RTÉ received over 1,000 complaints after Claire Byrne referendum debate

RTÉ has revealed that it received over 1,277 complaints in relation to the Claire Byrne Live Referendum Special.

The majority of complaints (92%) were in relation to claims of unfairness towards the Yes side of the campaign.

Representing the Yes side on the programme was co-director of Together For Yes, Orla O’Connor, Dr. Peter Boylan, and Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald.

And representing the No side was Maria Steen from the Iona Institute, Obstetrician John Monaghan, and Fianna Fail TD Mary Butler.

In a statement released today, the broadcaster said: "RTÉ's Claire Byrne Live Referendum Special gave both the Yes and No campaigns an equal opportunity to air their arguments, which both sides did with commitment and conviction.

The panel was composed of three speakers on each side of the argument and the audience was completely evenly divided between Yes and No perspectives. The presenter consistently requested that speakers and audience show respect for each others point of view.

"Impartial analysis of the programme will demonstrate that, when the number of speakers on each side of the referendum question and the airtime afforded to them are both taken into account, the programme gave an equitable and fair opportunity to both sides to express their views."

RTÉ has responded to all the complaints it has received.

Over 650,000 viewers tuned in to the debate at some point with the average audience increasing by up to 53% as the broadcast continued.

Many viewers took to Twitter during the broadcast to express their thoughts on the programme.

You can look back on the debate here:

Digital Desk


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