Friday 24 February 2017

'Gerry died of a heart attack - I don't think he was more stressed than anyone else' - former 2fm boss John Clarke

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Gerry Ryan
Gerry Ryan

Former 2fm boss John Clarke has refuted claims that the late Gerry Ryan was stressed about RTE pay cuts prior to his death in 2010.

Following Gerry's death fellow RTE broadcaster Marian Finucane stated that she felt Gerry was "stressed about RTE".

She said, "He was stressed about other things outside in his life and I know that when people try to figure out what happened... I have heard a number of people mention that stress might have been what caused difficulties."

However, Clarke, who was head of 2fm for 11 years until 2009 has said he didn't feel Gerry was more stressed than anyone else at the time.

"The sad thing is he died of a heart attack.  That is how he died," he told the Irish Sun on Sunday, adding, "All the employee staff at RTE had taken pay cuts.  Now we were approaching the top talent who were on great money and asking them to negotiate.

"The country was banjaxed and some of them were making more than the Taoiseach.  We needed to talk. When I was negotiating on behalf of RTE 2fm I knew that employees who were on 30,000 were going to have problems.

"Did they go home stressed?  I'd say they went home in a very reflective mood, maybe half stressed, so was it any different for Gerry Ryan?  I don't think he was any more notionally stressed than anyone else."

An inquest into Gerry Ryan's death in April 2010 ruled that traces of cocaine were found in his system and were the likely trigger for cardiac arrhythmia that resulted in his death.

Clarke now works for Radio Nova.

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