Sports commentator and political analyst Joe Brolly was disconnected from an interview on a high profile television talk show, Claire Byrne Live, after he attempted to address the sectarianism and racism of the DUP.
Mr Brolly (right) was one of a handful of guests on the show who gave their opinions on what a United Ireland might look like and how it would operate.
Much of the show was dominated by calls from mainstream politicians and commentators to “bring people together” in the North ahead of setting a date for a border poll on Irish reunification.
The comments were laughed off by DUP MP Gregory Campbell, who insisted unionists would never accept a united Ireland, while loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson warned of a potential campaign of violence by loyalist paramilitaries in the case of a successful referendum.
“We’re not going to agree to it, so let’s get on in the real world,” Mr Campbell said. He denounced any debate on Irish unity as “a cloud cuckoo land to devise mechanisms that won’t be agreed with”.
Responding to the remarks, Mr Brolly said Mr Campbell was living in “a fantasy land”.
“One of the big problems in the North has been the very very poor leadership of the DUP, who have been interested in triumphalism and short-termism,” he said.
Speaking over video chat, Mr Brolly said he himself didn’t care whether a united Ireland was achieved, but rather he wanted “a sensible long-term solution” to problems faced in both parts of Ireland
He criticised the DUP leadership who, he said, often appeared to be publicly “chuckling and guffawing when people are trying to have a serious discussion.”
He accused the DUP of “laughing at the Irish language, laughing at Gaelic sports” and claimed the party had made homophobic and racist statements.
At this point, host Claire Byrne (left) said Mr Campbell, who was no longer present on the show, would likely deny some of the charges made by Mr Brolly and was “unable to defend himself”.
The link to Mr Brolly’s video chat was then removed from the screen RTÉ studio screen.
After the show, Mr Brolly wrote on Twitter that he was “taken off air” due to his remarks, and shared screenshots of some of the news stories which backed up his points.