Sky News host responds to criticism after tweeting 'some of you Irish need to get over yourselves'

A Sky News host who faced criticism after tweeting "some of you Irish need to get over yourselves" has responded on Irish radio.

Adam Boulton said the tweet was in response to abusive messages he had received on Twitter.

Mr Boulton made the tweet following backlash from a televised interview with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney.

The host described last week's political events as a "kerfuffle".

Responding to criticism, Mr Boulton tweeted: "Bored now. Some of you Irish need to get over yourselves. Interviewing is about challenging the interviewee not respecting."

Elsewhere, the host had previously tweeted the Ivory Coast flag in place of the Irish flag.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Today with Sean O'Rourke he said his tweet telling ' some of you, Irish' to get over themselves was in response to abuse he had received on twitter.

He told Sean O'Rourke that people felt justified in abusing him and he found these comments "tedious".

He also added that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, has not complained about their exchange last week.

"I've had absolutely no complaints at all from the Foreign Minister or the Irish Government. I was simply putting to him something that was being said in London and he had the opportunity to reply to it."

He defended his description of last weeks events as a 'kerfuffle', saying the agreement reached on Friday was not wildly different to Monday's.

"I don't think there's any problem there. All I would say is that, from the British government's point of view, their biggest difficulty last week was with the DUP and there is a feeling in Westminster that perhaps the early reports this sort of time last week on RTÉ sounded a little bit triumphalist and we know by the middle of the day the DUP had responded.

"That was the first point I was making. The second point I was making when I used the word 'kerfuffle' was not in any way to diminish the importance of the issues at stake, but simply to say that frankly we ended up on Friday where we had been on Monday pretty much - so you might think it was in process terms not in substance terms, all a bit of a fuss about nothing."

He refused that the term 'you Irish' was condescending.

"No, because I was saying 'some of you Irish', yeah? I was replying to a series of abusive tweets which you can look up online calling me the c-word, a Brit, and out of touch and various other things."

He said they were "ad hominem rebukes" and what they were saying was "tedious".

"That's why I said 'bored now'. I also think that a lot of people have to understand there are many sides to most of these political arguments.

"It would be a shame if the Irish in North or South, with whom I have spent a great deal of time like most journalists have over the recent decades, allowed themselves to be represented an equivalent of the cybernats in Scotland or some of the Corbynists elsewhere on social media.

"There were plenty of people who agreed with me as well," he added.

Responding to Fine Gael TD Noel Rock's tweet in which the Deputy said "some of you presenters need another dose of reality", Mr Boulton said he deals with reality "all the time".

"I am well aware that these are extremely sensitive issues for the Irish nation. All I was saying was I think we need to go into these things in detail," he said.

The full interview, available below, also covers his wider perspective on the Brexit negotiations and internal issues within the UK government.

The host even remained on the line despite a fire alarm going off in the background.

KEYWORDS: Brexit

 

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