Gay Byrne’s firm flourishing as cash pile climbs to €443,000
Veteran broadcaster’s accounts show accumulated profits rose 26% since 2011
In spite of Gay Byrne’s semi-retired status, the funds at his firm have grown steadily from €190,000 in 2008 to this year’s high. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland
Ireland’s most celebrated broadcaster, Gay Byrne, has left his financial woes behind with the cash pile at his media firm climbing by almost €100,000 to €443,343.
Two years ago, Gaybo – who celebrated his 79th birthday last week – admitted he was back at work again because his pension had been wiped out and his investments in property syndicates organised by financier Derek Quinlan were under severe “pressure”.
New accounts filed by the broadcaster’s media firm, Gabbro Ltd, with the Companies Office show that even in semi-retirement, Byrne’s finances have flourished in the past two years.
The accounts – signed off by Byrne and his wife, Kathleen Watkins, on August 1st – cover a two-year period from May 2011 to April 30th of this year. The abridged accounts show the cash pile at the firm climbed by €94,114 from €349,229 to €443,343. The company’s balance sheet shows accumulated profits increased 26 per cent, or €86,750, from €328,107 to €414,767.
In spite of Byrne’s semi-retired status, the funds at the firm have grown steadily from €190,000 in 2008 to this year’s high. The revenues would include the money received for Byrne’s one-man show that toured Ireland last year.
He recently returned to our screens with the latest instalment of his Meaning of Life series with an interview with Bono – 14 years after stepping down from the Late Late Show.
Only two years ago in a press interview, Byrne – working with RTÉ for more than half a century – revealed his pension savings had been wiped out.
Property as ‘millstone’
Byrne – who still has a high public profile because of his work as chairman of the Road Safety Authority – also admitted property investments he made were “a millstone around our neck”. He said: “I am working because I have to, although I choose to do it anyway.”
Byrne’s loss on his shares and investments was the second jolt to his finances. In 1987, the Dubliner had to rebuild his finances after learning his life’s savings entrusted to his friend and accountant, the late Russell Murphy, had disappeared.
Since his retirement, Byrne has hosted a jazz show on Lyric FM and a series of interviews with musicians for RTÉ television, For One Night Only.