Police in Ireland are investigating claims that comments made by TV personality Stephen Fry were blasphemous.

During an interview on Irish TV show The Meaning of Life on RTE in February 2015, the comedian described God as an "utter maniac" who is "mean-minded and stupid."

Asked by presenter Gay Byrne what he would say if he came face-to-face with God, Fry replied: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery that is not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil.

"Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid God who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

Asked what he would say if he was at heaven's gate, the 59-year-old added: "I would say, 'Bone cancer in children? What's that about?' Because the God who created this universe, if it was created by God, is quite clearly a maniac, utter maniac.

"Totally selfish. We have to spend our life on our knees thanking him? What kind of God would do that?"

A member of the viewing public from Ennis reported the matter to police late last year, claiming the comments were in breach of the Irish Defamation Act 2009, which includes a provision for blasphemy. The offence is punishable by a fine of €25,000 (£21,160) under Irish law.

According to the BBC Fry responded to the public backlash commenting that he was not "offensive towards any particular religion. I don't think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn't intend, and in fact I know I didn't say anything offensive towards any particular religion."

Following the controversy, the footage went viral on social media and has been viewed more than seven million times on YouTube. The police have not commented on the investigation.