Up to 2,000 people have gathered in Dublin City centre to protest against what they described as the silencing of the debate about homophobia on RTÉ.

Organisers, the LBGT Noise group, said gay, lesbian and bisexual people here continue to face prejudice and discrimination and need to be able to speak out about that.

The protest earlier this afternoon was sparked after a reference to homophobia on RTE's Saturday Night Show.

Following threats of legal action, RTÉ apologised and a financial settlement was made, a figure for which has not been confirmed.

A portion of the programme was also edited for online viewing.

RTÉ has said it does not comment on the detail of the resolution of legal complaints as is standard.

A number of speakers made reference to the forthcoming referendum on same sex marriage and the need for what was described as free and open debate.

In a statement issued today the broadcaster said it is committed to providing coverage and debate that is fair, impartial and accurate.  

It said the debate relating to this subject on last night’s Saturday Night Show, which featured a diverse range of views, is testament to that.