RTÉ 'Irish Ukrainians not Russians' glitch a Twitter hit

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Media captionPrime Time viewer Chris Sheehan filmed the error, changing channels to ensure the fault was not with his television set.

It was a news editor's nightmare that ended up trending on Twitter.

Irish state broadcaster RTÉ was hit by a technical glitch on Monday evening during its Prime Time news and current affairs programme.

In an interview, the Russian ambassador to Ireland, Maxim Peshkov, used the words: "Irish Ukrainians not Russians" and suddenly something stuck.

For about the next 15 minutes, viewers were treated to the phrase over and over again on a loop.

It was as if someone had put an old scratched vinyl record on a turntable and the needle got stuck.

Twitter users quickly suggested that the sound bite was a bit of brainwashing and, perhaps, Ireland had been invaded.

"Expecting 'This is your new leader' any moment now," said one tweet.


Others appreciated the rhythm of it and called on RTÉ to go for a techno remix.

One tweet read: "Very excited for Eurovision, now that we've picked."

Yet another said: "Typical of scenes nationwide as people, demented, walk from their homes."

The Irish Independent said RTÉ had reportedly received a flood of calls about the gaffe.

The managing director of RTÉ news and current affairs Kevin Bakhurst later tweeted: "Many apologies to those watching RTEOne and #rtept - the engineers were aware and trying to sort. Not acceptable fault. Infuriating."

In a statement on Tuesday RTÉ said: "We'd like to apologise for last night's transmission error on RTÉ One which was caused by an equipment failure in hardware installed in December as part of the RTÉ One HD project.

"Transmission for those watching on standard definition (SD) was interrupted for just over 13 minutes.

"The automated system had to be manually overridden and this delayed the glitch being rectified. The transmission on RTÉ One HD was not affected."

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