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'Dunphy's full of it' - Hook wades into Newstalk row

EAMON Dunphy has refused to be drawn into a row with George Hook who said the soccer pundit was "full of crap".

The usually outspoken Dunphy told the Herald he had no comment to make on the tirade of insults Hook unleashed against his former Newstalk colleague.

Mr Dunphy quit the radio station on Sunday in controversial style, making strong criticisms about the way it is being run and owner Denis O'Brien.

But Mr Hook, who presents Newstalk's drive-time show, subsequently remarked: "Dunphy is like Greece - full of crap but people keep giving him huge money."

Mr Dunphy told the Herald: "No comment. I can't say anything. I've no comment about George Hook."

He indicated his original criticism of Newstalk is now a "legal matter".

Hook, who is in Haiti this week with Mr O'Brien's Haven charity, had posted a series of online messages attacking Dunphy. He wrote: "Found a voodoo replica of Dunphy here in Haiti - I have stuck a pin in his most obvious feature."

The rugby pundit also said: "Hook controversial by conviction; Dunphy by opportunism."

Quitting

On Sunday, Dunphy (66) insisted on Newstalk that his life at the station had been made "impossible" and he was quitting not just for himself but for his "producer and other young journalists".

He added: "Denis O'Brien hates journalism, he despises it, you can check the record all over the place."

Mr O'Brien's Communicorp group owns Newstalk.

Chief executive Frank Cronin accused Dunphy of making "false and malicious" allegations against the station, which were "completely without foundation".

Mr Cronin alleged that the comments were motivated by a cut in his fee.

Mr Dunphy's pay for his weekly programme was being reduced from €100,000 to €60,000 as part of a series of cost-cutting measures.

Mr Cronin said the fee was "inordinately high" for two hours broadcasting a week.

He also said Dunphy's listenership figures were "relatively poor", having fallen from 62,000 to 58,000 in the most recent National Listenership survey.

Mr Dunphy had said Mr O'Brien "doesn't understand" what journalists are for, adding the pay cut had "nothing to do with" his leaving.

His departure was the second exit from a Communicorp-owned station following the decision to axe veteran journalist Sam Smyth's Sunday show on Today FM.


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