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'It came from the heart': Tubridy offers clarification over Greta Thunberg comments

The host faced criticism for remarks he’d made discussing the climate change activist and her speech to the UN.

Image: Rollingnews.ie/PA Images

RYAN TUBRIDY HAS sought to clarify comments he made on his RTÉ Radio One show yesterday morning about teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg which he said “seemed to have caused a lot of upset to some people”. 

Speaking on the show this morning, Tubridy said what he said “came from the heart” and was just “genuine concern for a young person on that stage”. 

In the early part of the programme yesterday, the Late Late Show host discussed Thunberg’s speech at the UN on Monday where she slammed world leaders for failing her generation when it came to climate change. 

“Last night I was looking at the news, and I felt a little uncomfortable,” he said before outlining how he supported last week’s climate marches where thousands of young people in Ireland and abroad took part. 

Tubridy then expressed his concern that someone so young was being exposed to such scrutiny on the world stage, and that watching Thunberg had made him think about his own daughter.

“Her face contorted in pain, in agony and in anxiety. I was watching her and not thinking about the climate,” he said. ”It’s not good for her mental health or her wellbeing.”

“She has Asperger’s, it’s known,” Tubridy said. “But she’s now up for grabs. A 16 year old shouldn’t be up for grabs.”

The host then addressed criticism he’d received online for these comments in his show today. 

“What I had said in regards to Greta, and this isn’t a defence or an apology, it’s just a clarification, it came from the heart,” he said.

I’m 46 years old and apparently I was shredded yesterday online and that’s fine because I’m not online so I didn’t see it. But it’s not nice. I got a couple of texts about it.

Tubridy reiterated that he was a supporter of the climate marches and said he admires young people and their engagement in politics and public affairs.

“I don’t like being the thing but since it’s there I think lest there be any confusion about comments I made yesterday,” he said.

In relation to these comments I made about Greta Thunberg’s speech to the United Nations, I think there might have been confusion about a pairing of Asperger’s syndrome as a mental illness but that wasn’t the case or what was intended at all.

He added that he’d spoken to the mother of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome on a separate segment on the show yesterday and said she’d had no issue with what had been said before.

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Sean Murray

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