COMPLAINTS to RTE over the controversial opening episode of the third season of 'Love/Hate' have doubled in the past 24 hours.
And a rape crisis helpline has been warned to be "on standby" for the upcoming second and third episodes of the series which will also feature violent or explicit scenes.
A total of 36 viewers have contacted the national broadcaster about the content featured in the award-winning drama after it aired on Sunday night.
The latest installment attracted an audience of 630,700 who tuned in to see the brutal murder of a rapist, Git (Jimmy Smallhorne), after he assaulted the girlfriend of a rival gang member.
By Monday evening, RTE had received nine emails and eight phonecalls.
An RTE spokesperson told the Irish Independent that they have now received 22 phonecalls and 14 emails from viewers, 11 of which are recorded complaints.
In addition, the Rape Crisis Centre received a significant spike in calls around the country after the rape scene.
"We received quite a number of calls, many from people who watched the scene and it triggered old memories or trauma," Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop, CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC), told the Irish Independent.
Producers of the IFTA-award winning drama contacted the organisation in the build-up to the series opener to forewarn them.
They asked permission to provide details of the Rape Crisis Centre's national 24-hour helpline.
"The producers were very responsive with us, so we knew that the first and third episodes would feature content of an explicit or violent nature. Our volunteers were told and we were prepared to expect calls."
The DRCC has been instructed to be "on standby" for the upcoming second and third episodes as a precaution.