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01st Mar 2022

Claire Byrne Live criticised after comments made about Ukrainian MP

She spoke candidly about the Russian invasion.

Viewers tuned into Claire Byrne Live last night where the show was dedicated to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with an audience full of Ukrainian citizens and Ukrainian guests appearing on the episode.

Some viewers however were left unhappy with one comment that was made during the show.

Byrne had spoken to those in the audience about their home country, as well as speaking to reporters and doctors on the ground in Ukraine as well as one Ukrainian MP.

It was the interview with Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko that left some viewers angry, as she spoke candidly about the atrocities witnessed in her home country, saying some citizens are being “shot in the face at point-blank range” and Ukrainian officials are clearing Russian bodies from the streets.

When the interview was finished, Byrne addressed her viewers and told them that some of the language used was “difficult to hear”.

“I know that some people might find the words Lesia used difficult to hear but you can understand the tensions are very high,” she said.

“We might not use some of those words ourselves in describing that scene.”

After the interview Vasylenko took to Twitter to reference Byrne’s comments, saying: “The language I use when talking to media is harsh. Prob unusual for audiences who don’t put their kids to bed in cellars under the sounds of sirens.

“And I feel angry, especially at night. Because in the morning I won’t be taking kids to school, but helping them out if that cellar.”

RTE viewers were not happy after the comments were made, and some even apologised to Vasylenko on social media.

One person said: “I would like to apologise on behalf of the people of Ireland, @ClaireByrneLive was embarrassing and completely wrong to cut you off so rudely and ‘apologise’ for your truthful testimony, check out the #cblive hashtag, you will see the love for #Ukraine – stay safe.”

Another said: “I’m still reeling and in disbelief that #cblive would apologise for the Ukrainian MP’s very apt description of the Russian invaders. And while she was still on camera! How insensitive, unkind and thoughtless of an @rte presenter at this time. That was shameful! @ClaireByrneLive.”

A third wrote: “#cblive @ClaireByrneLive I found the whole thing in bad taste have Ukrainians in the audience listening to people talk about how their parents, friends and family are going to be killed. And then apologising for the language of their MP in case she offends people at home.”