Monday 26 February 2018

'What could anyone say about them? They’re beyond unfortunate' - Anne Doyle on George Hook's controversial comments

Anne Doyle. Picture: Mark Condren
Anne Doyle. Picture: Mark Condren
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

Former RTE broadcaster Anne Doyle has said she "wasn't surprised" by the reaction to George Hooks' controversial comments about rape on his Newstalk show.

Doyle (65) has just returned from a week's holiday in Spain and originally missed the original broadcast.

"I missed them because I was away," she told  "I in fact read the Sunday papers without knowing for sure what it was that he had said. I wasn’t surprised in the slightest at the reaction."

Newstalk has launched an investigation into how the comments went to air on Friday's High Noon show.

Stirring up trouble: George Hook
Stirring up trouble: George Hook

On Monday evening singer Mary Coughlan walked out of an interview with Newstalk presenter Ivan Yates in protest at Hook's comments.

Pat Kenny, who also hosts a show on Newstalk, has spoken out in Hook's defence, calling him a 'decent man' and the presenter himself has apologised twice.

Doyle added, "I welcome the fact that he gave, it would appear, a very whole-hearted apology.

"What could anyone say about [the comments]? They’re beyond unfortunate.”

Speaking, at the Yellow Tail Wine Tasting Experience in Drury Buildings this week Anne Doyle also addressed the issue of the gender pay gap.

RTE last month published its top 10 highest earning presenters, of which just three were women, and Six One anchor Sharon Ni Bheolain then came forward to state that she is paid significantly less than fellow anchor Bryan Dobson.

Different roles: Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain.
Different roles: Bryan Dobson and Sharon Ni Bheolain.

A review on pay is currently being undertaken by RTE and the findings are expected in the coming weeks.

Doyle said her thoughts on the gender pay gap are simple, but the issue is a complex one.

“My feelings about this are very straightforward," she said.  "I believe, as I think that any right-minded person would, in equal pay for equal work. And I wouldn’t necessarily limit that to a gap in terms of gender.

“I mean it is evidently possible that you could have two men or two women doing the same job, and one might be conceivably earning a lot more than another. It could be for historic reasons, it could be for all sorts of reasons. So I think it’s a no-brainer that we get paid the same for the same job.”

However, the station stalwart noted that there are different factors to consider when it comes to pay.

“The complexity of it comes down to how you quantify the same job," she said.  "Because not all jobs that look the same, are the same.

"Also, I would have thought that another interesting aspect, which I haven’t followed with bated breath, but there is also the issue of opportunities. That’s sometimes worth looking at. Sometimes opportunities come one person’s way and not another.

“The basic thing is, you do the same job, you get the same money.  You can’t just look at A and B. Who knows whether A and B are doing the same job or not, but if they are, they should be paid the same.”

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