Controversy rages over whether a group of survivalists participating in a challenge for RTÉ Radio 1's 'The Gay Byrne Show', actually killed a lamb in Connemara, County Galway.
It began on 'The Gay Byrne Show', when a group of six men and women were sent to Connemara in County Galway to find out whether they could survive in the wilds for a week. The group was comprised of members of the public and RTÉ DJ Gerry Ryan.
Every morning the participants reported back to Gay Byrne about the various challenges they faced living off the land in the west of Ireland. With just a chicken to feed six people, listeners were horrified to learn the group had killed a lamb for food. One of the survivalists told RTÉ reporter Jim Fahy the lamb was killed humanely.
I put a rock in a sock and I went to work.
The killing of the lamb caused such public outrage that a Garda investigation into the matter was launched. In the Dáil the Minister for Justice Gerry Collins said the lamb was not killed as stated on the programme. This statement was backed up when a German farmer Hans Werner Meis from Maam in Connemara came forward to say he shot the lamb and helped the survivalists to prepare and cook it.
The lamb was in fact a lamb that had lost his mother and so it wasn’t altogether wild.
Further outrage then ensued over whether 'The Gay Byrne Show' had conned the public. Gerry Ryan and producer of the survivalist segment of the programme Philip Kampf were confronted in the grounds of RTÉ about this matter. Ryan would not be drawn on who exactly killed the lamb, with Kampf adding,
You know Kevin, anything that goes out on the Gay Byrne Hour is true, isn’t that right?
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 June 1987. The reporter is Kevin O'Connor.