Tubridy and Kelly release statements in advance of Oireachtas meeting today

by Rose Barrett
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This morning, circa 11am, RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy and show business agent Noel Kelly will appear before two Oireachtas committees to address issures regarding the €345,000 worth of bonus payments paid by RTÉ to Mr Tubridy over the past seven years.

In a statement earlier today, Mr Tubridy stated both he and Mr Kelly volunteered to appear before the committee today, and he will present key documents and relevant extracts from his company records to the Oireachtas which will clarify some the agreement terms made regarding these payments.

Mr Tubridy stated: “We believe this will bring maximum transparency to the situation and address much of the misinformation which has circulated over the past three weeks.”

Mr Kelly said his client Ryan Tubridy and he himself had been scapegoated in recent weeks, and that the three-week controversy had damaged both his agency business and Mr Tubridy’s reputation. 

Mr Kelly claimed Mr Tubridy has been an excellent and competent employee of RTÉ for years, a popular presenter with a national audience; his programmes drew advertising and sponsorship for the national broadcaster, and raised invaluable monies for charity. But both their reputations have been muddied through the incompetence of poor RTÉ governance.

Yesterday, the first day for Mr Kevin Bakhurst as the new Director General, saw him stand down RTÉ’s senior leadership team. This, he stated was to restore confidence in the national broadcaster which had been seriously damaged by ongoing revelations over the past three weeks.

The first is the replacement of the executive board with a new interim leadership team. Bakhurst recently announced who would be on the team.

The new team comprises of Mr Bakhurst himself, Eimear Cusack (director of human resources), Mike Fives (group financial controller), Adrian Lynch (director of audiences, channels, marketing, and acting deputy director-general), Vivienne Flood (head of public affairs), Paula Mullooly (director of legal), Deirdre McCarthy (director of news and current affairs), Conor Mullen (head of strategy and commercial compliance), Niamh O’Connor (deputy director of content) and Richard Waghorn (director of operations and technology).

What will Ryan Tubridy’s future be with RTÉ?

The recently appointed new RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst who replaced Ms Dee Forbes, said yesterday he hoped to see maximum transparency during today’s Oireachtas committees. Will today’s appearance by Mr Tubridy and Mr Kelly have a bearing on Mr Tubridy’s future with the national broadcaster?

Mr Kelly also stated that RTÉ’s figures re payment stated for two years of Mr Tubridy’s earnings were wrong.

However, PAC members stated that up until this morning, they were awaiting key documentation from Mr Tubridy and his agent. Political commentators on RTÉ similarly stated they had only received the documentation and would be examining them thoroughly.

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