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Own goal Ex-Deputy Mayor of Dublin slams RTE for ignoring League of Ireland 'working class heroes'

'What Irish football teams have been achieving in European competition is of epic proportions'

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Andy Lyons of Bohemians (left) in action against Dundalk’s Cameron Dummigan

Andy Lyons of Bohemians (left) in action against Dundalk’s Cameron Dummigan

Andy Lyons of Bohemians (left) in action against Dundalk’s Cameron Dummigan

A former Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin has slammed RTÉ for failing to show the “heroic exploits” of League of Ireland teams in European competitions. 

Cllr Cieran Perry claimed this was part of a wider refusal by the State broadcaster “to feature positive working class role models”.

“What Irish football teams have been achieving in European competition is of epic proportions,” Cllr Perry said.

“However, a generation of young people, who could be inspired by these often part-time sportsmen defeating in some cases multi-millionaires, have been failed by RTÉ.”

Perry, who says he is a “diehard Bohemian FC fan” told how he along with 24,000 other fans watched the Northside team’s three victories over European opposition in the Aviva Stadium over the last six weeks.

“This cumulated in a win over PAOK Thessaloniki last Tuesday,” Cllr Perry said. “The major Greek team is made up of European international footballers with its squad valued at over €65 million.

“Meanwhile, Dundalk FC drew away from home with Dutch Premier Division side Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday. A game which included a wonder goal by Dundalk midfielder Patrick McEleney. However none of this action has been shown on the state broadcaster.”

The Independent Councillor claimed this was indicative of a lack of positive urban working class role models on RTÉ and other broadcasters.

“We’ve had risible programmes such as Damo & Ivor where working class people are presented as just something to be mocked. Even better quality shows such as The Young Offenders and Love Hate have focused on the tiny minority of working class youth involved in crime.

“The lack of working class voices on RTÉ, and indeed more generally in the media, is clear because when you hear them they stand out like a sore thumb admit the general output.”

Sinn Féin TD, Chris Andrews, added: “Of the 15 European matches played so far this season by League of Ireland clubs, RTÉ has broadcasted a grand total of zero, and this Saturday marked three months since they last showed a League of Ireland game.

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“That is quite frankly an insult to Irish football and to all who support it. Football is our highest participation sport and as state broadcaster, RTÉ should get behind our clubs, give them the coverage they are worthy of, and help get the nation behind them as they continue to compete in Europe.”

Sundayworld.com has asked RTE for comment

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