Saturday 16 December 2017

RTE's top stars 'must take the pain', says Marty Whelan

Mark O'Regan

TV and radio presenter Marty Whelan believes RTE's top stars should accept the inevitable -- and take whatever pay cuts are ordered by station bosses.

Speaking yesterday at the launch of the Carers of the Year Awards in Dublin's Westbury Hotel, the 'Winning Streak' and Lyric FM presenter warned that all concerned "must do their bit'' to try and get the state broadcaster back on a sound financial footing.

"The RTE pay issue is going on and on and on. Yes, I think we should all take salary cuts; we all have to take pain.

"We're all doing more for less," he said. "I found myself in a situation where a 30pc pay cut was lobbed at me. That's the way of it and there's no point in saying you can't accept it. But it's not just the top 10 stars who should be affected. It should be across the board.''

He was joined by fellow RTE presenter Mary Kennedy to pay tribute to the current Carer of the Year, Anne McGrath, and Young Carer of the Year, Kelly Farrell.

Ms McGrath from Thurles, Co Tipperary, is a mother of six. Two of her children have died from Canavan's Disease, a fatal neurological disorder; she now cares full-time for daughter Tamara (12), who also suffers from the disease.

Kelly (14) has nursed her mother Nuala, who suffers from serious mobility issues, since the age of nine. As an only child, and with her dad working full-time, she was praised for her selflessness.

With swingeing cuts expected in the Budget, Mr Whelan believes the Carer's Allowance should be ringfenced.

"There are things you and I take for granted; my wife and I can make spur of the moment decisions such as 'what do we want to do today?' That option is not available to carers because of what they've taken on board," he added.

Irish Independent

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