In over his head | 

RTÉ journalist faces backlash after telling Dublin Airport passengers to 'check your privilege'

"If you’re on an international flight you are in the 4pc of the global population that will ever do that in their entire lives. Check your privilege"

Seoirse Mulgrew

RTÉ Radio journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes has received a backlash online from recent tweets about the chaos and long queues at Dublin Airport over the weekend.

In a message shared on Twitter on Sunday, the news reporter referenced the long delays and said people should “check your privilege” if they are traveling internationally.

“Another way to think about delays at airports: We are in a climate emergency, since a vote of the Dail in 2019. If you’re on an international flight you are in the 4pc of the global population that will ever do that in their entire lives. Check your privilege,” he said.

The tweet received a lot of attention online with over 1,000 comments and nearly 600 retweets.

In response, Mr Boucher-Hayes said those traveling out of “necessity” have “every right to be angry”. He said: “If you’re in need of a service that’s not being provided you’ve every right to be angry. If you’re on a skite (sic) with the lads maybe think again.

“At the risk of making everything worse, because clearly I am the worst: Yes, I am privileged. Very privileged. And precisely because I am I check my privilege in those situations.

“If I was travelling out of necessity I’d be livid. If I wasn’t I’d bite my tongue.”

Passengers queue to get into the Departures at Terminal 2 , Dublin Airport on Sunday. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

A number of Twitter users responded to the post, one wrote: “’Check my privilege’…you mean check the hard earned money my wife and I save up to give the family a well deserved holiday once a year? The hard earned money that will last me three times as long just a four hour flight away? Check your own attitude, more like..”

Another person said: “Why is the result of people’s hard work automatically assumed to be privilege? Of course some are born privileged but for most people on those flights out of Dublin, it’s merely a result of their hard work. There should be zero guilt cast upon them.”

While another user wrote: “Philip, with respect, flights are booked in advance, with the airport knowing the expected numbers. We’ve just exited a period of no and or limited travel, people have family they need to see and places they need to be. It’s not all privilege.”

Some users agreed with Mr Boucher-Hayes' take on the situation, one user said: “Well said, it really needed to be said because the level of privilege and lack of perspective in our society is scary and sickening in equal measure. I despair that the #climateemergency is largely meaningless to most people and barely registers in everyday actions for most people.”

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