'I've paid my TV licence for 30+ years - now I'm holding out'

"It is a scandal and there's more to come, it's not over yet"
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.53 29 Jan 2024

Share this article

'I've paid my TV licence for 3...

'I've paid my TV licence for 30+ years - now I'm holding out'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.53 29 Jan 2024

Share this article

A woman who has paid her TV licence for more than 30 years has said she is holding out this time.

It comes as Ryan Tubridy was RTÉ's highest earner in 2022, new figures released by the national broadcaster revealed.

Through his roles presenting The Late Late Show and a morning slot on RTÉ Radio One, he took home €515,000.


Other presenters included in the list of RTÉ's highest-paid presenters in 2022 include Joe Duffy (€351,000) and Claire Byrne (€350,000), placing second and third respectively.

Miriam O'Callaghan (€253,500) and Ray D'Arcy (€305,000) completed the top five.

Mary told Henry McKean for The Hard Shoulder why she is refusing to pay.

"I'm just opposed to paying the TV licence because of the scamming that was going on," she said.

"It is a scandal and there's more to come, it's not over yet".

Asked if she was worried about being fined or even facing time in jail,  Mary said she believes the system has to change.

"That's a risk I have to take unless I changed my mind, but I do believe there'll be a different process going forward," she said.

"I know people who've never paid a TV licence.

"I've had reminder letters every other year if I didn't pay it at it's due date.

"I'm holding out this time, I've paid it for 30+ years.

"I've paid thousands and they spend those thousands on flip-flops."

'Defunct licence fee'

ShinAwiL CEO Larry Bass told the show the licence fee needed reform well before now.

"We've spoken about this for many years, and I've been talking about the proper public funding of public service broadcasting across a range of media, of over 15 years," he said.

"Successive governments have failed to do anything about the now defunct licence fee system.

"What we're dealing with now is the fallout of many, many years of neglect."

'Content which reflects Irish people'

Mr Bass said if content is not paid for by Irish people, there will not be content which reflects who we are.

"That's the starting point for me," he said.

"Unfortunately as this debate gets skewed in different ways, the debacle in RTÉ last summer hasn't helped anyone.

"It certainly hasn't helped RTÉ, and it does make people question why they'd pay what is a legal obligation if you have a TV."

'Not a very promising future'

Mr Bass said ultimately someone in Cabinet has to make a decesion and take responsibility.

"We do need robust comment [and] we do need current affairs that has the proper level of professional input into it; or we're going to be a country where the swing, whether it's left or right to the extremes, will be defined by who can afford to pay and dominate the media landscape," he said.

"That's what's going to replace public-funded content; content that we'll only consume by who can afford to pay for it.

"In some places that's not a very promising future," he added.

Figures suggest An Post applied for a total of 13,137 summonses to district courts between January 1st and November 30th last year for non-payment the €160 TV licence fee.

Listen back here:

Main image: The RTÉ logo at the station in Donnybrook, Dublin 4, 26-06-2023. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews

Share this article

Read more about

An Post Claire Byrne Henry McKean Highest Earner Joe Duffy Larry Bass Miriam O'Callaghan Paying The TV Licence RTE Ray Darcy Ryan Tubridy The Hard Shoulder Tv Licence

Most Popular