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'Giant gran' should have got more coverage, admits RTE

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Crowds watch as performers from the French arts group Royal de Luxe take to the streets of Limerick with their giant grandmother parade. Photo: PA

Crowds watch as performers from the French arts group Royal de Luxe take to the streets of Limerick with their giant grandmother parade. Photo: PA

PA

Crowds watch as performers from the French arts group Royal de Luxe take to the streets of Limerick with their giant grandmother parade. Photo: PA

RTE chiefs have admitted the station should have provided more extensive coverage of a landmark street theatre event in Limerick which cost over €1m to produce.

The 'Giant Granny' attracted crowds of over 230,000 during the course of the weekend, and is regarded as one of the highlights of Limerick's reign as international City of Culture.

But many feel it was greatly underplayed by RTE, given its role as the national broadcaster.

An RTE spokesperson said the station now accepted the event should have been reported on more extensively.

"Having seen the pictures following the weekend, RTE's head of news, Kevin Bakhurst, said he would have liked to have seen more of the event across their coverage on Saturday and Sunday, and this has been taken note of," said the spokesperson.

Former Limerick mayor Kathleen Leddin said RTE should have had live coverage.

"There were thousands of people on the street, but it appears RTE didn't take it seriously," she said. "Maybe they didn't think it would be as successful as it was, so their decision to pretty much ignore it was very disappointing."

Sinn Fein Limerick City Councillor Maurice Quinlivan said: "It was the best event I've ever seen in the city. It's just a real shame RTE didn't pick up on it."

But the city's current Mayor, Fine Gael councillor Michael Sheahan, said those complaining should "lighten up and be positive".

The RTE statement also pointed out that 'Morning Ireland' featured a series on the City of Culture across three days last week. They noted that the limited coverage on news bulletins was in the context of a busy Irish and international news week.

It's not the first time RTE has been accused of overlooking Limerick. In 1978, they had no cameras at Munster's historic win over New Zealand.

There was one outside broadcast crew - and that day they sent it to an opening at the Cork Opera House.

Irish Independent