A Fine Gael minister has complained to TV3 after the wife of a Sinn Féin TD accused him of having blood on his hands on live television.
Mental Health Minister Jim Daly is understood to have raised concerns with the producers of ‘The Pat Kenny Show’ after he was challenged by an audience member last week.
The woman in question, Anne Ellis, was not identified as the wife of Dublin North East TD Dessie Ellis. Mr Daly was on the programme to discuss mental health funding.
He joined the discussion after Mr Kenny conducted an interview with Grainne Gault, the mother of tragic teenager Elisha.
Elisha Gault (14), of Carrick-on-Suir, who took her own life last month. Elisha’s body was found in the River Suir more than a week after she went missing
She told how her 14-year-old daughter died by suicide in March.
Following an ad break, Mr Kenny began an interview with the minister who was live from Leinster House.
However, Ms Ellis interrupted to call for 24/7 access to mental health services.
“You have the blood of Elisha Gault on your hands,” said Ms Ellis, who is a mental health campaigner.
She also raised a personal family issue with the minister, saying they have been let down by the State.
“You have left the people suffering in the Ireland with mental health and stress,” Ms Ellis said.
Amid applause from other audience members, the presenter said he didn’t have the details of her case “but your point is very valid”.
Mr Daly responded by saying he is working with the HSE to establish a 24-hour helpline for people suffering with mental health issues.
TV3 told the Irish Independent it asks audience members to declare if they have any political affiliations and noted that Ms Ellis was not scheduled to speak in the debate.
A spokesperson for the minister declined to comment.