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Toilets row Joe Duffy apologises after caller outburst on Liveline

Duffy was hosting a conversation around gender neutral toilets as they are now an option for schools under new design guidance released by the Department of Education

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Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy

Tensions were high on Liveline today as presenter Joe Duffy was forced to apologise to a contributor after an outburst by another caller on his show.

The RTE Radio One presenter was hosting a conversation around gender neutral toilets as they are now an option for schools under new design guidance released by the Department of Education.

The updated school design guide says that these bathrooms will include self-contained cubicles with their own doors.

Sinks will be communal and the designs show that they can be seen from corridors.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education said these are “simply design guidelines” and any decision on the designated gender of bathroom facilities can only be made by the school.

The discussion was focused on whether callers agree with schools having gender neutral toilets.

However, Duffy was forced to apologise after an outburst from one of his callers in which she included a string of insults against another contributor named Laoise.

Laoise Uí Aodha de Brún is the founder of a group that campaigns for the “privacy, dignity and safety” of women and children and is against gender neutral toilets as she believes it could lead to girls missing school.

The founder of the group called ‘The Countess Didn’t Fight For This’ said that gender neutral toilets could lead to girls not going to school due to “period shaming” or getting a UTI from holding their pee.

While discussing this topic and the issues faced by transgender people, Laoise was called a number of names by another caller who didn’t agree with her stance.

Duffy interrupted the insults by shouting; "No, no! None of that language on this show! No, no!", before cutting the caller off and the show cut to an ad break.

Returning after the break, Duffy apologised to his caller for cutting her off, saying he doesn’t have the ability to do this, but his producer does and he asked them to do so.

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The presenter then apologised to Laoise for the insults that she was called by the other caller, and asked her if she would like a right of reply.

Laoise said yes and defended herself against the slurs, saying that her views are in the best interest of women and children.


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