The film – made on Gola Island – examined the declining population there. It was re-broadcast as part of RTE’s 50th anniversary.
However six minutes into the documentary, it showed how a family pet was tied up and chucked overboard from a boat taking them to the mainland.
The footage showed the collie pet struggling to stay above water before disappearing in a burst of bubbles as it perished beneath the tide.
The film sparked huge controversy last week with complaints from some viewers about the programme, with some believing the scene should have been edited out.
However RTE said the continuity announcer had warned viewers before the broadcast last Tuesday about possibly distressing scenes.
“We have received four complaints,” said a spokeswoman.
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