. We want them to experience justice, equality, self-determination, independence and all those other basic human rights that apparently are afforded to everybody else in the world… Free Palestine.”

Initially, this speech was not included in the recording of the ceremony posted to the “listen back” section of RTÉ’s website after the event.

This led to some major Irish artists – such as Blindboy Boatclub and CMAT – to criticise the broadcaster.

However, the speech has since been added to the “listen back” recording, while a spokesperson for RTÉ said in a statement to JOE:

“RTÉ can confirm that Lankum’s acceptance speech at last night’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize was carried in full, live on RTÉ 2fm, without any interruption.

“Audio files, which allow listeners to listen back to programmes are generated automatically. The RTÉ Choice Music Prize audio file was pre-programmed to record up to 11.15pm, allowing for a short overrun.

“As there was an unexpected and considerable overrun in the live event, neither the announcement of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of The Year, nor Lankum’s acceptance were available in the listen back edition.

“The full programme, as broadcast, is currently being restored to the listen back edition and will be available online.”

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