RTÉ ‘disappointed’ with Dublin Pride’s decision to end partnership

Discussions on Liveline prompt response by LGBTQ+ organisation to what they described as ‘anti-trans rhetoric’

File photograph of Dublin pride parade. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

RTÉ said it was “disappointed” with Dublin Pride’s decision to terminate its media partnership following what the LGBTQ+ organisation described as “unacceptable and extremely harmful” anti-transgender content on the Liveline radio programme.

“As an official media partner of Dublin Pride, but more importantly as Ireland’s national broadcaster, we expect better than for RTÉ to stoke the flames of anti-trans rhetoric,” Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride said in a statement posted to its Twitter account.

It did not specify which parts of the Joe Duffy programme’s discussion had caused offence but said it was ending its relationship with the broadcaster with immediate effect.

“Over the past three years, we have worked together with the national broadcaster to increase positive representation of LGBTQ+ people on TV, radio and online, and to see the good work of so many people undone is saddening in the extreme and negates much of the efforts made to date,” it said.


“It breaches trust with our community and causes untold hurt.”

RTÉ on Wednesday morning said it was “disappointed with the decision”.

“Standing with the LGBGTQ+ community, during Pride month sends an important signal that RTÉ is here to serve everyone, and over the last three years RTÉ has sought to include these communities and extend understanding through a range of specially produced content, campaigns and partnerships,” RTÉ said in a statement.

“Public discussion - sometimes uncomfortable, difficult, and contentious - is central to RTÉ's prescribed purpose. RTÉ is acutely aware that discussions on issues such as gender and identity are deeply personal to many. It is important we listen to them, their families and those close to them, and it is also important that we allow our audiences engage with and understand the issues involved. RTÉ will, consistent with its statutory obligations, respond to any formal complaints concerning the broadcasts.

“RTÉ will continue to stand with our LGBTQ+ staff and the wider community during Pride month and beyond. In time, we hope that we will once again get the opportunity to continue to develop our partnership with Dublin Pride.”

Dublin Pride said that as proud members of Trans Equality Together, a new coalition led by TENI, LGBT Ireland and BeLonG To, it accepted their lead on the issue.

“At their request we have not made a statement until now, but have remained in close and constant contact with them throughout the last few days to ensure that any actions taken by Dublin Pride respect the voices and feelings of the trans people in our community.”

The organisation said LGBTQ+ people and their allies, making up the majority of people in Ireland, had a right to hold the broadcaster accountable for its actions.

“We expect a response on how they will make amends for this situation and are committed to continuing the fight for equality, fairness and respect for all members of our LGBTQ+ family.”

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times