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Lankum at the Choice Music Prize awards Graham Keogh via RTÉ
Choice Music Prize

Performers criticise RTÉ for omission of Lankum's acceptance speech about Gaza

RTÉ said that the speech was included in the live broadcast and that the recording of the full live version will be available online shortly.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Mar

ARTISTS IN ATTENDANCE at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize awards have criticised the national broadcaster’s omission of a speech by Lankum, which voiced support for Palestinians in Gaza.

RTÉ has said that the speech was included in a live broadcast but that it was not available in a recorded version. 

The contemporary Irish folk band last night won Album of the Year at the awards show last night.

They used their acceptance speech to call for an end to the conflict in Gaza, which they described as a “genocide” on Palestinians.

RTÉ 2′s live radio broadcast was scheduled to run for 4 hours and 15 minutes but the show appears to have run long, with the published podcast showing that Lankum’s award was announced 16 minutes into the next radio slot, which was the show’s ‘After Party’.

However, despite the show already running into the next slot, no part of Lankum’s acceptance speech was played in the recording.

A spokesperson for RTÉ said that the speech was included in the live broadcast and that the recording of the full live version will be available online shortly.

They have yet to comment on the omission of the speech from the recording of the ‘After Party’, which is online.

In the speech, Ian Lynch, one of the band’s multi-instrumentalists said: “We’re really grateful to get this award, but to be honest it’s really hard to see how we can celebrate it with an actual live genocide going on.

“It feels like there’s very little to be celebrating to be honest and every day seems more and more hopeless than the one before it.

“You know, you’re trying to appeal to the consciences of people who may or may not have a conscience to begin with.”

Irish singer-songwriter CMAT described the move by the national broadcaster to omit the speech as “disrespectful”, writing on X that she hopes more people hear it.

Her words have been reposted by hundreds of people, including artists, activists and academics.

Lankum thanked CMAT.

Lynch called on the government to “introduce some actual meaningful sanctions” on Israel.

Marches and petitions, he said, will increase pressure on the government to act. But if they don’t, “there’s other ways to get things done”.

“There’s occupations, direct action, boycotts,” he said.

“Go to the supermarket, find every Israeli product you can find, and f**k it in the bin.

“We all need to be doing exactly what we can because in years to come your grandkids are going to be sitting on your lap and they’re going to be going: ‘Nana/Granda, what did you do during the Palestine genocide.’

“And you are going to feel like an absolute p***k if you can’t tell them that you did everything in your power to stop this horrendous genocide.

“We want the Palestinian people to be able to feel happiness. We want them to experience justice, equality, self-determination, independence and all those other basic human rights.”

The majority of the crowd cheered on the band, with some shouting “free Palestine”.

Last night U2 received an award for Classic Irish Album. As he was speaking about the band’s success, Dave Fanning, who presented the awards, was met with calls of “free Palestine” from the audience. He told them to “shut the f**k up and listen” to Bono and The Edge’s pre-recorded speech.

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