A RELUCTANT apology has been made by the broadcaster TV3 for a slur against Limerick in one of the reality programmes it broadcast last week.
Following a high-profile campaign by local barrister Brendan Nix, which was first highlighted in the Limerick Leader, the channel has apologised if any offence was caused to people by references to Limerick in the hit show Come Dine With Me.
The contentious remarks arose after Limerick model Madeline Mulqueen, star of the Rubberbandits video Horse Outside, put tomato ketchup on lobster cooked by Mr O’Doherty.
He then responded by saying: “That’s the grossest thing I’ve seen since the last time I was in Limerick”
Then, before serving his main course of duck, he said he was confident that duck had “reached Limerick”.
Mr O’Doherty, who apologised extensively through the Limerick Leader on Monday, spoke on Live 95FM yesterday to again express his remorse for making these remarks.
The magazine publisher, from Dublin, spent over half an hour on the local airwaves, explaining how these remarks were said in the heat of the moment.
He said he admired Mr Nix’s passion in standing up for his native city, and also apologised to TV3 for the furore this has caused in recent days.
Mr Nix had called for the people of Limerick to boycott products advertised on TV3 until such time as they had issued an apology.
“Michael is an individual, but you are a corporate body and are responsible for what you air,” he told a TV3 spokesperson.
He said the broadcaster “can’t abdicate its responsibility”, and asked them to look at the wider complications when such remarks are made, which he feels are continually damaging the city’s reputation.
After being pressed by the barrister live on air, Maureen Catterson, head of press at TV3, eventually said: “If anyone took offence of course we apologise.”
“Our Limerick viewers and our Limerick supporters are very, very important to us. We would never want to cause offence to anybody. Michael apologised on behalf of everybody. Our Limerick viewership are very important to us. These are not TV3’s views,” she stressed.
“Come Dine With Me is a fly on the wall programme where people get a look in on people’s conversations. We have no control over what people are talking about.
“It was a conversation between both of them [Madeline and Michael]. She made comments as well,” said Ms Catterson.
A lady caller from Moyross, on the Today show with radio broadcaster Joe Nash, praised Mr O’Doherty, saying as he had apologised “it’s time to give it a break and move on.”
Mr Nix, however, described TV3’s apology was “mealy-mouthed” and when asked if he was withdrawing his call for a boycott, said “not necessarily”.
Ms Mulqueen said while she initially took offence to his remarks, she understood he was getting his own revenge after the guests set out to ruin his night.