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16th Aug 2023

RTÉ ignored own payroll system to understate Tubridy’s salary, new report finds

Simon Kelly

Babe wake up, new report just dropped.

The newly-released Grant Thornton report has stated that RTÉ ignored their own payroll system in order to understate Ryan Tubridy’s salary.

The long-awaited report was released on Wednesday and revealed “poor governance” which led to the revelations that the presenter’s salary was misrepresented to seem less than €500,000.

The report also says that the former Late Late Show presenter waived a bonus of  €120,000 that he was entitled to. It clears Tubridy and his agent Noel Kelly of having any involvement in the adjustments made to the presenter’s salary from 2017 – 2019.

The report confirms that while the earnings were publicly understated, there was no impact on RTÉ’s financial statements as a result of these adjustments. It also suggests that on the balance of probabilities adjustments were made for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 in order to allow for ‘revised earnings’ below a figure of €500,000 in each year.

Another note in the new report reveals that former director general Dee Forbes did not take part in the review due to “medical reasons”.

RTÉ responded to the findings by saying “steps have been taken” to make sure a similar incident does not happen again.

The Chair of RTÉ, Siún Ní Raghallaigh, stated:

Regrettably this report confirms our view of the siloed management culture that has prevailed in RTÉ and supports the decision by the Board to initiate an ongoing programme of corrective action.

The report paints a picture of poor internal communication and weak processes.

The report identifies specific dates whereby errors could have been corrected but were not and key documents that could have been effectively interrogated but were not.

It is also clear from the report that the then Executive did not properly engage with the Board on these matters, nor was relevant information provided to the Board by the Executive or by the auditors.

We will be taking on board the issues raised by the report and will be engaging with RTÉ’s auditors, Deloitte, to discuss the contents of same.

Steps have been taken to ensure there can be no repeat of these failures. Working with Director General Kevin Bakhurst, the Board of RTÉ remains committed to an ongoing programme of reform and recovery for the organisation. I hope that the publication of this Report represents an important staging point in RTÉ’s rebuilding of trust with the public and stakeholders.”

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