RTÉ's Liveline the most complained about show in Ireland last year

Rté's Liveline The Most Complained About Show In Ireland Last Year
Joe Duffy's Liveline was the most complained about show in Ireland last year. Photo: RTÉ
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Ken Foxe

RTÉ’s Liveline was the most complained about show last year to the broadcasting authority, although none of the gripes made by angry listeners have so far been upheld.

There were 91 total complaints to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) in 2022, with RTÉ radio and television the subject of more than two-thirds of them, or 63 in total.


None of them have been successful so far, though a handful remain under consideration, according to the BAI.

RTÉ Radio One topped the complaints charts with 35, followed by TV station RTÉ One, where there were 25 separate quibbles from viewers.

An analysis by programme shows that RTÉ Liveline with Joe Duffy was the subject of ten complaints, five of them rejected, four considered invalid, and one still pending.

Morning Ireland, Prime Time, and Newstalk’s the Hard Shoulder were all joint second on the list with five complaints each, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.


There were also four complaints about both Claire Byrne Live and the Six One News, none of which have been upheld so far.

With RTÉ accounting for most of the complaints, the only other broadcaster with a relatively high number was Newstalk with nine.

There were also six complaints about Virgin Media One or Three, and two lodged against Today FM.

Of the 91 total complaints made to the BAI, 39 were deemed invalid, 41 were rejected, and a single case involving a local radio station was listed as “resolved”.


There are another 10 cases that have yet to be decided upon, according to a database provided by the authority.

Complaints down

The number of complaints being made was markedly down last year, more than halving from the 2021 figure of 206.

It is believed a widespread return to the office and much higher levels of socialising after the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic played at least some part in the drop in figures.

Not all complaints were about programmes with listeners and viewers taking issue with some advertisements as well.


There was one complaint about Always menstrual products, which was deemed invalid by the broadcasting authority.

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Another person objected to the Don’t Be Afraid campaign by Women’s Aid; and it, too, was ruled invalid.

There was also a complaint lodged about an Aldi Christmas advert, according to the BAI, and the file on it remains open.

A spokesman for RTÉ said: “While over two-thirds of broadcast complaints made to the BAI related to RTÉ, none of these have been upheld, with the vast majority being either rejected or invalid. This, in our view, highlights the consistently high editorial standards set by RTÉ.

“RTÉ welcomes and receives daily feedback from the public regarding RTÉ's content and services through a range of channels, including the RTÉ Information Office and through the statutory Complaints process which is explained in detail on our website.”

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