Thursday 22 August 2019

Ministers reveal reason behind 'awkward' interview in Brussels

European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee. Photo: Caroline Quinn
European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ministers Simon Coveney and Helen McEntee have moved to explain an "awkward" interview which saw the female politician standing silently beside her colleague during an RTE interview.

The interview, which centred on Ireland's loss to France on becoming the city to host the European Banking Authority post-Brexit, was aired on the 9 O'Clock news on Monday night.

A Eurovision-style points contest ended in a draw between Paris and Dublin, with the French capital taking the prize after the two countries were forced to draw lots. 

Both ministers were in Brussels and both appeared on the news. However, only Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney spoke.

A screengrab of the RTE 9 O'Clock News
A screengrab of the RTE 9 O'Clock News

Viewers took to social media to question why Ms McEntee did not speak, with concern raised that the interview it set a bad example for younger viewers.

However both politicians responded on Twitter to explain the reason behind the bizarre interview set-up, explaining that it was a mic issue.

Ms McEntee said the interview was "awkward" but added that it was nobody's fault, saying she is "well able to speak".

She said:

"Interview was directly after vote & we were rushing to get flight home, was supposed to be quick & could only mike up for one. Awkward for you, imagine how I felt!"

Meanwhile, Mr Coveney admitted the set-up was "not ideal" but added that lessons had been learned.

A screengrab of the RTE 9 O'Clock News
A screengrab of the RTE 9 O'Clock News

"Interview team only had one mic and earpiece so it did look a little strange I must admit - not ideal, I can assure you @HMcEntee was very vocal all day, that's why we were there together for interview - lessons learned," he said in a tweet.

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