Hard-up RTE's €1.3m buildings spend after top salaries revealed

The Montrose campus

Sorcha O'Connor

Cash-strapped RTE spent more than €1.3m on the maintenance of its Montrose campus over 2016 and 2017, the Herald can reveal.

The national broadcaster spent €650,842 on maintenance in 2016, including interior and exterior work, repairs to ventilation systems, fabric and fittings and painting.

Maintenance amounted to €578,709 for the building, while the upkeep of the grounds came in at €70,305 for the year.

Work on ventilation systems added €1,000 to the total, and there was a €499 painting bill along with €329 for fabrics and fittings.

Spending was increased by €5,932 last year.


Ryan Tubridy

While the cost of general maintenance inside the building was down to €571,601 there was a jump in spending on the grounds of Montrose.

The total spend for the outdoor surroundings was up nearly €4,000, with €74,270 committed to the upkeep of the grounds.

There was a significantly bigger spend on the ventilation system repairs last year, with an €8,000 increase leading to €9,000 being spent.

There was also a big increase in spending on fabric and fittings, which added up to €1,202. Painting amounted to €378 while €323 was spent on building works.

Marian Finucane

The overall amount spent on maintenance last year was €656,774, according to figures released to the Herald. Over the two years, €1,307,616 was spent on maintenance.

The figures were revealed soon after the release of details of the station's top 10 earners for 2016.

Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy topped the list. He is a contractor with the station, paid through Tuttle Productions Ltd.

Tubridy's €495,000 wages for 2016 were unchanged from the previous year.

He was followed by Ray D'Arcy, who enjoyed a €50,000 pay hike, bringing his earnings to €450,000 in 2016.

It is understood that this €50,000 raise was due to the fact his Saturday night TV show did not air for the full year in 2015 but started in September of that year.

This is in contrast to 2016, in which he presented both his TV and radio shows for the full calendar year.

Four women feature in the 2016 list of highest earners for the first time: Marian Finucane was fifth with €300,617; Miriam O'Callaghan took home €299,000, ranking sixth; Claire Byrne earned €216,000 in seventh place; and rounding off the top 10 was Mary Wilson, earning €185,679.

RTE director-general Dee Forbes said the salary figures released for 2016 show RTE "maintain their commitment to reduce these earnings by 30pc as compared to 2008 levels, while continuing to value the significant contribution presenters make, and to RTE's ability to optimise commercial revenue to support Ireland's public media".

"This will continue to be an area of focus for me," she added.