'unacceptable' | 

Tommy Tiernan blasted by RTÉ star for ‘vile’ and ‘racist’ joke about zoo animals

I wish you had listened to your daughter when she told you the joke was racist and you shouldn’t tell it.”

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Tommy Tiernan is in hot water over a “racist” joke he made about taxi drivers and zoo animals at a recent gig.

The comment was so “vile,” RTÉ star Emer O’Neill said she walked out of the venue while the comedian was still on stage.

Tiernan (50) was kicking off the first of a string of dates at Vicar Street on Friday when he cracked a joke his daughter warned him against.

"A night that was to be fun and full of laughter turned sour with a way too close to the bone joke @officialtommedian at his @vicar_st gig,” Emer told followers on Instagram.

"His first joke of the night straight out of the gate began with and I paraphrase (please if you were there too, correct me if I am wrong).

"'My daughter told me I shouldn’t tell this joke'... long pause…

"'So I was at the zoo the other day and looking at the penguins they are like little nuns walking around with rosary beads.

"Then the wolves so Irish fierce/strong then we went to the African Savannah and ….. it was full of taxis drivers!'

"Ok now I’m looking at a room of white faces and everyone is laughing so I think I’m ok it wasn’t a racist joke.’"

Emer, who hosts Keep It Up on RTÉ2, has left people divided on the subject with many in the comment section agreeing the joke was “offensive,” “unacceptable” and “a cheap shot.”

"It’s not banter, or comedy. It’s racism!” one follower said.

"Shame on (Tommy). His daughter even called the racism so he knew what he was doing too.”

Another added: “I’m sitting here thinking who is worse the ‘comedian’ or the audience for laughing.”

Others came out batting for the comedian, with one saying: “No one group is safe when it comes to comedy, everyone gets a joke thrown at them so if you’re going to get offended don’t go the them gigs in the first place.”

Emer took to her Instagram Stories last night to highlight the pushback, sharing one message from a user calling her “an absolute disgrace” and defending the show as “brilliant laughs from start to finish.”

Hitting back at the commenter, Emer said she was “glad you were able to laugh from start to finish" but added:

"My anxiety is through the roof, heart racing, feel sick, can’t eat, can’t sleep, go outside.”

She addressed Tiernan on a later post, writing: “I wish you had listened to your daughter when she told you the joke was racist and you shouldn’t tell it.”

Tommy Tiernan has been contacted by the Sunday World for comment.

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