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Sunday 21 July 2019

George Hook apologises for 'unacceptable' comments about rape

George Hook
George Hook
Broadcaster George Hook
George Hook

Sasha Brady and Catherine Devine

George Hook has today apologised for comments he made about rape on his Newstalk radio programme.

The broadcaster came under fire for the comments he made on his radio show, High Noon, on Friday.

In a statement issued today, Mr Hook said he wanted to "apologise unreservedly for comments" he made about rape.

"It was unacceptable to suggest in any way that blame could be attributed to victims of rape. I apologise for the comments which caused hurt and offence, and for this I am truly sorry."

Managing Editor, Patricia Monahan said that comments made were "totally wrong and inappropriate and should never have been made."

Mr Hook received a lot of criticism for the comments he made on his Newstalk show when discussing an ongoing rape case in the UK.

He spoke about the "responsibility of women" when discussing the case of a 19-year-old woman in the UK who alleges she was raped by a member of the British swimteam.

The young woman alleges that she was raped by the swimmer when he entered her room after she had consensual sex with his friend.

Mr Hook said: "But when you then look deeper into the story you have to ask certain questions. Why does a girl who just meets a fella in a bar go back to a hotel room? She's only just barely met him. She has no idea of his health conditions, she has no idea who he is, no idea what dangers he might pose.

"But modern day social activity means that she goes back with him. Then is surprised when somebody else comes into the room and rapes her. Should she be raped? Course she shouldn't. Is she entitled to say no? Absolutely. Is the guy who came in a scumbag? Certainly. Should he go to jail? Of Course. All of those things."

He continued: "But is there no blame now to the person who puts themselves in danger? You then of course read that she passed out on the toilet and when she woke up the guy was trying to rape her. There is personal responsibility because it's your daughter and my daughter. What determines the daughter who goes out, gets drunk, passes out and has strangers in her room or the daughter that stays out, stays halfway sober and comes home, I don't know. I wish I knew what the secret of parenting is.

"Is a point of responsibility the real issue?

"There is a point of responsibility that young girls are taking for their own safety," he said.

Last night Newstalk's Chris Donoghue responded to Hook's comments, tweeting "Someone needs to go to town on hook. It's disgusting."

Orla O'Connor, Director of the National Women's Council, said: "Victim blaming at its worst and complete ignorance as to its impact on those who have been raped."

Senator Lynn Ruane said Mr Hook's comments were a "disgrace".

"The only thing that should happen if someone finds you drunk or passed out is check if you are OK and safe," she added.

Meanwhile rape victim, Fiona Doyle, said Mr Hook's comments were "outrageous" and "offensive".

If you have been affected by this issue you can contact the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 1800 778 888

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