Nearly one million people watched the return of crime drama Love/Hate on RTÉ One last night according to official figures from Nielsen TV Audience Measurement Ireland.

Nidge was meaner than ever and Tommy is not quite the man he used to be but it seems the fate of a cat which was machine gunned to death by a teenager thug in the opening minutes of last night's show has caused the most controversy.

Animal rights group ARAN has called for a boycott of the show. "Violence towards animals is on the rise in Ireland and this violent and disgusting scene in Love/Hate does huge damage to our work of creating kindness towards animals on the streets" said ARAN Director John Carmody.

"We’re encouraging people to switch channels next time the programme airs".

Octagon films, the makers of the acclaimed series, have stated that no animals were harmed in the making of last night's show.

Several Love/Hate cat twitter accounts have sprung up since last night's episode was screened.