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Tuesday 2 September 2014

Radio station apologises for offensive text aired yesterday

Published 22/01/2014 | 23:32

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Mail claimed ‘children living with gay people could easily pick up aids’
Mail claimed ‘children living with gay people could easily pick up aids’

Midwest Radio's presenter Tommy Marren has apologised to listeners who were offended by a text message which aired yesterday.

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The text suggested that children of gay couples could develop AIDS.

In a statement today Mr. Marren said it was a "serious misjudgement" on his part to air the comments.

"I hold my hands up and openly admit I got this very wrong."

"I can only state the truth which is that this was human error – no more and no less. I did not read the text message before airing it which was the first error of judgement and the second error was not counteracting the ludicrous sentiments expressed in it."

The issue irked many listeners who turned to online forums to voice their anger.

Online blogger Paul Duggan said yesterday: “The presenter should have acknowledged that this was not a reasonable opinion to hold and that it has no basis in science.”

Today the presenter said: "I am extremely sorry for any hurt the broadcast of the text has caused listeners of all persuasions and fully acknowledge that it should not have happened. In apologising to listeners this morning I also spoke to a member of the gay community and conducted a lively debate about the stigmas and difficulties that the gay community in Ireland still face."

"Having dealt with the subject on hundreds of occasions over the years I would hope that I have always treated the subject with impartiality and balance but on this occasion I completely misjudged the content of the points raised by the listener and should have dealt with it in a more professional manner," he said.

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