- 21 Jun 23
The RTE broadcaster angered Aslan fans over his controversial tribute to Christy on Claire Byrne's radio show last week.
The veteran presenter was the subject of more than 40 complaints to the national broadcaster after a segment on Byrne’s morning show where he spoke about Dignam’s legacy.
The Aslan star (63) died at his Dublin home last Tuesday after a decade-long battle with amyloidosis, a rare type of blood cancer.
Speaking on Claire Byrne’s morning show, Dave said that he believed that Christy “blew it” by turning to heroin during his lengthy career and leaving Aslan for “five or six years”.
He also came under fire for questioning whether Christy was “trying to pull the wool over my eyes” in a past interview where he spoke about childhood abuse.
When I die please be kinder than Dave Fanning was about Christy Dignam
“To get a Fanning Session is a rung on the ladder”
“I know it’s time for eulogising but he blew it”
“Are you trying to pull the wool over my eyes about using heroin because of the abuse you suffered” pic.twitter.com/VvGq4uwQhd
— IsMiseAnseo (@IsMiseAnse0) June 15, 2023
Listeners had been quick to defend the late Aslan frontman's legacy, denouncing the RTÉ broadcasters controversial statements.
In a statement, an RTÉ spokesperson revealed that the company had received formal complaints, emails and calls to the RTÉ Office giving negative feedback in relation to Dave Fanning’s comments about Christy Dignam. RTÉ has made no comment on the controversy.
Fans also took to social media to voice their concerns.
#DaveFanning I can't believe what this person said on Claire Byrne Show yesterday ...It was supposed to be a Tribute not a Character Assassination of a Deceased Irish Legend who has no way of responding. I hope his family didn't hear it . Shame on you !!! pic.twitter.com/cKPrgzg8AY
— RICHARD Paul (@statopaul) June 15, 2023
Fanning has since taken to Twitter to issue an apology to Christy’s family for the negative comments made after his appearance on the show were right, admitting that "it was bad". He also said his remarks were "incredibly ill-timed and poor taste".
I listened back to my bit on the radio about Christy Dignam feeling that it wasn’t perhaps as bad as some comments have made out. Comments were right, I was wrong - it was bad. I was trying to highlight some deeper issues in Ireland during the eighties and I totally missed the…
— Dave Fanning (@davefanning) June 20, 2023
Dignam was laid to rest on Saturday after a ceremony in which his coffin was brought through the streets of his native Finglas as hundreds gathered to pay their final respects for a singer who valued his community throughout his life.
His family, including wife Kathryn and daughter Kiera, opted to keep his funeral private, in accordance with his final wishes.
President Higgins said Dignam and Aslan had made “an enormous contribution to the cultural life or our nation”.
“Christy was central to that connection, with his passionate performances ensuring a memorable night every time Aslan played – and there were many nights with Christy and the band showing an endless dedication to touring throughout the country,” he said.
- Film & TV
- 23 Jun 23