…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Ryan Tubridy, the former host of The Late Late Show, expressed surprise upon learning about errors in RTE’s public statement regarding payments made to him.
The Irish national broadcaster issued an apology after admitting that Tubridy had been paid several hundred thousand euros more than previously declared.
Discovery of Payments:
The payments came to light when the broadcaster’s auditors alerted the board about certain transactions.
Tubridy stated that he was unable to shed light on the discrepancy or explain why RTE handled the payments in that manner.
In a statement, Tubridy expressed his surprise at the errors in RTE’s accounts and emphasized that the matter was solely RTE’s responsibility.
He made it clear that he had no involvement in RTE’s internal accounting treatment or public declarations regarding the payments.
While disappointed to be at the center of the story, Tubridy could not provide an explanation for RTE’s actions or take responsibility for their mistakes.
Management Company’s Statement:
NK Management, the company representing Tubridy, stated that any overpayments to the presenter were the sole responsibility and accountability of RTE.
They assured that the payments were properly due and lawful, with no suggestion of wrongdoing by Tubridy or NK Management.
Arts Minister Catherine Martin expressed extreme concern over the situation and scheduled a meeting with RTE’s chairwoman to discuss the issue.
She requested detailed information on the matter, the steps taken by the board to address it, the required follow-up actions, and the timeline for implementation.
RTE’s Apology and Actions:
RTE’s chairwoman, Siun Ni Raghallaigh, expressed profound regret and apologized on behalf of the board for the breach of trust with the public.
She acknowledged that RTE had fallen short of the high standards expected of it and took responsibility for the mistakes.
The board acted swiftly to establish the facts and implemented safeguards to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Investigation and Accountability:
Grant Thornton was appointed to conduct an independent fact-finding review of the situation.
They would review the contracts and remuneration figures of RTE’s top 10 most highly paid presenters, including Tubridy, to ensure accuracy.
Accountability measures would be taken once the investigation was complete.
Details of Tubridy’s Payments:
RTE’s audit of the 2022 accounts revealed transparency issues with certain payments.
It was discovered that Tubridy’s remuneration had been understated by RTE by 120,000 euros during the contract period of 2017-2019.
Additional payments were made directly by RTE to Tubridy’s agent after a commercial partner did not renew their agreement.
Calls for Transparency and Accountability:
Politicians and the National Union of Journalists demanded complete transparency from RTE regarding payments to Tubridy.
They emphasized the need to disclose agreements, those involved, and the approval process.
Cooperation with the Grant Thornton investigation was expected, and the report’s prompt publication was urged.
The scandal was seen as a test for RTE’s new chair and chief executive to demonstrate their commitment to values and vision while addressing the issue.
The discovery of errors in RTE’s payments to Ryan Tubridy has raised concerns about transparency and accountability within the Irish national broadcaster.
Tubridy expressed his surprise and distanced himself from RTE’s handling of the payments.
The government called for a thorough investigation and emphasized the importance of rectifying the situation to regain public trust.
RTE acknowledged their shortcomings, took responsibility, and implemented measures to prevent future occurrences.
The ongoing investigation will shed further light on the matter, and transparency is expected to be maintained moving forward.
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