TV3 to edit out 'chaotic scenes' after Vincent Browne debate ends in threats
TV3 will edit out heated scenes from a pre-recorded debate with Vincent Browne airing tonight following claims members of the audience were jeered and threatened by anti water charges protesters.
The station confirmed these scenes would not appear in tonight’s broadcast of 'The People's Debate with Vincent Browne' at 10pm, saying that: “No altercations or disagreements between audience members will be shown in tonight’s edit.”
Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, who was present during the recording of the debate at Clontarf Castle hotel on Monday night, described the jeering from the crowd as “nasty stuff” and “distasteful”.
Several witnesses said the Dublin Bay North debate descended into chaotic scenes after a member of the audience accused those around her of intimidation after she applauded remarks made by Mr Ó Ríordáin, a Labour Party TD.
The woman allegedly claimed that she was told she had been photographed and would "get hers outside".
Host Vincent Browne had to warn the audience to settle down a number of times before he informed them that staff at the North Dublin hotel had called gardaí.
It is understood the recording had to be stopped as the hotel were afraid protests by those opposed to the water charges would get out of hand.
Speaking about the incident, Mr Ó Ríordáin said his comment that drew the round of applause was about education.
“I made a comment about education and someone who applauded accused somebody of intimidation.
“I believe the incident was an issue of friction between two audience members,” he said.
A garda spokesperson said that officers had been called to a “minor incident” at Clontarf Castle but said no arrests had been made.
Candidates who appeared during the tonight's debate on TV3 at 10 pm include Jobs Minister Richard Bruton, Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, Fianna Fail councillor Deirdre Heney and Independent TD Finian McGrath.