No plans for Ryan Tubridy to return to presenting at RTÉ - Bakhurst

RTÉ Director-General Kevin Bakhurst has said he believed trust between the parties had broken down
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.50 17 Aug 2023

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No plans for Ryan Tubridy to r...

No plans for Ryan Tubridy to return to presenting at RTÉ - Bakhurst

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.50 17 Aug 2023

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There are currently no plans for Ryan Tubridy to return to his presenting role at RTÉ, the head of the broadcaster has said.

In a statement on Thursday, Director-General Kevin Bakhurst said he "decided not to continue with negotiations" with Mr Tubridy.

It comes a day after a Grant Thornton report showed that on the 'balance of probabilities', RTÉ understated the salary to Mr Tubridy to keep his payments below €500,000.


It also found a payment of €120,000, which Mr Tubridy was entitled to as an exit fee for a previous contract, was not made by RTÉ as it had been waived by the presenter.

Mr Tubridy has been off-air since June, when controversy over the under-declaration of his salary was first revealed.

In a statement, Mr Bakhurst said: "I have decided not to continue with negotiations and, as such, there are no plans for Ryan to return to his presenting role with RTÉ at this time.

"Despite having agreed some of the fundamentals, including fee, duration and hours, regretfully, it is my view that trust between the parties has broken down."

'Restoring trust'

Mr Bakhurst said the misstatement of fees 'should never have happened.'

"Public statements made without consultation appear to question the basis for the necessary restatement of fees paid for services for 2020 and 2021," he said.

"As I set about a programme of recovery from this crisis, it is imperative that all parties are aligned in one key respect: the misstatement of fees should never have happened; and the correct re-statement of those fees is accepted by all."

Mr Bakhurst said he is "absolutely committed to restoring trust in this organisation following a shameful period in our history".

"To achieve this, and fully draw a line between our recent past and present, we must acknowledge and accept the issues that have arisen.

"Who knows what the future holds, but for now I am concluding the negotiation with Ryan, and focusing on delivering a range of important changes to the operation and culture of this organisation as part of the essential work to restore trust in RTÉ," he added.

In a statement, the RTÉ Board said it "supports the ongoing work of the Director-General and his interim leadership team."

"The Board fully accepts the findings of both Grant Thornton reports," it added.

 'Deliberately misleading'

Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Brian Stanley, has claimed senior RTÉ executives were 'deceitful' in deliberately misleading the Dáil and the public over Mr Tubridy's pay.

On Wednesday, Deputy Stanley said there are more questions to be answered.

"We need to know who came up with that idea; who was it who designed that?" he said.

"Who was it who implemented that, who knew about it that failed to raise this issue?"

Deputy Stanley said Mr Tubridy ultimately received a higher salary.

"He now needs to finally put his hands up on that," he said

"He has tried to put the best shine on this... but in actual fact, he did receive the higher figures.

"He needs to own up to that; he does need to apologise for that, I believe.

"But what's really important is... what happened in relation to RTÉ senior management there? Who went along with this?

"In terms of the finance section of RTÉ, and in the accounts section of RTÉ, who was involved in designing this?" he added.

Main image: Split-screen shows file photos of Ryan Tubridy and RTÉ Director-General Kevin Bakhurst

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