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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 15 December, 2018
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Ireland's Equality Minister was asked by RTÉ to remove a Yes Equality pin

Brendan O’Connor made the request of Aodhán Ó Ríordáin last night.

MINISTER OF STATE for Equality Aodhán Ó Ríordáin was asked to remove a Yes Equality pin while appearing on RTÉ’s Saturday Night Show last night.

The Labour Minister was appearing on the Brendan O’Connor hosted show and was wearing a rainbow ‘yes’ pin that is used by the Yes Equality referendum campaign.

During their chat, O’Connor stopped the Junior Minister in mid-sentence and asked him, “Can you take off that pin? The pin you’re wearing on your collar.”

Ó Ríordáin removed the pin and said to the presenter, “It’s a Yes pin.”

“You just made it worse,” responded O’Connor before using the word ‘no’ and explaining that he did so to balance out the minister’s ‘yes’.

The above video was tweeted by former RTÉ Pulse presenter Scott De Buitléir who had hosted an LGBT-focused show on the broadcaster before leaving last week. De Buitléir said he felt “silenced” by RTÉ bosses ahead of the referendum.

The request to remove the badge was widely criticised on Twitter with #pingate trending last night and this morning.

Ó Ríordáin himself made reference to the incident after the show, tweeting a picture of the offending badge before saying he gave it away.

Read: Studio clashes, Bosco … Here’s what to expect in the countdown to referendum day >

Read: An RTÉ story about Denis O’Brien has been blocked until at least 12 May >

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Rónán Duffy

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