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Wednesday 17 July 2019

'I'd break your legs,' Tubridy tells caller who beat wife

Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain and Ryan Tubridy
Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain and Ryan Tubridy
Ryan with his girlfriend Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin

Sam Griffin

BROADCASTER Ryan Tubridy sparked controversy when he said he would "break the legs" of anyone who inflicted domestic violence on one of his family.

The RTE star was addressing the issue of domestic abuse against women on his 2fm radio show and speaking to a man who admitted beating his wife.

"I'm just trying to . . . if you did that to somebody I love, I swear to God, I would have personally called you over and broken both your legs," Tubridy said live on air.

"I'm not going to lie to you. Like if it was my sister, my mother, you know, I'd be over to your house. I couldn't help myself."

Following Tubridy's comments, however, women's rights groups and those tackling domestic abuse said meeting violence with more violence was not the answer.

"The problem is I'm trying to be really measured here because we appreciate you coming on to the programme," Tubridy said during the interview with the man called "Chris".

Tubridy is generally very private when speaking about his own family and his long-term girlfriend Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain, but the interview clearly angered him.

"I know it's violent, I know it's wrong, but I think it's man to man," he added – before commending Chris for speaking out on the taboo subject.

A spokesperson for the group Men Overcoming Violence (MOVE), a national organisation for the safety of women and children, said the urge to meet violence with more violence was understandable – but that it was not the best way to tackle domestic abuse.

"That's not an uncommon response you get from people faced with the issue of domestic violence," said the spokesman.

"But everybody knows – and I think Ryan Tubridy knows as well – that that's not the best way to go about it. Repeating bad behaviour by someone else isn't going to achieve anything.

He added: "That kind of reaction doesn't help the victim in any sense."

The National Women's Council said further violence would prevent broader understanding of domestic abuse and why it is perpetrated.


"Violence is an emotive subject, particularly so when perpetrated against vulnerable women and children. However, we must remember that the appropriate response to violence is not more violence," the council's Louise Glennon said.

A spokesperson for Women's Aid told the Irish Independent that everyone had the responsibility to provide support for women and to condemn the actions of perpetrators.

"We would encourage any one who fears that someone they know is being abused, to tell her that no matter what she does, she does not deserve the abuse and doesn't have to go through it alone."

Irish Independent

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