Sunday 19 November 2017

Marian tops RTE holidays with nine week summer break

Ms Finucane is currently on leave and will not return until August 28. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ms Finucane is currently on leave and will not return until August 28. Photo: Tony Gavin reporters

Broadcaster Marian Finucane is the only RTE star taking an extended break this summer, as most of the highly paid public service presenters opt for modest holidays in recessionary times.

In total nine of RTE’s radio and TV stars will enjoy over 25 weeks combined in holidays this July and August, can reveal.

Ms Finucane is currently on leave and will not return until August 28. Claire Byrne is covering for her weekend shows on Saturday and Sunday..

She is followed by Sean O’Rourke, from radio’s News at One and TV’s The Week in Politics, who will get six weeks off in lieu of working six days a week from September to June.

Miriam O’Callaghan is working right through the summer on radio and TV while morning Radio 1 presenter John Murray is taking one week off.

Kathryn Thomas is standing in for him this week.

And others like Pat Kenny, Ryan Tubridy and and Joe Duffy are taking two weeks.

Mr Tubridy will also be double jobbing this summer with a stint in the BBC but a spokesperson for RTE said this would not interfere with his weekly job because it is a Saturday night gig.

Hector O’hEochagain is taking three weeks off and Derek Mooney’s time off has yet to be confirmed.

Despite the pay cut threats, many of the stars will still earn well over the recent salary cap introduced on public sector workers by Public Reform Minister Brendan Howlin of €200,000 for new entrants.

Many of the RTE presenters are on self-employed contracts and are not directly employed by the state broadcaster.

Although Montrose bosses, facing a €30m deficit this year and looking for 70 redundancies, said recently they will address these contracts by 2013.

RTE Director General Noel Curran, said recently: “RTE intends that by the time all the existing contracts have been revisited, by end 2013, the payments total will have reduced by in excess of 30pc relative to 2008 levels.”

Based on this plan, Finucane’s pay would be cut to €399,000.

Kenny, who already has taken a significant cut since he left the Late Late Show, would drop to €665,680.

The 30pc cuts from the time of the 2008 peak, would also mean drops to €286,223 for Duffy and €211,167 and €200,767 for O’Callaghan and Mooney respectively.

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