As Tommy Tiernan hits the headlines again we recall five previous controversies he was embroiled in

As Tommy Tiernan hits the headlines again we recall five previous controversies he was embroiled in

Updated: 2 months, 11 days, 3 hours, 33 minutes, 51 seconds ago

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COMEDIAN Tommy Tiernan is no stranger to hitting the headlines. We take a look back at some of the controversies that erupted over his comedy career.

He sparked the ire of Unionists...

In 2019, Tommy was reported to the police in Northern Ireland over political jokes he made at a stand-up show.

He was performing his new show Paddy Crazy Horse at Belfast's Ulster Hall when some members of the audience walked out in protest over what they claimed were foul-mouthed rants about unionists and Bloody Sunday by Tiernan.

The PSNI confirmed it received one complaint following the show but said the Donegal-born comic's remarks did not constitute a criminal offence.

The BBC was forced to apologise...

Back in 2017, the BBC apologised for an "inappropriate" joke Tiernan made during an interview about DUP leader Arlene Foster.

Tiernan made the remarks during an appearance on the Mark Patterson show on Radio Foyle.

Speaking about his "interest" in the DUP leader he said: "If she wasn't in politics I can see her working single handedly on a tiny little farm in south Fermanagh driving cattle up some country lane".

Then, apparently imitating Mrs Foster, he said: "Go on you pups, you fenian ba****ds ye, go up you fenian...

"Friesian Arlene, they are called Friesian Arlene.

"I'll call them what I want," he joked.

After the interview host Patterson apologised for any offence caused and adding: "Tommy is, I suppose that kind of talent in terms of what he does."

The BBC apologised and said the language used was "clearly inappropriate". The broadcaster has since removed the section of the programme from its catch-up services.

A spokesman added: “The language used by our guest was clearly inappropriate. We unreservedly apologise for its use and any offence caused. This section of the programme has been removed for our catch up services.”

Down Syndrome controversy...

In 2007, Tiernan hit headlines after he refused to drop a routine about the benefits of getting people with Down Syndrome to courier drugs.

Some families of people with Down syndrome complained about a stand-up routine he did about people with the condition that caused offence.

It had caused some surprise to some of the families as he previously ran a marathon in support of Down Syndrome Ireland

The Late Late Show...

In 2008, he hit headlines after an appearance on the Late Late Show led to complaints about Tiernan's jokes involving a methadone user, Eastern European immigrant accents, buying a motorbike from an injured biker, and a film idea about "gay Traveller spacemen" seeking a cure for gayness, eight of which were upheld by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission.

Some of his previous routines which went largely without remark included a comic reference to disproportionate American reaction to 9/11 and the indifferent Israeli attitude to foreign criticism of their occupations of surrounding land

He spoke on Liveline shortly afterwards, saying: “It did no harm to anyone”.

Holocaust remarks...

In September 2009, while being interviewed by Olaf Tyaransen for Hot Press magazine at a pre-performance Q&A session at Electric Picnic in County Laois, Tiernan was asked by an audience member if he had ever been accused of antisemitism. He responded by making remarks about the Holocaust and Jews and the death of Christ.

Tiernan later released a statement that said he had not meant to cause offence and that his words had been taken out of context. He said that the comments were part of an attempt to explain his belief that comedians have a duty to be "irresponsible and reckless", to allow "whatever lunacy is within you to come out", and that they should never be taken out of context. He added that the statements that had caused controversy had been preceded by a statement not to take the rant seriously.