It's safe to say that a character like Shane MacGowan is going to provoke a response, so devoting an entire episode of 'Late Late' to him is going to have the same effect.
While it's clear that the intentions of all concerned were good, there's no denying that there was definitely something a little off with last night's episode, from the choice of guests down to the idea of setting it inside a faux pub when the person they're lionising is in deteriorating from issues relating to alcohol.
This uncomfortable mixture, it seems, wasn't lost on people watching it either.
Actually a bit angry the more I watch this. He is a struggling alcoholic and not only should he not be on the show tonight but they set up a scene with alcohol all around him. Celebrate the man and the music of course but whoever put this together should be ashamed #latelate
— Paul Cashin (@PaulCashin_) December 13, 2019
Is it just me or does anyone else find this difficult to watch. The poor man just isn't able . I don't know how they are going to get a show out of this. He can barely put a sentence together. #LateLate
— Jenny Stapleton (@jennystapes) December 13, 2019
There are a few questions to be asked about the wisdom of this well intentioned Shane McGowan tribute, not least the questionable taste of having the set made up like a pub with pints of Guinness on the tables #latelate
— Jennifer O'Connell (@jenoconnell) December 13, 2019
Of course, by the same amount, people thought that the entire episode was a moving tribute to a living legend, someone who's defined Irish music across the globe, and remains a deeply poetic writer.
I see lots of people saying his family shouldn't have "allowed" Shane McGowan do this show tonight...
Maybe he wants to do it? Maybe when music and performing was your whole life, you'd like to do it one more time, while you feel you can. Bittersweet, but glad for him. #latelate
— Sarah Flynn (@sarah_a_flynn) December 13, 2019
— 𝙅𝙤𝙝𝙣 𝙒𝙖𝙡𝙡 (@walls2) December 13, 2019
This is a lovely @RTELateLateShow tribute to the legendary Shane McGowan with a great collection of Musicians. I grew up listening to The Pogues & Shane McGowan & just loved the Music. It is so sad though to see Shane in this condition but he does deserve this tribute.#latelate
— Derek Burke PR (DJ Derek) (@DerekBurkePR) December 13, 2019
Other highlights of the night included Philomena Begley forgetting the lyrics to 'Fairytale of New York', people pointing out Gerry Adams in the audience "dressed up like a hypnotherapist from Portlaoise," and just the general oddness of it all.
And all through this the bizarre, weird, looming presence of Gerry Adams dressed up like a hypnotherapist from Portlaoise. #latelate
— Robert Barrett (@barrettrob) December 13, 2019
In the end, it's right that Shane MacGowan should be honoured and no doubt when he inevitably passes on, people will be glad of this kind of honouring and record of his work and achievements.
Could it have been done more gracefully? Could it have been staged with a little more poise? Probably, but those aren't adjectives anyone would use to describe the Pogues or Shane MacGowan.
Not only that, he probably wouldn't want that said about him either. The full show is available on RTÉ Player now.