RTE's popular soap Fair City was slammed last night for using the term "mongo" in the latest episode.
The inclusion of the word in the script has outraged Down's Syndrome Ireland which represent 3,000 of the 7,000 people here with the condition. The organisation said the term was an offensive one used to refer to people with Down's Syndrome.
It was used in the script of the character, Lara Newman, who an RTE spokesperson says is depicted as "a dysfunctional and negative individual". The spokesperson added: "The language reflects the character who utters it." It did not reflect the "views, or sensibilities of RTE".
But Down's Syndrome Ireland chief executive, Michael McCormick lashed out at the response.
He said: "It is outrageous. I don't accept it at all. The word was written by script writers, they are rehearsed. They cannot be compared to an off-the-cuff remark by a politician."
He added the term was derogatory and insensitive and said his organisation had received complaints.