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'I found it difficult to see the justification': Bryan Dobson on the pay gap with Sharon Ní Bheoláin

It was revealed last year Dobson earned between €60,000 – €80,000 more than Sharon Ní Bheoláin.

bryan Bryan Dobson Source: Screengrab/RTÉ

FORMER RTÉ SIX One news presenter Bryan Dobson has said he “found it difficult” to see any justification for his co-host Sharon Ní Bheoláin to be paid less than him.

It was revealed last year that Dobson earned between €60,000 – €80,000 per year more than Ní Bheoláin.

Ní Bheoláin, who now presents the Nine O’Clock News on RTÉ, confirmed the gap at the time, stating:

In return for a pay rise, I have also undertaken extra duties. I believe that I am well remunerated, but for the record, my pay is still considerably less than that of Bryan’s.

The controversy resulted in RTÉ carrying out a review of ‘role and gender equality’ across the organisation, which revealed an ‘imbalance overall’.

Speaking to Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show last night, Dobson said it was rather “unsettling” to become the news when you are the one that reports the news, but he added that it was a “perfectly legitimate story” to be reported.

He said he was surprised by the figures Ní Bheoláin revealed.

I was surprised by the figures as Sharon revealed them, and I found it difficult to see the justification for the difference.
I absolutely believe in the principle that you pay equal pay for equal work. I don’t think anybody has any toleration of gender discrimination within jobs.

Dobson acknowledged that the issue goes beyond ‘equal pay for equal work’, with women being kept in lower paid jobs, women working part-time as well as missing out on promotional opportunities.

I think we are definitely at a turning point. The genie’s out of the bottle. I say this as a man, I think this is a thoroughly good, healthy development.
I don’t think it would do men any harm if there’s a bit of a shift towards greater respect for women, greater equality for women, greater involvement for women in decision-making.

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