A NEW political satire on RTE radio has caused unease in Fine Gael because of its portrayal of the party leader as a transvestite called Dame Enda.
A leaked clip on the internet from Green Tea, the station's first return to parody since Scrap Saturday, depicts Enda Kenny as a "foolish" cross dresser who believes s/he is pregnant. The clip is believed to have prompted Fine Gael to make discreet approaches to sound out how Mr Kenny is to be portrayed.
A party spokesperson said it has made no complaints to RTE about the programme.
One of the show's creators, Oliver Callan, the voice behind Nob Nation, said this weekend he had been "made aware of the unease in Fine Gael".
He added that the Green Tea team would be "sticking steadfastly by the portrayal".
Mr Callan first portrayed Mr Kenny as a cross-dresser on Nob Nation, which went out on the late Gerry Ryan's radio show on 2fm.
"The first time we did it, there was a letter (from Fine Gael) to the producer," he said.
Then earlier this year, he said, Ryan took him aside after the show one day and told him he had met Enda Kenny at a function. "He said Enda had approached him and the terms of the approach were: 'Why am I being depicted as a cross-dresser?'"
The new show, which runs for six weeks on RTE Radio 1 from December 27, is scripted by a large team of writers.
Mr Callan said the writing team planned to continue using the Dame Enda caricature.
In the leaked YouTube clip from Green Tea, Dame Enda thinks that she has become pregnant. Dr Michael Ring is the local GP who is shocked when one of the Dame's fake breasts falls on the floor after a gender test.
RTE Radio One commissioned Green Tea to offer a satirical commentary on the changing face of Irish society, paying particular attention to the banking sector.
There are believed to be disagreements in Montrose over when to schedule the new comedy series, which RTE has also commissioned as a TV developmental project.
RTE sources say it will switch to a Saturday morning slot on radio one after the first two broadcasts, which may upset leading RTE presenters.
Marian Finucane and Miriam O'Callaghan both have Saturday morning radio shows.