The boss of Irish broadcaster RTE has been suspended amid a controversy over misreporting the salary of its highest paid star.
Director general Dee Forbes was due to step down next month but was suspended on Wednesday, RTE’s board revealed.
It comes a day after it apologised and admitted Ryan Tubridy had received payments totalling €345,000 (£295,000) more than his published salary between 2017 and 2022.
Tubridy hosted the flagship Late Late Show for 14 years – an Irish institution – and now presents on RTE Radio One.
However, he was replaced on his Friday morning slot this week.
Tubridy has said he was surprised to find out about the errors and that the accounting procedures were nothing to do with him.
“It is unfortunate that these errors are in relation to how RTE have reported payments made to me,” he said in a statement.
“But I just want to be clear: this is a matter for RTE and I have no involvement in RTE’s internal accounting treatment or RTE’s public declarations in connection with such payments.
“Obviously, I’m disappointed to be at the centre of this story, but unfortunately I can’t shed any light on why RTE treated these payments in the way that they did, nor can I answer for their mistakes in this regard.”
The extra payments came to light during a routine audit.
It revealed that Tubridy had a separate agreement – guaranteed by RTE – for another €75,000 (£64,000) per year.
A commercial partner was meant to make the payment, but when it pulled out after one year RTE took it over – making three payments of €75,000 in total.
It was then also discovered that Tubridy’s pay had been understated by €120,000 (£102,000) during 2017 to 2019.
A statement on Friday announced Dee Forbes’ suspension and added: “There are processes ongoing and RTE must be mindful of its legal responsibilities and the rights of individuals.”
RTE is funded by the public via an annual licence fee of €160 (£137).
Ireland’s culture minister Catherine Martin welcomed the suspension for the “sake of transparency” and will meet the RTE board chair on Monday to discuss the crisis.
Ms Martin said she wanted assurances that changes would be made and something similar could never happen again
“Public service broadcasting is so important to society, to democracy, and there is no doubt that damage has been done here,” she said.
“Trust has been damaged with the public, but I would say there is a lot of damage has been done to the staff, and that is something the board needs to work on, rebuilding the trust.”
Ireland’s deputy premier Micheal Martin also called the incident a serious “breach of trust”.