A mystery RTE presenter has joined stars Ryan Tubridy, Joe Duffy and Ray D'Arcy in earning more than €300,000 a year from the station in the first salary figures revealed by the State broadcaster in three years.
RTE officials confirmed the situation as part of a document which said four stars are earning more than €300,000 a year and 10 are earning more than €100,000 by setting themselves up as private companies instead of taking up staff roles.
In correspondence given to the Dáil's public accounts committee yesterday, RTE said a total of 81 people working at the broadcaster have set themselves up as private limited companies.
Of this group, the broadcaster said four unnamed presenters are earning more than €300,000 a year; 10 are earning between €100,000 and €300,000 a year; and 53 more are earning up to €50,000 a year.
Although RTE did not reveal the names of the officials, in its last salary publication released in 2015 only three presenters - Ryan Tubridy (€495,000), Joe Duffy (€416,893) and Ray D'Arcy (€300,000) - were earning €300,000 or more.
The new breakdown means another mystery presenter has been added to the €300,000-plus a year salary bracket, with the 2015 figures showing that presenters Miriam O'Callaghan (€299,000), Marian Finucane (€295,000) and Sean O'Rourke (€290,113) were on near-€300,000 salaries at the time.
The issue of third-party private limited company contracts being given to presenters and RTÉ workers instead of staff contracts has been a source of significant criticism from PAC members in recent months. However, RTÉ has repeatedly defended the policy.
* Read more on this story in tomorrow's Irish Examiner