Anger at RTE’s Late Late Show as cyclists “two or three abreast” “binned”

State broadcaster RTE is under fire for airing a “disgusting” display of casual hate of cyclists on its long-running flagship chat show, the Late Late Show, last night.

Headline guest Liam Neeson talked fondly about cycling around Dublin. But — in a segment between headline guests — three other guests were given the chance to “bin” their pet peeves, in a mini-copy of the hit BBC programme Room 101.

“I like cycling but one thing that gets me is [cyclists] three or four abreast” said Maura Derrane, an RTE presenter on a different show, Today with Maura and Daithí.

Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy asked: “Side-by-side?” and Derrane continued: “Yeah and on a country road where there’s no need, because are you in competition with a car? You’re never going to be faster.”

She added: “It’s nearly like they do it it to piss people off and they look back and go:”

Derrane said that she “liked cyclists” but wanted to bin “arrogant cyclists”.

When another of the three guests told a story of how he recently gave a wide berth of a bicycle he thought had a baby on board but only was actually a carpenter with tools, Derrane said that child-carrying bicycles are “are dangerous, they scare me.”

Ryan Tubridy asked the audience: “Arrogant cyclists going along at two or three abreast are we throwing them in the bin?” and a large percentage of them raised their hands and applauded as Derrane dropped a symbolic bicycle helmet in a bin.

Cycling campaigners said today that comments are not founded in law, that cycling two abreast is perfectly legal behaviour and it is often safer than having a long string of single-file cyclists.

Kieran Ryan of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “Her use of the totally subjective term ‘arrogant’ is dangerous, because who’s to know what some drivers interpret as arrogant behaviour? For Maura, simply being delayed by cyclists while driving appears to mean that those cyclists are ‘arrogant’.”

He told IrishCycle.com: “The real danger is that last night’s Late Late Show segment normalises the a already prevalent attitude that cyclists are just a nuisance on our roads, rather than individual, vulnerable people who need to be shown way more respect by drivers than they currently are shown, regardless of whether or not those drivers think the cyclists have ‘earned’ the respect.”

On Facebook last night the campaign said: “We are absolutely appalled by the disgusting display of casual cyclist hatred on last night’s Late Late Show on RTE.”

“15 people died while cycling last year, many of them on the country roads which Maura Derrane seems not to have sufficient patience to drive on.”

It added: “We strongly condemn this dangerous endorsement of a wreckless, if not hateful, attitude towards cyclists by the national broadcasting service.”

On Twitter, Cycling Ireland — the sporting cycling body, said: “This causal incitement of hatred must stop. It’s too regularly entertained and not helpful in light of the @HealthyIreland drive for a more active nation, creating division and animosity&will ultimately lead to a drop in participation of one of the few life-long activities. Stop.”

Ciaran Cannon minister of state at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said: “Had a lot of respect for you as a broadcaster @MauraDerrane until you chose to vilify some of our most vulnerable road users on @rte last night. 15 cyclists died on our roads last year, 10 of them on rural roads & you chose to deliberately undermine the safety of many more.”

Minister Cannon added: “This act of throwing a cyclist’s helmet in a bin was deeply offensive to the families of those 15 cyclists killed on our roads last year. Serious misjudgment on the part of the @latelateshow team and Ryan thought it appropriate to applaud.”

10 Comments

  1. Totally ridiculous. Complaint sent to RTÉ.

  2. This is confirmation if it were ever needed
    that the late late show under Tubs stewardship is
    Out of touch , irrelevant and poorly managed ,it is it that should be finally binned. I mean ,how old hat ,amateur night(with the exception of Liam N)
    Who was that woman anyway? Sad parody of entertainment,

  3. This sense of entitlement by someone who drives her car, who feels that their journey is more important than any others and that people riding their bikes are “in competition with” them, is quite extraordinary.
    It’s a classic example of projection to say that the people on bikes are “arrogant” rather than the arrogant ones being drivers who want to blare them out of the way and bully their way along the road in their two-ton chariots.

