RTÉ's hours-long coverage of coronation of King Charles branded a 'terrible decision' by People Before Profit

RTÉ's hours-long coverage of coronation of King Charles branded a 'terrible decision' by People Before Profit

RTÉ's decision to dedicate four hours of coverage to the coronation of King Charles III has been branded 'terrible' by TDs from People Before Profit.

The national public broadcaster covered the historic event at Westminster Abbey from 10am until shortly after 2pm on Saturday on its flagship channel, RTÉ One.

Ireland was represented at the event by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Michael D. Higgins, while Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill was also among those in attendance.

However, ahead of the event, People Before Profit said in a press release that RTÉ's 'wall-to-wall coverage of the coronation of King Charles… is a terrible decision'.


Speaking in the Dáil this week before the ceremony, Paul Murphy TD described the British Monarchy as a 'hated institution'.

"Some republicans are saying they will attend the coronation on the grounds of reaching out to the unionist community," he said.

"We think it is perfectly possible and necessary to build a united socialist movement of working-class people from Catholic, Protestant and non-religious backgrounds, not on the basis of this sort of anachronistic and hated institution but on the basis of the interests of ordinary people and the need for a socialist Ireland and a socialist world.

"Even in Britain, only 29 per cent of people think the monarchy is very important. It is an increasingly unpopular institution.

"However, a viewer who turns on RTÉ on Saturday will be treated to four hours of the coronation.

People celebrate on The Mall between Buckingham Palace and Whitehall following the coronation ceremony (Image: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

"Why on earth is our State broadcaster spending four hours on a Saturday displaying this so-called coronation?"

Fellow People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett also blasted the coronation as an anachronism, saying most remaining royal houses in Europe have abandoned such ceremonies.

"They do not have coronations anymore; it is not legally required," he said.

"Yet, this weekend, a considerable amount of public money in Britain will be spent on this coronation, which is an insult to considerable numbers of people living in poverty in Britain and the national broadcaster in this country will broadcast this for four hours.

"Is that really an appropriate thing to do from the standpoint of a republic?"


In response, the Taoiseach defended the coronation, claiming that a constitutional monarchy is supported by the majority of people in the UK.

"That is something we should respect," he said.

"Monarchies sometimes become republics; Barbados was the latest to do that.

"They do it when their people want to change their system of government.

"The majority of people in the United Kingdom want a constitutional monarchy with a democratically elected parliament and government and I think we should respect their choices."