Graham Norton ‘furious’ over RTE’s €85,000 payout to Catholic group which opposes gay marriage

Comedian described the out-of-court settlement as 'absolutely moronic'

Comedian Graham Norton has vented his fury at Irish broadcaster RTE’s decision to pay €85,000 to leading opponents of gay marriage.

The gay BBC presenter said RTE’s out-of-court settlement with members of the Iona Institute, a right-wing Catholic group, and two prominent Irish journalists after a broadcast describing them as homophobes “wasn’t gutless, it was absolutely moronic”.

RTE has defended its decision to pay damages to six individuals after the country’s best known drag queen, Panti Bliss, last month singled out members of the Iona Institute and Irish newspaper columnists as “horrible and mean about gays”.

Four Iona officials and two journalists, John Waters and Breda O’Brien – all of whom oppose gay marriage – threatened RTE with legal action, claiming that they had been defamed. 

In an interview with Hot Press magazine, Norton said: “I’m not registered to vote in Ireland but I do pay the licence fee there and I’m f***ing furious that some of my money has gone to these idiots. RTE settling wasn’t gutless, it was absolutely moronic.”

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