  4. I did not see this program but the tenor of the article seems to assume the cyclist is usually blameless. I have been a cyclist for sixty years and love cycling on any type of bike, I build bikes for fun and have a collection of box bikes tandems town bikes and fast bikes etc . Living as I do in the countryside I see many cases of two or more cyclists taking it easy two abreast
    Along long stretches of narrow country roads. When I am driving I can find myself behind them for over half a mile at times waiting for a safe place to pass and on the odd occasion that I am in a hurry it is very frustrating to be stuck like this knowing that if they went single file for a short distance I could pass safely . I fully accept there are times when two abreast is the right thing to do for safety and indeed this is what I do when cycling with my grand-children but there are times when single file is the right thing to do . Travelling two abreast at fifteen kph on long stretches of some roads can be unreasonable. We should not fall into the trap of assuming the cyclist can do no wrong,this is similar to the mindset ofmorons like George Hook who can only see their own point of view. Let us be aware of all road users needs and not blindly defend unreasonable behaviour just because it was done by a cyclist.

  5. @bix Wow! A whole half a mile! Imagine the horror of having to wait that long!? [/sarcasm]
    If it’s not safe to pass, it’s not safe to pass. Have some patience; way more patience. And then wait a little more. If you are in a hurry, that’s *your* problem; stop projecting that onto vulnerable road users as you wield your tonne or two of metal.
    A word of advice: motorists *always* need to cross the median line when passing cyclists, so it doesn’t matter if they ride one or two abreast. If you cannot cross the median because of oncoming traffic (or the risk of it), then by definition it is not safe to pass and you should wait a little longer for a safe place.

  6. Does the “cyclist loving”, helmet binning Maura Derrane not have a conviction for dangerous driving?

  7. Sorry cyclists cycle 2a breast on a country road I’d dangerous and those that do it should b reported

  8. Love to know we’re they saw 3 or even 4 a breast ….4 is probably not possible without going on to the opposite side of the road ….what a ridiculous thing to say !!!! They obviously hadn’t a clue what they were talking about !!!
    Nearly all clubs obey the rules and most of the cyclists who do cause upset do so when been in a hurry in cities …
    I hope RTE apologize and I don’t bump into tubs on my training days in Connemara ….I may just annoy the hell out of yeh

  9. “The tenor of the article seems to assume the cyclist is usually blameless”. No. You should read it again. This is completely in your imagination. I also question how you “know” that you could pass safely if only the cyclists in front of you would go single file. In my experience a lot of arrogant motorists when given the slightest opportunity will pass dangerously (it’s not dangerous to them so they clearly don’t give a damn).

    I think Kieran Ryan had the perfect response. What does arrogant mean? Were some of the cyclists killed this year judged as arrogant by the motorists that killed them, thereby justifying passing too close or too fast? I know for a fact that some people think every cyclist on the road is arrogant because roads are for cars and bicycle are for trails and parks.

    Would RTE be ok with a segment about “arrogant” motorists who park up on the footpath or speed? How about “slutty” girls who dress provocatively and then complain if they are even a little raped? Would the audience applaud a steering wheel or a high heel being chucked in the bin? I think George Hook found out that slagging off cyclists is fine but you have to make sure you are directing your crap at a minority so I don’t think we’re going to see either of those.

    Unfortunately this is lose/lose for cyclists really. Arrogant motorists (after all what else do you call someone who is annoyed that someone else is slowing them down) think they are completely justified, and programmes like this reinforce that. Any criticism will be spun as overly sensitive cyclists can’t take a bit of light hearted criticism and/or think they never do anything wrong (see Bix’s response). The only think we really gain is the knowledge that, despite increases in popularity, cyclists are still seen as an obstacle that should be gotten out of the way by the majority of motorists (or at least the majority of motorists that want to appear in the Late Late Show audience).

  10. You have turned it around and blame the motorists for the cycle deaths. There is blame at times on both sides. Never assume that it’s always a motorists fault nor assume that it’s a cyclists fault. There can be arrogance on both sides. We need more tolerance on the roads no matter how your travelling

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