Accounts conflict after latest RTÉ hearings

After another week of lengthy Oireachtas committee hearings, the RTÉ crisis arising from hidden payments appears to have reached a stalemate. On one side lies the previous week’s evidence from the RTÉ executive, while on the other are conflicting accounts heard this week from presenter Ryan Tubridy and his agent, Noel Kelly. Trying to nail the truth and create a new template amid all the mistrust and unrest is new DG Kevin Bakhurst.

The English journalist plans a series of investigations and radical reform in Montrose.

Ryan Tubridy apologised to the committees, the public and RTÉ staff for what he called “the fog of confusion” over the controversy. Both he and Noel Kelly accused RTÉ of misleading the public and the Oireachtas, and of damaging their reputations. Kelly was adamant that two €75,000 payments made to his client, routed at RTÉ’s request through London agency Astus, were from RTÉ and not from Renault, sponsor of the Late Late Show.

Kelly said that the fault for concealing the payments lay squarely with RTÉ management. “It is an RTÉ issue,” he said, repeatedly. Asked if he was washing his hands of it, he replied: “Completely.” He invoiced RTÉ for the two payments for ‘consultancy fees’ at RTÉ’s express request. Tubridy said he believed the payments were from Renault. He had not done all the events. However, he still hoped to do them and, if not, he would repay the money.

After some uncertainty, it was confirmed that if the monies were repaid, it would be to RTÉ.

Tubridy was vehement in denying his decision to quit the Late Late Show had anything whatsover to do with the current controversy. The decision had been made and communicated to people close to him, including his agent, before news of the “whole fiasco” broke. “I hid nothing, I had nothing to hide,” Tubridy said in his opening remarks. He spoke of his hurt and torment and thanked all the “decent people” who had rallied to his side.

He hoped to return to hosting his show on RTÉ Radio 1, but that was a call for others to make. RTÉ said in statement that Tubridy was no longer being paid by the national broadcaster as a new contract had still to be agreed with the presenter and his agent.


Adrian Lynch remains on RTÉ’s interim leadership team

Bakhurst has announced an interim leadership team with four new members.

The new team comprises Kevin Bakhurst (DG); Eimear Cusack (human resources); Vivienne Flood (public affairs); Mike Fives (financial controller); Adrian Lynch (audiences, channels and marketing/acting deputy DG); Paula Mullooly (legal); Deirdre McCarthy (news and current affairs); Niamh O’Connor (deputy director of content); Conor Mullen (head of strategy and commercial compliance) and Richard Waghorn (operations and tech).

See recent previous reports related to this story at:…over-pay-scandal/

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