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Kenny reveals RTE contract talks could last a year

PAT KENNY could be stuck in contractual negotiations with RTE for up to 12 months before any new deal is struck.

The presenter has just entered into talks to renew his two-year contract with the national broadcaster but admitted he had "no idea" when an agreement would be reached.

His RTE colleagues have already taken further pay cuts, and Kenny (65) is facing a reduction on his substantial 2011 salary of €630,000.

The presenter told the Irish Independent that previous experience had taught him that signing off on contracts often took place months after he began working under new terms.

"I've been through this so many times. Negotiations have sometimes gone on even a year after I've started working on a new contract," he said.

Kenny's fees remained stable in 2010 and 2011 on €630,000, down 34pc from the €950,976 he was paid in 2008. He is in favour of pay cuts at the station. "I've always said that and I've already done it," he said.

Kenny was speaking at the start of the Console Open To All Grand Canal Cycle in Dublin's docklands yesterday, where he joined 200 people in a 20km cycle in aid of the suicide prevention and bereavement charity. He was joined by Dublin's Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri and senator and former athlete Eamonn Coghlan.

Celebrity chef Derry Clarke stressed the importance of raising suicide awareness.

The L'Ecrivain owner's teenage son Andrew tragically took his own life last Christmas.

"I did this cycle myself last year. Little did I know how much the issue would affect my family in the interim, and the waves of devastation that it leaves behind."

Console is a nationwide professional suicide prevention and bereavement charity, which offers counselling services and 24-hour helpline support to people in crisis and those bereaved by suicide (freephone 1800 201 890).

Irish Independent