Call for RTÉ broadcasters to declare free cars

Free car deals enjoyed by RTÉ broadcasters like Pat Kenny, Ryan Tubridy and Gerry Ryan should have to be declared, the Dáil heard tonight.

Labour’s communications spokesman Tommy Broughan called for a statutory register of interests for presenters in the state broadcaster just like TDs and senators.

He said Ryan Tubridy had the use of a Lexus car and Pat Kenny and Gerry Ryan both have “relationships” with BMW and Mazda respectively.

Sky News Ireland anchor Gráinne Seoige has an association with Audi, he said.

“It is important for the integrity of the broadcasting system and news media that we should have full transparency across all areas,” said Mr Broughan.

“As news broadcasters, it’s very important that if you are commenting on national and international issues that all of your interests are publicly known.”

The Dublin TD quoted from the 2004 RTÉ Staff Manual that indicated that no presenters “should be associated with commercial or other interests such that the audience’s perception of the broadcasting role is or could be adversely affected”.

He also pointed out that the presenter of a current affairs programme was advertising his own publication last night.

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