SDLP MLA Matthew O’Toole has said that the exclusion of the SDLP from RTÉ Claire Byrne Live debate last night is a worrying sign that the national broadcaster is ignoring key aspects of the debate on Irish unity.
He was speaking as the party made a formal complaint to RTÉ about their exclusion from the programme.
Matthew O’Toole MLA said:
“The exclusion of the SDLP’s voice from a debate on Irish unity by the national broadcaster is a worrying sign that RTÉ is ignoring key aspects of the most important debate in Irish politics at present.
“I watched with dismay as speaker after speaker referred to and quoted from John Hume and Seamus Mallon yet the programme makers made a deliberate decision to exclude the voice of the SDLP. It is enormously frustrating that our distinct voice, rooted in the politics of reconciliation, internationalism and European social democracy, was deliberately removed from the debate. It does a disservice to viewers, North and South, to reduce the plurality of northern nationalism to voices from Sinn Féin.
“We have written to the RTÉ Director General today outlining our concerns and to ensure that all voices in the debate are heard.”