RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, made an announcement today stating that negotiations for a new contract with presenter Ryan Tubridy are currently on hold. Tubridy recently stepped down from his role as host of the Late Late Show, and RTÉ has stated that his contract, which began in July 2020 and was set to end in March 2025, has come to an end.
A source close to Tubridy has disputed this claim, stating that they believe the contract has not been terminated but rather should be amended to reflect the change in Tubridy’s role. They plan to contest RTÉ’s assertion and make it clear that they believe the contract is still in effect.
In addition to the contract dispute, there has been controversy surrounding undisclosed payments to Tubridy. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has criticized RTÉ’s handling of the situation, stating that he does not believe former director general Dee Forbes was the only person with knowledge of these events. Varadkar has called for a thorough investigation into the matter and has expressed his dissatisfaction with RTÉ’s timeline for conducting the investigation.
Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has accused RTÉ of withholding information about these hidden payments and has suggested that more than half of the executive board had knowledge of the negotiations. Doherty has described the situation as a “sweetheart deal” and has called for a swift resolution to the matter.
The revelations surrounding the undisclosed payments have shaken public trust in RTÉ. Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik has expressed her concern and offered support to the RTÉ employees who have spoken out about feeling betrayed by the situation.
The controversy has also led to Tubridy being removed from air this week for editorial reasons. In a statement, Tubridy expressed his disappointment and apologized for not asking questions or seeking answers about the incorrect figures that were published.
As the Oireachtas Media Committee prepares to hold a hearing on the matter, RTÉ officials are expected to provide answers about the undisclosed payments between 2017 and 2022. The national broadcaster has issued a statement acknowledging the controversy and expressing its commitment to addressing the issues at hand.
Overall, this situation has raised concerns about transparency and accountability within RTÉ. The public and political figures alike are calling for a thorough investigation and swift resolution to restore trust in the national broadcaster.