Neil Prendeville’s Radio rant.

Cork’s 96 FM DJ Neil Prendeville is a man known by some as the mouth of the south. Prone to the kind of hyperbolic righteous indignation that would make God blush. Neil Prendeville’s daily talk show is the most listened-to programme on Irish local radio with 100,000 listeners tuning in each day. People listen to his righteous musing’s on everything from politicians to the mating habits of the Penguins in Fota Wildlife park. Mildly amusing, sometimes interesting, but never educational.

For the wider national public Neil is more fondly remembered for his alleged antics on a plane. In 2010, the IRISH EXAMINER broke a story, that Aer Lingus was in the process of making a formal complaint to gardaí following an incident in which the high-profile radio presenter allegedly whipped it out and started to masturbate while seated beside two passengers. The radio presenter explained he blacked out as a result of mixing alcohol and painkillers.

Sure it could happen to any of us……

The DPP chose not to bring charges against him for the incident.

Yesterday, during his daily morning show he went on an extraordinary ill-informed rant. He blamed, African’s, Ming Flanagan, foreign aid, U2, a corrupt education system, former Russians, the Seanad, Gardai and of course politicians, for the countries many woes. I thought he was going to blame it on the boogie at one stage.

Listen here.

You can read the rant HERE on the 96FM Facebook page and the claims made by Facebook users that his statement was racist.


There are a couple of issues with Neil’s rant. It is never a good idea to marginalise immigrants in society, enforcing stereotypes and blaming immigrants for being part of societies woes is not the answer. It should not even be part of the question.

Neil engaged in lazy journalistic hyperbole, getting his figures about the amount of young people leaving Ireland spectacularly wrong. The National Youth Council of Ireland has said, In the past four years, 300,000 people have emigrated from the Republic of Ireland; four out of 10 of them were aged 15 – 24. Not 500,000 as was claimed.

He does rightfully lament the mass emigration endured by the youth of Ireland, but without a trace of irony, he also scolds us. ‘We provide medical cards to Africans while Irish children go sick’. Is one child’s life worth more than another because they weren’t born in Ireland? Is an Irish life in Australia worth more than an African life in Ireland?

Neil also reminds us of a recent tragedy, the child of a family originally from eastern Europe died on the side of a road in Cork, while waiting on an ambulance. He also says, we are giving “former Russians social welfare”. I don’t know if the child’s family was receiving social welfare, but I do know this poor family is one these so-called “former Russians” he speaks of. Stigmatising people who have made Ireland their home, whom pay taxes and contribute to Irish society is the soapbox rant of a ill-informed, attention seeking narcissist.

Who are these ‘former Russians’ Neil speaks of? Are they people who have renounced Russia and become Irish? Or does Neil mean countries that made up part of the former U.S.S.R. Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians. Yes those pesky former Russians, who were invaded, brutalised and sent to gulags en masse for trying to resist Soviet Russian rule. If you take issue with these ‘former Russians’ on your radio programme, it might be an idea to brush up on history and geography, especially since the cold war ended.

Neil also goes on to launch an attack on foreign aid and stigmatise people claiming social benefits in one broad generalising swoop.

“Billions in welfare and benefits annually to people, not all but enough, who don’t need nor deserve them, except to work and claim, drive new cars and watch flat screen hd tv’s…….”

He does all this without one shred of statistical evidence.

If you recently have had the misfortune to visit the social welfare office be sure and say that you bought the HD TV and car when you had a job.

“We allow international multi national superstores to invade our country and decimate small to medium size Irish businesses, many family run for generations, through bulk buying and below cost selling.”

This might come as a shock to Neil, but these multinational superstores employ Irish people who earn a living and pay their taxes. Tesco Ireland employes around 13,000 people. Lidl Ireland employes 3,500 people in 160 stores. Aldi has 100 stores. Dunnes an Irish owned superstore has 155 stores in the Group employing about 15,000 people. Should we just have the one Irish owned superstore with a monopoly and put everyone else on the dole with their flat screen TV’s and cars. These companies also source and buy Irish goods to sell in their shops, benefiting the wider economy.

