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14th Nov 2023

RTÉ Upfront show interrupted by pro-Palestine protesters

Simon Kelly

RTE upfront

“We’d also like to talk about the women in Gaza.”

RTÉ current affairs show Upfront, hosted by Katie Hannon, was interrupted live by pro-Palestine protesters on Monday night, November 13.

The show, which is broadcast live with a panel of guests and members of the public, was focusing on the topic of violence against women, following the conviction of Josef Puska of the murder of Ashling Murphy, when two protesters interrupted the broadcast.

The segment included a panel consisting of solicitor Sarah Grace and journalist Alexandra Ryan, as well as Jason Poole, the brother of murder victim Jennifer Poole, and Outreach worker Hayley Murphy.

During the discussion, two women walked onto the stage in front of the panel’s desk holding up banners, with one woman saying, “We’d also like to talk about the women in Gaza.”

Pro-Palestine protesters interrupt live RTÉ panel show.

It appeared that there was only one member of security present at the time, as one of the women was removed from the stage immediately, while the other was able to stand in front of the audience for around twenty more seconds before she was also removed by the same security guard.

During the protest, audio was cut from the broadcast and the camera angle was changed – with the protesters’ banners blocked from view. However, it was clear that the protesters were also holding a Palestinian flag.

Once the audio was restored to the broadcast, presenter Hannon said: “I think we can all agree that every woman in the world needs to be protected, that is for sure.”


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Protestors release statement

The protest comes days after thousands took to the streets to show their support of Palestine in the ongoing conflict with Israel.

There is also increasing pressure on the government to remove the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, Dana Erlich, after recent comments she has made, including calling Ireland “not politically neutral”, have sparked outrage.

The group behind the on-air protest has released a statement on what they call their ‘peaceful direct action’. That statement, in part, reads:

‘Firstly, we extend our sincere condolences to Aisling Murphy’s friends and family. We acknowledge the pain you must be enduring, and our thoughts are with you. Our actions were not directed at Aisling’s loved ones on Monday night but aimed at addressing broader issues related to gender-based violence that often go unaddressed…

‘Our voices were silenced on Monday night, prompting us to speak out against the unacceptable silence and neglect prevalent in Ireland and worldwide. As we face a planetary emergency, we believe it is crucial to act for the well-being of all, especially marginalised groups such as women, LGBTQ individuals, people from diverse cultures, and those with disabilities.

‘For clarification our banners read – “From Ireland to Gaza, silence feeds violence. No violence against women everywhere” and “Genocide is not self defence. Ceasefire now”.

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