Wednesday 16 October 2019

'It came from the heart' - Tubridy explains his comments on activist

Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Ryan Tubridy. Photo: Andres Poveda
Inspiration: Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has awoken a new generation of activists. Photo: REUTERS

Kathy Armstrong and Ian Begley

Ryan Tubridy insisted he was genuinely concerned for climate activist Greta Thunberg's "health and wellbeing" as he replied to criticism of his controversial remarks about her.

The broadcaster faced a backlash on social media after suggesting the 16-year-old was too young to be subjected to the global stage and should be "brought home and watch a movie".

Tubridy stressed on his show on RTÉ Radio One yesterday that he isn't defending or saying sorry for his remarks but he did want to clarify what he meant. He told listeners: "What I had said in regards to Greta - and this isn't a defence or an apology, it's just a clarification - it came from the heart, just genuine concern for a young person on that stage.

"I'm 46 years old and apparently I was 'shredded' yesterday online and that's fine because I'm not online so I didn't see it, but it's not nice, I got a couple of texts about it.

"I thought I can take it, I'm a public figure in the public eye but my concern yesterday was for a young person and for her health and wellbeing, that's all.

"I am a massive supporter of the climate marches, I have repeatedly said how much I admire the young people and their movements and their engagement in politics and public affairs.

"Never underestimate my love and appreciation for the next generation, please don't."

Ms Thunberg made global headlines as she addressed world leaders at the United Nations in New York. She said furiously: "You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words."

Tubridy suggested on his radio show on Tuesday that she was too young to be on such a global platform.

Irish Independent

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