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Ryan Tubridy (file photo) Alamy Stock Photo
Resignation

'Zero connection' between Late Late departure and RTÉ pay scandal, Ryan Tubridy says

The presenter is maintaining that his decision to leave the chat show was taken last year.

RYAN TUBRIDY IS adamant that his resignation from the Late Late Show had nothing to do with the RTÉ pay scandal and had already been planned months in advance.

Tubridy said it was “not remotely true” to suggest his sudden retirement was “prompted by this whole debacle” arising from the controversy. 

Instead, Tubridy stressed he “made my initial decision to leave The Late Late pretty much a year ago” and claims he was not made aware of the payments issue until May – two months after he announced his retirement. 

He said he felt “burnt out and exhausted” after the pandemic and wanted to step away from the chat show.

Classing it as the second of seven “untruths”, Tubridy told the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee today that any suggestion his decision to retire from the Late Late Show was prompted by this “debacle” was not the case.

“I was not aware of any of this debacle when I decided to retire from the Late Late Show,” he said.

“I made my initial decision to leave The Late Late Show almost a year ago. Around this time, I mentioned it to those closest to me, my family and my agent. They were surprised, very surprised to say the least.

“I explained to them that, among other things, I had left a lot on the studio floor after Covid.

“I was burnt out and exhausted – like so many people in the country. I turned it over in my mind over a few months, but by the time I got to January, I was absolutely certain of my decision.”

Tubridy added: “I was convinced that it was time to go.”

There is ZERO connection between my departure and this very raw situation of recent weeks.

The payments scandal at the national broadcaster came to light within the company in late March.

Timeline

 Internal auditors examining RTÉ’s accounts for 2022 discovered an issue around what the broadcaster has described as “transparency of certain payments”.

The RTÉ Board was informed and its Audit and Risk Committee then commissioned external auditors Grant Thornton to carry out an independent review. Media Minister Catherine Martin was made aware of an issue with RTÉ’s accounts around this time.

It emerged that RTÉ had underreported Tubridy’s earnings by a cumulative total of €345,000. That included a deal with a commercial partner that would see €75,000 paid annually to the presenter.

Speaking today, Tubridy insisted that there is “zero connection” between his departure and the ongoing controversy.

“I informed [RTÉ] management on 13 March of this year. I first became aware of the Grant Thornton review in May – some two months later,” Tubridy said.

“Even then, I had no inkling of the bombshell which was to come when RTÉ released their statement on 22 June.”

He added: “Just to make it abundantly clear, there is zero connection between my departure and this very raw situation of recent weeks.”

Tubridy has not presented his weekday morning radio programme since the issues at RTÉ came to light on 22 June, with RTÉ’s new director general suggesting that his future at the network may hinge on this week’s events.

Tubridy, who became animated when PAC member John Brady questioned the timeline of his departure from The Late Late Show, again insisted that there was no link between the two.

“I will be here until the last dog barks until you believe me that that decision came from my heart and soul and that the kernel of it was last August,” Tubridy said.

Contains reporting by Hayley Halpin

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