red-faced | 

Traveller comedian defends Muireann O'Connell after 'knackered' comment

Muireann made a slip-up live on air, using a potentially offensive term for the Travelling community.

Television presenter Muireann O'Connell. Picture by Steve Humphreys

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Comedian Martin Beanz Warde has come to the defence of Ireland AM host Muireann O’Connell after a major gaffe left her embarrassed live on air.

Muireann was interviewing the stand-up comic from the Irish travelling community when she said she was “knackered” after just describing his many achievements.

Red-face, Muireann quickly apologised for using the word she has “already retired” when she should have said ‘tired’ or ‘exhausted.’

After reading out a list of Martin’s – a comedian and photographer – accomplishments, Muireann said:

"Sometimes when I kind of… hear you on the radio or see you on the tell, I see you doing all these things and I get knackered.”

Martin immediately poked fun at the host through his laughter, saying: “Ten seconds we’ve been on, this is a record for Ireland AM I have to say, I was expecting it from Alan, not from you.”

Muireann gave another apology before the end of the segment, and Martin has since come to her defence.

"The presenter used a word commonly used to express being tired.” he said on Twitter, calling the original story “non news.”

"The word Knacker and Knackered have two very different meanings. The presenter was immediately mortified and apologised.

"I just laughed my arse off,” he said with a laughing emoji.

Pavee Point has previously said the former term is highly offensive to the Travelling community and should not be used.

Martin Beans Warde was appearing on the show to discuss his latest photo exhibition after shooting to viral fame as a stand-up comic on Facebook.

His online gags have earned him praise from Tommy Tiernan and other famous faces.

He previously told Hot Press how some venues would refuse to book him as he is a Traveller.

"A very well-known promoter, who was trying to get me a venue in the Southeast, was told by an owner, ‘No, that’s not going to happen because he’ll bring a crowd of travellers with him who’ll smash the place up.’

"I empathise – to a point – with the fear. Certain members of my community have caused problems for venues across the country, but I’ve been performing stand-up on and off for thirteen years, and never had any trouble other than a drunken heckler.

"I’ve a ready-made audience and people who are willing to buy tickets, I just can’t get the venues.”

The rising star told Hot Press that he hopes his gigs prove “ that a traveller performing on your premises won’t automatically spark a riot.”

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