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RTE host tells Joan Burton she 'overstepped the mark' after 'D4' remark on Morning Ireland

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TANAISTE Joan Burton was told she "overstepped the mark" after lashing out at RTE during a radio interview.

Ms Burton engaged in a terse exchange with Morning Ireland presenter Gavin Jennings following their on-air interview at the Labour think-in.

During the broadcast, Ms Burton questioned what "kind of world" RTE lives in when quizzed about increases to child benefit.

Ms Burton's criticism of RTE came after Jennings said: "Yes, but with respect a child benefit increase to every child, to every family in the country is not a targeted increase.

"What benefit cuts I have asked you about, are you going to reverse?"

Ms Burton responded:"Gavin, can I just say to you. I think that's quite an extraordinary statement by RTE that child benefit doesn't benefit families with children.

"I don't know what world RTE inhabits, perhaps, in Dublin 4."

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Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste Joan Burton

Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste Joan Burton

Colm Mahady / Fennells

Minister for Social Protection and Tánaiste Joan Burton

Sources yesterday told the Herald that Jennings told Ms Burton following the interview that she "overstepped the mark" in her criticism of RTE.

He also told the Labour leader that he is from Co Meath, and not Dublin 4.

Asked at the Labour parliamentary party think-in in Wicklow about the encounter, Ms Burton said she is "entitled to be part of the conversation".

She joked that she was unaware of the presenter's qualification as a doctor.

"I apologise I didn't use his full title," Ms Burton said.

"I think it was a robust interview and robust interviews are what I expect.

"But equally I am entitled to be part of the conversation and that was what I was trying to do.

"I think the role of the media is to reflect the country honestly and the concerns of the media as the media decides, but I was seeking to make the point that the country has come to a much better place.

"I think I'm entitled to say that," she added.

When contacted, RTE said they had no comment to make.

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