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O Donnghaile takes Irish language complaint to BBC Trust

21 November, 2014

Sinn Féin councillor Niall O Donnghaile has said he is taking his complaint against the BBC over its treatment of Irish speakers to the BBC Trust. 

Speaking after the BBC attempted to defend its treatment of the Irish language on an episode of 'The Nolan Show,' councillor O Donnghaile said; 

"I made a complaint to the BBC over the disrespect shown to me and the wider Irish language community on 'The Nolan Show' on November 5. 

"The programme discussed the offensive remarks on the Irish language made by Gregory Campbell in the Assembly. 

"My complaint centred on the fact that the presenter repeated the remarks on numerous occasions with the intention of getting a cheap laugh. 

"This was not a laughing matter and should not have been treated as such. The remarks were grossly offensive to the Irish language community and bordered on racism. 

"I challenged the BBC on this and called on it to apologise. 

"Instead the BBC has sought to defend the remarks, bizarrely claiming they were 'editorially justified' and that no offence was intended. 

"In response, the BBC have claimed that I 'introduced a lightness of tone' into the exchange. 

"I not only reject that assertion but also the inference that it could be used to justify the unacceptable and offensive behaviour of the presenter which followed. 

"As well as repeating my call for the BBC to apologise I have also lodged a complaint with the BBC Trust as the governing body of the organisation and the arbitrator for all complaints."

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