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Brendan O’Connor says taxpayers made ‘feel foolish’ by some at RTÉ

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Addressing the ongoing controversy on his weekend radio show, O’Connor said a lot of the anger that is being felt by the public, stems from the “hurt” that has been caused.

The Cork native confirmed this week that his pay is €245,004 – the same figure he received in 2021 – and that he has not been involved in a barter pay deal.

“Obviously, a lot of people wanted to talk to me about this in the last week and we hear a lot that people are very angry. I think with a lot of people there’s something slightly more subtle in a way than anger going on. I think people feel foolish, I think a lot of people, like ordinary people out there, licence fee payers and so on, feel that they were made fools of by some people,” he said on the Brendan O’Connor Show this morning.

“I think that’s a hard one for people and, of course that does give rise to anger as well, but I think it’s kind of a hurt as well. Made feel foolish is not a nice thing.”

It comes as officials from RTÉ were grilled over two days at both the Oireachtas Media and Public Accounts committees this week.

Speaking yesterday, Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster TD, who sits on both committee, said both hearings heard evidence of “Celtic Tiger type splurging” at the state broadcaster.

“After nine hours of committee hearings, the only thing they revealed were the levels of disregard which senior individuals within RTÉ spend taxpayers’ money… Plenty of perks and top ups for some of the very top and then cuts for everybody else within the organisation,” Ms Munster said.

“The reputation of RTÉ is in tatters because of a few and the public are not going to accept that,” she added.

“The damage has been done, unfortunately, and even after the nine hours of committee hearings, just the evasiveness and not forthcoming, having given a commitment to answer questions honestly and truthfully, it was shocking. absolutely shocking.”

RTÉ has confirmed that Ryan Tubridy will not be returning to his radio show next week.

Tubridy has been off air “for editorial reasons” since the scandal over extra undislosed payments to the presenter emerged last week.

An RTÉ spokesperson told Independent.ie that Ryan Tubridy would not be returning to present The Ryan Tubridy Show on Radio One next week, but would not be drawn on whether his absence would last longer than that.

“RTÉ has legal obligations under the broadcasting legislation, that its editorial output must be objective and impartial. In circumstances where matters related to the presenter are of public interest and controversy, it is not appropriate for the presenter to be on air,” the spokesperson said.

They also confirmed that comedian Oliver Callan would continue to fill in for Tubridy next week, and that they would provide an update on Tubridy’s return next week.



Addressing the ongoing controversy on his weekend radio show, O’Connor said a lot of the anger that is being felt by the public, stems from the “hurt” that has been caused.

The Cork native confirmed this week that his pay is €245,004 – the same figure he received in 2021 – and that he has not been involved in a barter pay deal.

“Obviously, a lot of people wanted to talk to me about this in the last week and we hear a lot that people are very angry. I think with a lot of people there’s something slightly more subtle in a way than anger going on. I think people feel foolish, I think a lot of people, like ordinary people out there, licence fee payers and so on, feel that they were made fools of by some people,” he said on the Brendan O’Connor Show this morning.

“I think that’s a hard one for people and, of course that does give rise to anger as well, but I think it’s kind of a hurt as well. Made feel foolish is not a nice thing.”

It comes as officials from RTÉ were grilled over two days at both the Oireachtas Media and Public Accounts committees this week.

Speaking yesterday, Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster TD, who sits on both committee, said both hearings heard evidence of “Celtic Tiger type splurging” at the state broadcaster.

“After nine hours of committee hearings, the only thing they revealed were the levels of disregard which senior individuals within RTÉ spend taxpayers’ money… Plenty of perks and top ups for some of the very top and then cuts for everybody else within the organisation,” Ms Munster said.

“The reputation of RTÉ is in tatters because of a few and the public are not going to accept that,” she added.

“The damage has been done, unfortunately, and even after the nine hours of committee hearings, just the evasiveness and not forthcoming, having given a commitment to answer questions honestly and truthfully, it was shocking. absolutely shocking.”

RTÉ has confirmed that Ryan Tubridy will not be returning to his radio show next week.

Tubridy has been off air “for editorial reasons” since the scandal over extra undislosed payments to the presenter emerged last week.

An RTÉ spokesperson told Independent.ie that Ryan Tubridy would not be returning to present The Ryan Tubridy Show on Radio One next week, but would not be drawn on whether his absence would last longer than that.

“RTÉ has legal obligations under the broadcasting legislation, that its editorial output must be objective and impartial. In circumstances where matters related to the presenter are of public interest and controversy, it is not appropriate for the presenter to be on air,” the spokesperson said.

They also confirmed that comedian Oliver Callan would continue to fill in for Tubridy next week, and that they would provide an update on Tubridy’s return next week.

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