Gaybo rebuilds finances as firm makes €550,000 profit
Ireland's most celebrated broadcaster, Gay Byrne, had everything to celebrate as he turned 81 years old - with accumulated profits at his media firm last year jumping past the €550,000 mark.
Byrne marked his 81st birthday on Wednesday and his broadcasting continues to make waves, with his Meaning of Life interview on RTE with Stephen Fry earlier this year generating just under seven million views on YouTube.com.
Byrne presented the world's longest-running chat show, the Late Late Show, for 37 years before stepping down in 1999.
The filings, lodged by Byrne's Gabbro Ltd with the Companies Office, show that even in his 81st year and in semi-retirement, 'Gaybo' was running a very profitable media business through his work with RTE.
The new accounts show that profits at the firm in the eight months to the end of December jumped by €52,223, going from €502,358 to €554,581.
This followed the firm recording an €87,571 jump in profits in the 12 months to the end of April 2014.
The accounts show that, in the eight months to the end of December, the cash pile at the firm increased from €360,816 to €413,391.
In addition, the firm also had financial assets valued at €153,819.
The strong performance by Byrne's Gabbro in recent years follows the time when his pension was wiped out.
In a press interview in 2011, Byrne said: "I never had a pension in RTE, so we invested in what we believed were blue chip stocks - AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo - and all of that has been wiped out."
In the same interview, Byrne admitted that property investments he had made were "a millstone around our necks".
Byrne's loss on his shares and investments was the second jolt to his personal finances - in 1987 the Dubliner had to rebuild his finances after learning that his life savings entrusted to his friend and accountant, the late Russell Murphy, had disappeared - and his losses from the episode are estimated to have been over €200,000.
The filings for Gabbro Ltd, signed off by Gay and his wife, Kathleen , on July 31, show that the firm's total shareholder funds stood at €565,311.
In an interview last year marking his 80th birthday, Gaybo said that he was happy with his age-defying lifestyle.
He remarked: "There are fellas half my age who look a great deal grimmer than me."
Gay denied that he was still working at 80 because he needs the money, saying: "No, there's no pressure."