Northern Ireland news

Formal complaints made to RTÉ after map of Ireland omits north

RTÉ has been accused of "free stateism and rank partitionism" after the Late Late Show displayed a map of Ireland where the north appears to be underwater

RTÉ has been accused of "free stateism and rank partitionism" after The Late Late Show displayed a map of Ireland with the northern six counties missing.

The map was being used to highlight an upcoming documentary on the links between location and mortality.

Cartographical criticism of broadcasters has more commonly centred on renderings of Northern Ireland as a `teddy bear's head' floating on its own, unattached to the rest of the island.

RTÉ defended its map, saying it displays data from the 2016 Republic-only census.

However, northern nationalists have been expressing outrage at being geographically airbrushed from existence.

Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan of the SDLP said "Irish nationalists will be deeply offended by this image... I know I am", while Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff said it was "breathtakingly awful".

Mr McElduff's is among a series of formal complaints that have been sent to the national broadcaster.

Others on social networking site Twitter were using humour to make their point.

Journalist Anne Cadwallader? wrote: "RTÉ just drowned Seamus Heaney, Mary McAleese, John Hume, Van Morrison, George Best, Liam Neeson, Rory McIlroy."

Commentator Chris Donnelly joked: "According to RTE, Monaghan has an impressive coastline", while Piarais Mac Alastair? posted: "According to RTÉ I can't drive to Donegal from Belfast today."

Satirical account @LADFLEG said: "RTÉ are either over exaggerating the floods we had here, planning for a seriously hard border or trying to trigger every republican in NI."

Republic of Ireland soccer fans were also challenging the station following their game against Georgia, pointing out that 'man of the match' James McClean and manager Martin O'Neill were both from the missing part of the map.

Meanwhile, unionists couldn't resist teasing nationalist Twitter users, with Ian Paisley Jnr saying: "Republic of Ireland world view. Thank you RTE."

RTÉ said yesterday it did not yet know "how many - if any" complaints it had received.

"This segment of The Late Late Show related to the upcoming documentary Ireland's Health Divide, which includes new research data, based on the 2016 census," a spokesman said.

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