RTÉ defend decision to air Claire Byrne Live outside Mater Hospital

Rté Defend Decision To Air Claire Byrne Live Outside Mater Hospital Rté Defend Decision To Air Claire Byrne Live Outside Mater Hospital
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James Cox

RTÉ has defended its decision to broadcast tonight's Claire Byrne Live from outside the Mater Hospital.

The national broadcaster said the show “has been arranged with the full cooperation of the Mater Hospital”.

A tweet from the show's account read: "We'll be broadcasting live from outside Dublin's Mater Hospital tomorrow. As the crisis worsens, Claire will hear from doctors, nurses, porters and other heroes on the Covid frontline. Have you been in the Mater recently with Covid, or had a relative there? DMs/replies welcome."

Social media users reacted angrily to the post, with many claiming it was inappropriate and unnecessary with the country in the midst of a third wave of Covid-19.

Others defended RTÉ, pointing out that they had full permission from the Mater Hospital.

In a statement issued to BreakingNews.ie, RTÉ said: "The Claire Byrne Live broadcast has been arranged with the full cooperation of the Mater Hospital.

“The aim of programme is to highlight the pressure hospitals are under right now, with first-hand accounts from frontline workers putting a renewed focus on the importance of following public health guidelines.

“It will give viewers an insight into the challenges hospital staff are facing in this current wave of the pandemic.

“The live broadcast will take place in an outdoor environment with strict Covid safety protocols observed by all on site.”

There are currently 1,582 Covid-19 patients being treated in hospital, of which 146 are in ICU.

Meanwhile, over 40 per cent of new cases in the past seven days can be back to the new UK variant.

Speaking at tonight's National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) meeting, Dr Michael Power, HSE Clinical Lead for Intensive Care, said: “Over the past weeks, we have seen a swift and sharp spike in admissions into critical care units across the country. As of this morning, we have 146 people sadly in ICU. This is nearing the springtime peak of 155 people in critical care.

“The potential long-term impacts on these patients’ health is stark and significant. ICUs are not where we want anyone to be. They are our very last line of defence against Covid-19. The best way we can protect our ICU capacity and those that work in them is to stay at home.”


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