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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 8 December 2021

Tommy Tiernan was ok to say that Jesus 'needed a pint'

Tiernan was talking about St Patrick’s Day falling in the middle of Lent.

Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE BROADCASTING AUTHORITY of Ireland has rejected a complaint about a joke made by comedian Tommy Tiernan.

Offence was taken by one female viewer of his ‘Crooked Man’ show when it was broadcast on TV3 last December – specifically focusing on a piece of material where Jesus comes out of the desert and asks for a pint during Lent.

The woman making the complaint said that while she accepted that the reference was meant as a joke, it did insult her beliefs as a Christian and this was exacerbated by the use of profanity.

She also said that she does not believe that the contents of the Holy Bible or indeed the Koran or other Holy books should be taken in jest.

The joke 

The joke made by Tiernan concerned Irish people’s preoccupation with alcohol, discussing St Patrick’s Day falling in the middle of lent, saying, “that wasn’t a fluke… talk about product placement”.

On St Patrick’s Day, Jesus himself comes out of the desert, ‘mother of fuck… any chance of a pint is there. The Devil is driving me demented. Question after fucking question. Pint of Guinness please Seamus, thanks. What’s that? I’d love to judge the parade, I’d love to. I know fuck all about floats but I’ll give it a go.’

In response to the complaint TV3 said that they were “quite clear this was  joke and not meant in the literal sense”. It went on to say that while they accept that it is difficult to cater to everyone’s taste, it was satisfied that it was “clearly a joke” and “not meant as harmful or offensive”.

The broadcaster also pointed out that the programme went out after the watershed at 10pm.


In rejecting the complaint, the BAI stated that its forum accepted that the comments were made in the context of a comedy routine and that part of its function is to “play with and push the boundaries of acceptable speech”.

The BAI’s forum accepted that what Tiernan was in fact doing in the course of his routine was “a humorous juxtaposition in the context of his comments on alcohol”.

In its ruling it was found that the material in question did not infringe on Section 48 of the Broadcasting Act 2009.

Read: Radio presenters slapped on wrist for talking about ‘Irish language Taliban’

Also: One RTÉ viewer was ‘highly offended’ about talk that Jesus had a wife

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