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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sandra Mallon

Key points from Ryan Tubridy's explosive Oireachtas testimony - Seven untruths, table banging and toll of 'horrendous abuse'

RTE’s star presenter Ryan Tubridy has said he was finding it hard to leave the house as he gave evidence to a committee over claims the broadcaster misreported fees paid to him.

In an extraordinary appearance before the Public Accounts Committee alongisde his agent Noel Kelly, Mr Tubridy appeared emotional at times and slammed his hand on the table during his opening statement.

He said he wishes to return as soon as possible to his weekday morning radio show “because it’s all I’ve got”.

READ MORE: Leo Varadkar slams 'drip-fed' revelations in RTE scandal and confirms no bailout request from broadcaster

READ MORE: Everything you need to know as Ryan Tubridy and Noel Kelly appear before Oireachtas committees

Take a look at the key points so far below and follow live updates in our dedicated blog.

Ryan Tubridy gives the ‘seven untruths’

Ryan Tubridy tells the Public Accounts Committee and the Oireachtas Media Committee that there have been “seven untruths” told about the RTÉ payment scandal.

Read them here.

Ryan Tubridy bangs on the desk in anger as he reveals it's hard to leave the house

In his opening statement to the PAC, the host said he has “become the face of a national scandal; accused of being complicit, deceitful and dishonest.”

Mr Tubridy banged his fist on the table when he says that the hidden payments have caused “justifiable anger” amongst his RTÉ colleagues.

He said "we’ll stay for as long as it takes" to PAC.

He said he has a “foot-high” pile of cards and letters addressed to “Ryan Tubridy in Dublin”. The father-of-two thanked An Post for getting the post delivered to him.

He later said that he felt it “hard to leave the house” as the ongoing saga has unfolded in recent weeks. His agent Noel Kelly said his client has “been thrown under a bus”.

Ryan Tubridy reveals he took a 20% pay cut in 2020

Mr Tubridy says he was burnt out and exhausted after the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he made the decision to leave the Late Late Show and "this very raw situation of recent weeks".

He accepts he is well paid - but there are no "overpayments"... there are under and over declarations.

"This has caused justifiable anger among my colleagues"

Ryan Tubridy and Noel Kelly detail 'horrendous abuse and criticism'

Mr Kelly said Mr Tubridy was being made a “poster boy” for the scandal – but declared “this is the RTE scandal”.

He told the Oireachtas: “Ryan and I have attracted and our families and our friends a horrendous, horrendous amount of criticism and abuse in the past few weeks and I would not wish it on anybody. Why? because the only figure in this whole story whose face was recognisable was Ryan Tubridy.

Ryan Tubridy arrives at Leinster House (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

“He's been made a poster boy for this scandal. And that's undeserved. This is not the Ryan Tubridy scandal. This is the RTE scandal.”

Mr Tubridy said the last three weeks have been "beyond difficult" as he explained why documents to the committee were delayed and weren't given to the Oireachtas until 8.30am on Tuesday.

He said: "The last three weeks have been beyond difficult. We wanted to get things right today because so many people have been getting things wrong. Hence we were working on this... we were burning the midnight oil."

Ryan Tubridy went on to tell members he wants to get back on the airwaves 'as soon as possible'

He said that he's hopeful he'll get back on air to “do the job I love”.

He said: “It's what I know and I want to get back to my team and to the listeners.

Members of the public in Doheny and Nesbitts pub, Dublin, watching the Oireachtas TV broadcast of Ryan Tubridy giving evidence before the Public Accounts Committee (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

“I will say that I understand that the amount of money we're talking about is eye-watering. I'm not a fool. I understand that. But I haven't changed as a person over the over those years despite the extraordinary bank balance.”

But how do you rebuild that trust, he was asked. “Well, a lot of the trust was taken from me, but I don't know," he said.

“I will just say I think that they're off to a good start this week with the new director general, I think that they're going to be I think that hopefully people will see what I've said today and will hear what I'm saying today and they'll realise that a lot of what's happened over the last few weeks. I've been dragged into a mess not of my own making.

“The only thing I have for my colleagues is respect.”

Noel Kelly says he never even had a “cup of tea” with Dee Forbes

Mr Kelly said he does not have Dee Forbes’ number in his phone and he has only met Ms Forbes with the RTÉ legal team.

“I’ve never had a cup of tea with Dee Forbes,” insisted Mr Kelly.

He said he hasn’t met her for lunch and said he doesn’t “know” Dee Forbes.

Noel Kelly speaks about his dealings with Renault

“Next we come to the RTE decision to underwrite this Renault contract. This is perhaps the most shocking revelation this morning.

“Since this controversy began, RTE has tried to distance themselves from this decision. Effectively they have blamed former Director General Dee Forbes for doing a solo run and for giving a verbal commitment to underwrite the contract on a Zoom Call in May.

“RTE executives have said how there was a strong “push-back” against the idea of underwriting the agreement. That is incorrect”.

Noel Kelly names Geraldine O’Leary as the person who told him in RTE to label invoices “consultancy fees”

Mr Kelly said the first signs of trouble were on May 3 as per emails.

He said "we" met with Grant Thornton to talk about it.

Mr Kelly says it was RTÉ’s decision to label the invoices as consultancy fees and Geraldine O’Leary told them to label the invoices as such.

Mr Brady asks Mr Kelly if he would agree with CFO Richard Collins the public has been defrauded?

“At all times we acted under the instruction of RTÉ,” said Mr Kelly.

Noel Kelly said he’s being thrown under the bus as Ryan talks about being ‘cancelled’

Noel Kelly says "the most trusted man in Ireland, Ryan Tubridy" is being thrown "under a bus"

"This has been the worst of times."

Mr Tubridy says to committee members: "I don't know if any of you have been cancelled before, but you don't want to be there."

Ryan Tubridy and Noel Kelly contradict claims made by RTÉ’s former chief financial officer Breda O’Keefe

The former CFO told an Oireachtas committee last week that Mr Kelly asked for the €75,000 to be underwritten by RTÉ “and this was refused”.

She said that as far as she was aware, this continued to be the case up until she left RTÉ in March 2020.

Mr Tubridy and Mr Kelly have refuted that claim, providing the Oireachtas Committees with a copy of an email from Ms O’Keefe to Mr Kelly on 20 February 2020.

In the email, Ms O’Keefe said: “We can provide you with a side letter to underwrite this fee for the duration of the contract.”

In his own opening statement today, Mr Kelly says RTÉ executives have tried to “blame” Dee Forbes for doing a “solo run” on the underwriting.

He added: “Clearly that is not correct. The decision was taken early by RTÉ and was known widely within the executive board of RTÉ.”

RTE has rejected the claim “that an incorrect version of events” was provided to the committee.

RTÉ said the email “formed part of the discussions and engagement between it and NK Management in relation to the proposed new TV and radio contract with Mr Tubridy/Tuttle Productions and did not comprise a binding legal or contractual commitment on its part.”

RTÉ said there was no agreement to underwrite the €75,000 payment “until the verbal commitment” was given by Dee Forbes.

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