RTÉ has been accused of broadcasting "smears" after an Irish actor launched a scathing attack on the Garda officers who assisted a highly-publicised eviction in Dublin.
Gardai officers made headlines in Ireland after supporting a private security firm in the eviction of tenants from a property on North Frederick Street.
The officers were accused of adopting strong-arm tactics in the eviction with the alarming image of several officers wearing balaclavas that covered their faces shared widely online.
Speaking on The Late Late Show, Love/Hate actor John Connors hit out at those involved, labelling them "garda scum" and accusing them of aiding "ex-loyalist paramilitaries".
John Connors. Legend. pic.twitter.com/DVVvXcYGej
— Irish Unity 🇮🇪 (@IrishUnity) September 14, 2018
The comments divided fans online:
@RTELateLateShow how was John Connors allowed to call Gardai “scum” and not be called to task by your host, it is not good enough, is it just for controversy?
— ajjc (@ajjc16) September 14, 2018
— Marc O'Reachtaire (@o_reachtaire) September 14, 2018
In 5 seconds, John Connors presented a conspiracy theory that the Gardaí are ‘aiding loyalist paramilitaries’ and are ‘scum’. This man is an imbecile. #LateLateShow
— Ciaran (@ciaran_316) September 14, 2018
They also did not go unnoticed by the relevant authorities either.
The Garda Representative Association is reportedly weighing up whether to take legal action, while a formal complaint to the station is a strong possibility.
Noel Rock, a Fine Gael TD for Dublin North-West, also hit out at the comments and what he saw as an unfounded reference to "ex-loyalist paramilitaries".
Speaking to The Irish News, he branded Connors' comments "disgraceful and way out of line" and urged RTÉ to put more checks and balances in place to ensure a repeat of these kinds of "smears" is avoided.
RTÉ has already taken action by removing the offending comments from the repeat of the show currently available to watch on RTÉ Player.
An award-winning actor and writer, Connors has never shied away from voicing his opinion on contentious issues in Ireland.
The Cardboard Gangsters star previously took to social media to voice support of the 'No' vote ahead of the referendum to repeal Ireland's eighth amendment.
"I fear baby genocide will be legalised Friday," the Love/Hate star warned in an impassioned message to his followers.