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27th Jun 2023

RTÉ staff stage protest amid payments controversy

Simon Kelly

RTE protest

“We know what goes on and we know the culture of this organization.”

Around 200 RTÉ employees staged a protest amid the ongoing crisis surrounding the national broadcaster today (Tuesday, June 27)

During the protest, which was organised by the National Union of Journalists, staff vented their fury at the revelation of inaccurate published figures regarding Ryan Tubridy’s salary.

In the wake of the revelation, director general Dee Forbes resigned and has since refused to take part in an Oireachtas Committee, plunging the broadcaster into a deeper crisis and furthering staff’s confusion and anger.

Chair of the NUJ’s Dublin broadcasting branch Emma O’Kelly addressed the crowd, describing the situation as ‘unbelievable’.

RTÉ staff vent their fury at staged protest

“One of the first messages I got on this crisis was from a colleague who said this was both unbelievable and believable. And that really resonated with me.

“It’s unbelievable first of all, that somebody who’s earning €440,000 a year needed to get more money and needed to get it in secret,” said O’Kelly. “That is unbelievable. And we all felt it was unbelievable, but we also felt it was believable too because many of us either have personal battles in here or we’ve seen colleagues.”

“We know what goes on and we know the culture of this organization. We don’t need a review, even though we welcome that review, we don’t need a review for us to know about governance and culture in this organization because we’ve been at the receiving end of that culture for too long.

“And when I say the receiving end, I don’t mean the end with all the money, not that receiving end.”

During her speech, O’Kelly addressed issues such as RTÉ having no crew in the Midlands or the Northeast because of supposed lack of funds.

“We’ve watched young talented journalists walking out the door of this organization because the place we work for is no longer, they no longer see a future like we did when we joined. And that has to end.”

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