Reasons of Sensitivity

How many times have you turned on RTÉ and heard a news report where a murder victim is described as “known to Gardaí”?

In its initial attempts to explain why it had withdrawn the video of Rory O’Neill referring to members of the Iona Institute and John Waters as homophobes, RTÉ cited ‘reasons of sensitivity‘ following the death of a man who worked at the Iona Institute.

We all know what “known to Gardai” really means. It doesn’t mean that the victim used to apply to the local sergeant for a licence to hold a raffle. It means -as per information supplied to the RTÉ correspondent by Gardaí- that the victim was involved in criminal behaviour.

So, if someone you loved was murdered – your son, your brother, your father, your partner- you might get upset, whilst reeling from the shock and plumbing the depths of despair, to hear the national broadcaster say, in effect: he deserved it. One less scumbag to worry about.

I wonder if there are people murdered in Ireland and, even though the victim is “known to Gardai”, RTÉ declines to supply this information, for reasons of sensitivity.

I wonder: is ‘your son was a scumbag and the nation needs to know that he deserved to die’ worse than being called a homophobe?

I wonder if RTÉ withdraws videos and reports from its website regularly, after families of murder victims object to being goaded and abused in their grief.

Doubt it, somehow. What are these people going to do: contact a lawyer?


1 Comment

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One response to “Reasons of Sensitivity

  1. paul

    True points, members of the Iona Institute are in the eyes of RTE staff – middle class which automatically entitles them into the circle of ‘relatable’ people for the rte staff..or at least ( as you put it during the week – most of the fanatical far rights catholics that rte recruits for its ‘balanced coverage’ are suit wearing middle class types )

    (as Rory O Neill puts it.. these are the kind of people who give to charity ) – even if the said charity is propping up an badly managed aspects of government duties like the welfare system, health system or overseas aid system to name a few, and is not subject to any proper scrutiny or transparency, hiding the governments inertia and ineptitude to strive for a just society, leaving people with the feeling that their philanthropic actions are admiral Bonoesque – Geldofesque gestures of their good christian ways..

    Whereas most people ‘known to gardai’ in the eyes of the RTE staff will be found to be working class which the middle class staff at RTE are happy to see dead and buried without question or query…( these people are the weeds in the garden of Declan Ganleys poppies) …

    Just take a look at rtes dodgy and unrealistic fictional portrayal of the working class in fair city or making criminalporn in love/hate, its also rare to see unemployed people get any slots on panels of rte ‘analysis’ shows, but they love wheeling out the -isn’t that what you do in an election – politicians and – sure look ive got a great big consistently offensive opinions that i carve my career from journalists – and RTE brings them on to analyse a collapse that none of them could see coming as they were so busy building their property portfolios and trying out the fab restaurants in dublin.. ( while avoiding any real analysis of the bailout where the unemployed are considered as equals.. again, as Rory O Neill put it, these experts sit around examining what is good for you without any consideration for you – and how can they when they have absolutely no idea who you are unless they have watched an episode of the extremely patronising secret millionaire where cash is flung (unsustainably) at the poor and then without any real sense of compassion the said millionaire heads straight back for his villa – appalled at the conditions of the flat the RTE staff just flung him in for a week )

    RTE, as you rightly put it is ringing catholic bells twice a day.. forcing us to eat a diet of Marian Finucane gobbledegook – ridiculing Chavez while pedestaling Thatcher, trying to analyse society without any real self analysis…and charging us for it too…on threat of imprisonment as you brilliantly put it..

    Any movement that forgets about class is a bowel movement….

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