Marian only RTÉ presenter on extended summer break


MARIAN FINUCANE is the only one of RTÉ’s top radio presenters taking an extended break over the summer, according to figures provided by the broadcaster yesterday.

Finucane is taking nine weeks off, from last Saturday until September 3rd, despite only having a four-hour broadcasting week.

A spokeswoman said RTÉ never discussed individual contracts. But she said Finucane’s absence was not holidays but “non-service days” as she was not being paid for her absences from the airwaves.

Finucane earned €570,000 in 2008, the last year figures were available, making her at that time RTÉ’s third top paid presenter.

By contrast Pat Kenny and Joe Duffy are taking two weeks’ holidays and John Murray is on a week’s holidays.

Ryan Tubridy is off from his 2fm show from next week for three weeks, but he is working for one of those on television. He is also taking two weeks in August, but will be broadcasting on Saturday mornings on BBC Radio 2.

Miriam O’Callaghan is working throughout the summer on TV and radio.

When asked last year about the length of Finucane’s summer leave RTÉ’s head of radio, Clare Duignan, responded: “The contract that is negotiated for any presenter are non-service days because these people are independent contractors and they provide a service to RTÉ.

“They would have agreed a number of non-service days. Anybody who is negotiating that kind of contract at the time of negotiation will be looking to agree those days and different people have different priorities in their lives between work and the other things that they do.”

Finucane could not be reached for comment yesterday. She is involved in her free time in a charity in South Africa for children affected by HIV and Aids.