Saturday 22 October 2016

'Visually it certainly was very odd looking to city, urban types' - Ryan Tubridy addresses outrage over Late Late lambs

Published 25/01/2016 | 10:18

Ryan Tubridy with Dynamo the lamb on the Late Late Show
Ryan Tubridy with Dynamo the lamb on the Late Late Show
Ryan Tubridy hosted a segment on a new system for tagging lambs on the farm – but some viewers complained it wasn’t humane

Ryan Tubridy has responded to criticism over the lamb segment on Friday's Late Late Show.

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The segment featured newborn lambs in studio with Galway-based entrepreneur TJ Gormley, of Cormac Tagging.

Mr Gormley was demonstrating an invention which makes tagging lambs on farms much more humane by placing them in the carousel-type contraption.

Speaking about the segment on his Radio One show on Monday morning, presenter Ryan Tubridy said, "Visually it certainly was very odd looking to city, urban types."

Ryan defended the segment.

"If you're from a farming background the feeling would have been that's how it works," he said.

"In fact if you spend your time on your hands and knees chasing lambs around it's very difficult to try and tag them and care for the lamb a humane way.  The idea is to take the pain out of all of that.

"What happened was people get concerned for the fairness and the kindness of it. I get the feeling there's an urban/rural divide on it."

Ryan was joined on the phone by Fair City actress Rachel Pilkington who said that her first reaction to the segment was that she had a "very great aversion to it" and was "upset by it".

"I've always had a high sensitivity towards animals as well as people," she added.

"I didn't like the fact that it was brought into the studio and that they were newborn lambs but it jolted me out of my comfort zone and in that moment I was faced with an aspect of farming which I'm very well aware of but it was here in front of me.

"Apart from turning off the screen I was left with it, I had to see it.  I wanted to watch because I needed to know what was going to happen and I wanted to know why this was being featured."

Rachel, who is a vegetarian, said that despite the outrage levelled at RTE, she feels the issue is with people themselves rather than the broadcaster.

"People have been very protected from the reality and suddenly you're sitting in on a Friday night to watch an entertainment programme and it's there in front of you," she said.

"I think the outrage has been about the Late Late Show and RTE and there's a huge amount of anger but at the end of the day, in retrospect, my thoughts are that maybe the issue isn't with any of you in RTE but one we have with ourselves."

She celebrated the fact that the segment has prompted people to consider what they feel on the subject of eating meat.

"If people had that aversion to it on Friday night there is something they can do, they can withdraw support for any industries which exploit or profit from the use of animals. You can make the choice yourself individually not to eat meat, not to buy any animal products," she said.

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