Friday 21 July 2017

'RTE should be ashamed' - Twitter reacts to Sharon Ní Bheoláin's interview with Web Summit co-founder Daire Hickey

Watch video of the interview below

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Irish Twitter users last night expressed anger online over an interview on the RTÉ Six One News with Web Summit co-founder Daire Hickey.

Irish Twitter users did not hold back last night after an interview on the RTÉ Six One News sparked ire amongst some users. 

RTÉ's Sharon Ní Bheoláin was speaking to the co-founder of the Web Summit, Daire Hickey. Ní Bheoláin began the interview by pointing out that Web Summit founder Paddy Cosgrave "pulled out just before we went on-air" and went on to accuse the Web Summit management of having a "testy day".

She asked Hickey why the Web Summit "couldn't let bygones be bygones" and asked him was it not "rather pointless to engage in this bitter broadside" with the Government over the loss of the Web Summit.

She pressed Hickey on the amount of money "on the table" to move the Summit to Lisbon, despite repeat protests by Hickey that the Summit told the Irish government that they were "willing to forgo that money in return for some traffic management plans".

Irish viewers did not support Ní Bheoláin on Twitter, writing that "RTÉ should be ashamed" and that the journalist did not have the "right tone" in the piece.

However, her interview has been praised in other quarters.

On Twitter, Kate Bopp owrote that she was "not sure what all the fuss is about. Fair questons posed by Ni Bheolin."

Alan O'Mara tweeted: "Well done to Sharon Ni Bheolain for that #websummit interview. Also very impressed by how @hidaire handled the grilling too."

Fang Dango tweeted "I'm loving that Sharon Ni Bheolain pissed off co founder of websummit . Poor Paddy and Co expected to pay costs of events."

The interview is the latest episode in the Web Summit saga, which has seen the event move to Lisbon for the next three years as a result of an alleged lack of action by the Government.

Last week, it was reported that the Taoiseach had not been invited to the Web Summit, and then that he received his invite on Friday, two business days before the event was due to start. The Taoiseach then denied to attend the event. Cosgrave claims the Ministers have a standing invite to the event, which they were aware of.

Yesterday, Game of Thrones actor Liam Cunningham said that Dublin losing the Web Summit was an embarrassment to the country. Also yesterday, Paddy Cosgrave described the €700,000 given to the Web Summit over four years as "nothing more than hush money" from the Irish Government in an interview.

Read more: Irate Game of Thrones star: Dublin losing the Web Summit is 'an embarrassment'  

This morning, Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash responded through the media, saying "if Paddy Cosgrave considers that hush money, I'm sure the State would be happy to take that back and invest it in small start-ups that could do with the additional supports".

Read more: Give us back the €700,000 'hush money', minister tells Web Summit organisers 

Yesterday, #FoodGate trended on Twitter as Web Summit attendees complained about the prices of food at the accompanying Food Summit and many users reported issues with the wifi again this year.

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