Mark Stedman/

RTÉ apologises for mock broadcast which depicted God sentenced for rape

The clip is still currently available on the RTÉ player.

LAST UPDATE | Jan 2nd 2021, 1:38 PM

RTÉ HAS APOLOGISED for any offence that may have been caused by the broadcast of a comedy sketch which depicted God being arrested for rape.

In a statement released this afternoon, RTÉ acknowledged that some viewers were offended by the Waterford Whispers sketch.

Approximately 600 complaints have been made so far about the sketch since it was broadcast on New Year’s Eve.

“RTÉ recognizes that matters which can cause offence naturally differ from person to person, within comedy and satire in particular,” the statement read.

“Having reviewed the feedback and complaints received up to this point, RTÉ wishes to apologise to those who were offended by the segment.”

The clip was broadcast as part of RTÉ One’s NYE Countdown Show, broadcast on Thursday night.

In a mock year-in-review news bulletin, portrayed as a broadcast from satirical website Waterford Whispers News, former RTÉ newsreader Aengus MacGrianna reads a report over video footage of a man dressed in white robes being led by gardaí from a court.

“A shocking revelation this year,” MacGrianna’s says, “God became the latest figure to be implicated in the ongoing sexual harassment scandal.

The five-billion-year-old stood accused of forcing himself on a young Middle Eastern migrant and allegedly impregnating her against her will before being sentenced to two years in prison, with the last 24 months suspended.

“Following the news, movie producer Harvey Weinstein requested a retrial in Ireland.”

Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, described the clip as ‘blasphemous’.

“I am shocked that producer/editor of ‘NYE Countdown Show’ @RTE @RTEOne didn’t realise how deeply offensive was a mocking ‘news report’ accusing God of rape & reporting his imprisonment,” Martin tweeted last night.

This outrageous clip should be removed immediately and denounced by all people of goodwill.

“To broadcast such a deeply offensive and blasphemous clip about God & Our Blessed Mother Mary during the Christmas season on ‘NYE Countdown Show’ on @RTE , @RTEOne & on Eve of the Solemn Feast of Mary, Mother of God is insulting to all Catholics and Christians.”

The clip is still available on the RTÉ Player.

Updated by Tadgh McNally

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