RTÉ apologises to Prime Time viewers for #IrishUkrainiansNotRussians glitch

4 Mar 2014

Image via @HairyBabyTees on Twitter

RTÉ has apologised to viewers after an ‘infuriating’ technical glitch caused a phrase to loop on Prime Time last night for about 10 minutes. The Irish state broadcaster has attributed the gaffe to equipment failure.

In a segment on the news and current affairs programme featuring an interview with Russian ambassador Maxim Peshkov, the audio became stuck on Peshkov’s words, “Irish Ukrainians, not Russians.” The phrase continued to play even while images rolled on in the background, sparking calls to RTÉ from confused viewers.

In a statement today, RTÉ apologised for the gaffe.

“We’d like to apologise for last night’s transmission error on RTÉ One, which was caused by an equipment failure in hardware installed in December as part of the RTÉ One HD project,” RTÉ said.

“Transmission for those watching on standard definition (SD) was interrupted for just over 13 minutes.

“The automated system had to be manually overridden and this delayed the glitch being rectified. The transmission on RTÉ One HD was not affected.”

RTÉ’s managing director of News and Current Affairs Kevin Bakhurst also apologised, taking to Twitter last night to do so:

Kevin Bakhurst on Twitter

Today, however, the hashtag #IrishUkrainiansNotRussians has been trending in Ireland on Twitter unabated.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic