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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sandra Mallon & Clare McCarthy

RTE's top earners as scandal finds Ryan Tubridy paid €345k more than declared in salary and Claire Byrne takes cut

Ryan Tubridy has been named as RTE’s top earner for years but is now embroiled in a new scandal after it emerged that hidden payments of €345,000 were paid to him over a period of five years.

RTE has apologised for a "serious breach of trust with the public" and the outgoing RTE director general Dee Forbes resigned on June 26 amid the ongoing scandal.

Tubridy did not present his radio show on Friday morning after RTE failed to declare €345,000 of payments to him - on top of his €420,000 annual published salary.

READ MORE: RTE chief resigns amid Ryan Tubridy payments scandal

Earlier this year, RTE published the salaries earned by its top-tier talent at the station in 2020 and 2021, with their combined salaries amounting to more than €2.5million.

Here's what the top 10 earners in RTE made in 2021:

1. Ryan Tubridy

Ryan Tubridy topped the list in that period, earning a reported €440,00 in 2021. He earned €466,250 in 2020.

However, it emerged last week that RTE failed to declare a series of payments to him on top of his annual published salary. The payments made between the years 2017 and 2022 totalled €345,000 above his annual published salary and were not declared to the public and the Oireachtas.

2. Joe Duffy

Joe Duffy jumped to second on the list through 2020 and 2021. The Liveline host earned more than Ray D’Arcy, who was previously ranked second place. Duffy earned €351,000 in 2021. In 2020, the Ballyfermot native earned €360,650.

RTE's Joe Duffy was the second highest earner in 2021 on €351,00 (RTE)

3. Ray D'Arcy

Ray D’Arcy did not take a pay cut in 2021. In 2020, the presenter earned €305,000 compared to the €450,000 he raked in in 2019. His 2021 salary remained at €305,000.

4. Claire Byrne

Claire Byrne climbed her way up the ladder and was RTE’s fourth highest-paid presenter during the period of 2020-21.

In 2019, she earned €250,000 presenting her radio show on RTE Radio One as well as hosting Claire Byrne Live. New figures show Claire got a pay rise in 2020, earning her a total of €282,917. In 2021, her salary went up again, earning an extra €67,083 as a pay increase.

Her 2021 salary stood at €350,000. She no longer hosts her Monday night current affairs TV show since stepping down last May.

Claire Byrne was RTE’s fourth highest-paid presenter (Andres Poveda)

Speaking on her radio show on June 26, Byrne revealed that she now gets paid €280,000 since stepping back from Claire Byrne Live.

She said: "My most recent published fee was €350,000. This was the fee agreed by RTE, for me to present this radio programme and Claire Byrne Live and as you know, I decided not to continue with that television show for personal and family reasons.

"And so, in order to be fully transparent with you, I want you to know that my RTE fee now is €280,000 and that fee is for presenting this programme."

5. Miriam O’Callaghan

Miriam O’Callaghan remained the fifth highest-paid presenter in 2020 and 2021. The radio and TV star earned €263,500 in 2020 and in 2021. In 2019, she raked in €320,000.

6. Brendan O’Connor

Brendan O’Connor came in at sixth place on the table for 2020 and 2021. He had two pay rises in that timeframe. In 2019, the radio presenter earned €220,000. In 2020, he took home a salary of €238,753. But in 2021 his salary shot up again to €245,004.

7. Bryan Dobson

News at One host Bryan Dobson – who is an employee of RTE – was the station’s seventh highest-paid earner in that period. Figures show Dobson took a pay cut between 2020 and 2021.

In 2019, the former Six One News host raked in €209,282. In 2020, he got a pay rise, bringing his total salary to €217,332. But in 2021, his salary dropped back again to €209,282.

8. Mary Wilson

Morning Ireland host Mary Wilson – who is also staff at the station – took a pay cut too. In 2019, she earned €196,961. In 2020, her salary went up to €204,537. In 2021, it dropped back down to 2019 figures. Mary was the eighth highest-paid presenter at RTE in that timeframe.

9. Darragh Maloney

Darragh Maloney – who didn’t appear in the top list for 2019 – improved to be the ninth highest-paid presenter. He earned €190,804 in 2020 but Darragh then took a pay cut in 2021, leaving him with a salary of €183,738.

10. Aine Lawlor/George Lee

In 2020, Aine Lawlor was the station’s 10th highest-paid presenter, earning €183,662 but she dropped off the table and was overtaken by reporter George Lee who, in 2021, earned €179,131.

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