Yes, these shops drive down costs, but this allows people to purchase cheaper goods giving a better standard of living in a society as a whole. These are the same stores that provide radio stations with revenue through advertising.

Neil makes some valid points about the country being over taxed, banks, a shoddy health service and politicians that weaken societies belief in our political system. Once you begin to marginalise these Africans and former Russians by introducing them as one of the reason’s our country is on its knees then you have lost the debate.

Neil’s final lament is about a national media that fail to ask the hard questions.Which would seem to suggest he takes no notice of local and national print media that have a government under siege. He didn’t ask any hard questions he just questioned other peoples character. A man who had doubts cast on his character in recent years should know better than to do the same to those all ready stigmatised in Irish society.

Neil Prendeville’s radio rant was that of a shameless, self-indulgent shock jock, cynically looking to increase his listenership figures.

What Irish Radio really needs with the likes of Prendeville is an intelligence knob that you can turn up, like you would the volume.

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About Paul Duggan

Politics, humour, Liberal, Curmudgeon, Rogue. Creator and author of Irish Shades of Grey.
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18 Responses to Neil Prendeville’s Radio rant.

  1. May I be the first to say:

    What a wanker.

  2. Latvian says:

    …former Russians….LOL

  3. Eoin Milner says:

    Agree completely about your article up until your assessment of the Irish food retail sector. It seems your like the vast majority of Irish who have become ill-informed about this sector and the damage it is doing to Irish society. Below cost selling is only permitted in Ireland and the UK and is causing immense damage to not only small to medium sized farmers but to large scale farmers who are priced out of the industry. Do you realise it is the farmers not the large scale multinationals that take the price hit in this below cost selling exercise because they are tied into ridiculous tendering contracts manipulated by these superstores.
    Your assessment then of these superstores only buying Irish goods is another factor you have got completely warped. Yes they do buy Irish, but the Irish they do buy from is such a small pool, where only a handful of Irish multinationals control or act as a monopoly on the Irish food industry thus again forcing smaller businesses out of the equation. I encourage you and many more Irish people to follow Philip Boucher-Hayes and finally educate yourselves on the damage you are doing to the Irish economy by shopping in these multinational superstores.

  4. sinead says:

    For Gods sake. Get a pair of glasses, sit down & read it again calmly. He’s on about past & present local & national gov and the stupid & irresponsible decisions they have made that have produced the situation this country is in. The people who take issue that he mentions Russian or African residents here are making more of an issue of “Race” than he is. Nobody has had a problem with Irish who won’t work references. Why? Read the statement again. There is not one untrue word. If an American, canadian or Australian person living here was claiming childrens allowance for 2,3,4 kids outside this country there would be uproar. Can I move to Spain & continue to claim for my Irish kids. Not a hope. Before being declared racist, I am unfortunately on illness & I have blood relatives whom I love & adore who are not Irish born & not the same skin colour as me. Sort out the gov, they get away with things that would not be tolerated in most other countries and we will have a better country for everyone national and non national.

    • Paul Duggan says:

      It’s only an issue of race because he raised it. No one else raised the issue, only him. Why bring race into it if it was not an issue.
      He also got a number of assertions wrong with out once backing them up with any tangible evidence.
      I said all ready he made some valid points.
      He got his emigration figures very wrong, he also took issue with companies that provide tens of thousands of jobs.
      It was the rant of an ill informed idiot who has no moral authority to scold anyone.
      I don’t need glasses by the way, I can see Neil exactly for what he is.

      A shock jock with little or no reasoned intelligence.

      • Majella Gallagher says:

        It has nothing to do with race , its about taking care of our own people and country . The country is notorious for taking care of others first but we are talking about starving families and people committing suicide as they have no where else to turn and children with special needs having programs cut and the elderly not having fuel to survive the harsh winters.I emigrated to the states in the late 80’s and i am blessed to be able to come home a few times a year but let me tell you if i didn’t work no one i mean NO ONE would give you a bean ,as a mother of two young children it is my husband and my responsibility to feed our children if i were to starve my own children first and feed the neighbors kids first that would be wrong , my point Please stop talking about race it has no relation to what Neil was saying its about the goverment’s responsibility to the Irish people .

