Trigger Warning | 

Samaritans defend suicide warning that ‘spoiled’ Kin finale

The second season of the Irish crime drama aired last Sunday with dramatic scenes gluing fans to their seats.

Bren (Francis Magee) waits as Michael returns from the job in the Kin finale

Neasa Cumiskey

A suicide prevention charity has defended RTÉ’s decision to include a warning before the season finale of Kin after viewers complained that it “spoiled” the twist ending.

The second season of the Irish crime drama aired last Sunday with dramatic scenes gluing fans to their seats.

The explosive episode saw the terrifying Bren Kinsella (Francis Magee) being shot between the eyes by his own brother Frank, played by Aidan Gillen.

And in the final seconds of the finale, Frank puts a gun to his own temple and pulls the trigger in a shocking turn.

However, RTÉ showed a warning before the episode, cautioning viewers about the use of strong language, scenes of violence, and “scenes involving suicide”.

But several viewers were left fuming as they thought the warning ruined the dramatic ending.

One person tweeted: “Loved season 2 of Kin but who in RTÉ thought it was ok to give that warning at the start of the episode and not think that it would be a massive spoiler.”

Another told Newstalk that such caution warnings paint viewers out to be “victims” - especially on a show about gangland and crime.

“The idea that people turn up hiding behind the couch eating popcorn through the splayed hands and fingers, so worried about what they might see, is just ludicrous,” he said.

He also argued that you can't “protect people” from negative experiences and “if they realise it's part of real life, they tend to be stronger for the experience".

However, suicide prevention and awareness charity Samaritans believe that content warnings are necessary and urge broadcasters to include them where relevant.

Sarah O’Toole, Executive Director for Samaritans Ireland, said that warnings are helpful to viewers who may have lost a loved one to suicide.

“While we do appreciate some people may feel these trigger warnings are spoilers, it is important to alert viewers to any suicide and self-harm content as it allows them to make the choice of whether or not it is suitable for them to watch,” she told

“This is particularly important for some viewers who may have been affected by the issues, for example those who have been bereaved by suicide or someone watching who has experience of suicidal feelings or past attempts.

“Our guidelines are there for everyone in the media (news journalists and documentary makers, as well as those working on television dramas or films) to ensure a programme does not negatively impact on someone who may be vulnerable”.

“We would like to remind anyone impacted by this storyline, or anyone struggling to cope, to reach out for support to Samaritans on freephone 116 123 or email”

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