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RTÉ investigating 'plagiarised' Charlie monologue

A speech from the second episode was allegedly lifted from an article by a US journalist.

RTÉ IS LOOKING into claims that a monologue in the political drama Charlie was plagiarised from an article by an American journalist.

In the second episode of the drama, there is a strange scene in which the former Taoiseach eats a small songbird called an ortolan, as requested by former French President Francois Mitterrand.

haughey-eating-bird Source: RTÉ

As Haughey eats the bird with a napkin over his head, Mitterrand says:

You will taste three things – first the sweetness of the flesh and fat. This is the taste of God. Then the bitterness of the entrails will overwhelm you – this is the taste of the suffering of Jesus. Finally as your teeth crack the small, delicate bones and they begin to pierce your gums – you will taste the salt of your own blood. This is the Holy Spirit – the mystery of the trinity. Blood, fat, entrails – three united as one. It is cruel and it is beautiful.


The Mail On Sunday reported yesterday that the entire monologue had been plagiarised from a 2006 article by US journalist Brendan Kiley, written for Seattle newspaper The Stranger.

Here is the passage in question, from Kiley’s story, The Urban Hunt:


When contacted by the Mail On Sunday, Kiley said: “I guess that’s plagiarism.” He added that he thought he deserved to be given a writer’s credit for his work.

RTÉ is currently looking in to the claims – a spokesperson told DailyEdge.ie:

Until contacted by The Mail on Sunday, the writer, producers and RTÉ were not aware of any allegation of plagiarism being made against the programme.  We are looking into this and will respond to any claim, should it be necessary.

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