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Monday 24 July 2017

Newstalk hits back over 'outrageous' claims by Dunphy

Edel Kennedy

RADIO bosses at Newstalk have hit back at "outrageous" claims made by former employee Eamon Dunphy.

Chief executive Frank Cronin said the outspoken media personality had made a number of "serious and libellous allegations" about the station after he quit.

Mr Dunphy had said he stood down because the radio station's owner, Denis O'Brien, "hates journalism".

In an interview in yesterday's Irish Independent he said Newstalk had become a "slum" and claimed that staff were treated "disgracefully".

However, Mr Cronin said the allegations were false and malicious and "were made as a direct result of a request to Mr Dunphy to take a reduction in his fees.

"Mr Dunphy's conduct in recent days echoes a similar pattern of behaviour in relation to his previous employment at Today FM, RTE and Independent News and Media," said Mr Cronin.

"To suggest that journalists in the station are 'intimidated and blackguarded' is ridiculous and absurd. I have received many calls from members of staff who are offended, upset and outraged by these false allegations."

Mr Dunphy was on air with the station for the last time on Sunday. He insisted he wanted to go because of the way staff were treated and not because he was asked to take a pay cut of €50,000 a year from the €100,000 he was being paid to broadcast 40 shows.

"Mr Dunphy has a duty of care and responsibility to act professionally at all times when on air," added Mr Cronin.

"His behaviour and libelling of a number of people on Sunday was a deliberate and reckless dereliction of his duty as a presenter. This is the same Eamon Dunphy that has admitted that he wrote an attack on Denis O'Brien for 'The Irish Times' at the request of Tony O'Reilly."

However, Mr Dunphy last night denied that this was the case. "Tony O'Reilly encouraged me to write a piece for their paper (the Irish Independent)," he said.

"But I said no, but I did it for 'The Irish Times'. But I didn't do it because I was asked."

In the statement, Mr Cronin accepted that there was some "management interference" but rejected accusations that Mr Dunphy had been ordered to put a positive spin on everything "to suit a businessman's view of it".

Irish Independent

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