      • Paul Duggan says:

        If its nothing to do with race then why did he bring it up ?

  5. Super, intelligent ,reasoned rebuttal ! well done

  6. Latvian says:

    To be honest,I do not know now many neurofen tablets I would have to take to expose my vagina on a plane and proceed to masturbate.Blimey!

  7. Josey says:

    Aldi and lidl may provide a lot of jobs in this country but the majority of them are filled by foreigners. Most of the money they earn, a low wage I imagine, is sent home to their country so it’s taking money out of this economy. We’re exporting our own and replacing them with people from the third world, thus wages are being pushed down for all of us. We are all victims here.

    Call me a racist if you will but before you do look up the definition in a dictionary.

  8. Josey says:

    Actually I believe young Neil was reading out a letter from a listener so why is anyone criticising the man?

  9. Colin says:

    Of course hes right, in fact right on just about everything he said, the irish were never asked did we want our borders opened up in such a casual way, it good for buisness we were told, yeah! or did they mean good for employers who wanted cheap labour! Anyway no one really hates foreigners, or at least i dont just the sheer numbers who were let let in to undercut irish working class people,for every available job, a race to the bottom our government gleefully supported, how many eastern european solicitors practice in ireland? if you are upper middle class systems are in place to protect you! the same upper middle class as pat kenny and rte who aim to drive public opinion on issues they couldnt possibly understand!

  10. Greg Canty says:

    I have to totally disagree with your conclusion to your blog post.

    Without a doubt Neil went on a rant and probably stepped into some hot water with some of the topics but ….

    Give me a DJ who gives his opinion, takes on issues and gets us talking instead of one who plays the tunes and is politically correct all of the time and killing us with nothingness.

    I also think it’s time to stop talking about that obvious issue ….it was a colossal mistake that he will always be haunted by and maybe we should stop dragging it up.

    Neil for that very reason could easily take an easy path, keep the head down and avoid getting into so many topics.

    Thankfully that’s not Neil and love him or loathe him Cork is a better place because he isn’t afraid to say the stuff a lot of us are saying.

    Well done with the blog post …it’s good to talk !

    Greg Canty – http://www.gregcantyfuzion.com

    • Paul Duggan says:

      Just because he has a vociferous opinion don’t make him right. I pointed out he made valid points.
      But he was wrong on emigration figures. He made claims that he could not back up without one shred of statistical evidence and he brought race into it.

      Finally that thing we dare not speak off, politicians make mistakes morning noon and night and Neil doesn’t allow them to forget it. As someone that’s involved with Fine Gael on a daily basis, I’m constantly reminded of the mistakes our politicians make. What’s good for the goose and all that.

      One final thing Greg, have you or you’re company ever represented Neil or 96fm in the past ? I’m seeing a lot of PR people we both know from Cork the last few days defending Neil.

      I’m from Cork originally and I know how close knit the community can be there.

      • Colin says:

        Paul the only thing wrong with neils immigration figures is time, it will get to half a million and beyond, just wait. But i dont care about his rant i care about the fact that ordinary people want to talk about immigration past present and future without being called a racist, the standard de-fault setting by our political leaders when anyone mentions this subject, My point? In england the debate is raging about romania and bulgarian citizens being alloud unlimited access to the uk by proxy ireland as Well! They debate this important issue openly freely with more refrence to numbers than race, yet our guys say nothing, Why? well we might offend people! again another standard irish de-fault setting,which allowed the church to abuse for generations without impunity.Frank and open discussion prevents racisim and xenophobia, and please for once can the irish decide who comes through our borders and not the EU! and remember germany did not open its borders on mass!

  11. pat ryan says:

    well said mr prendiville! cant debunk anything there telling it how it is……

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