herald

Tuesday 19 September 2017

We weren't making work life difficult for Gerry, say RTE

CHANGES: Producers move 'caused tension'

RTE has furiously denied it made life difficult for Gerry Ryan in the weeks leading up to his death.

As colleagues spoke of the stress Gerry was under, the station said it was not the cause of his anxiety.

Reports RTE targeted him for tougher working terms were strenuously denied. It also emerged today:

- Gerry’s widow Morah and partner Melanie Verwoerd have still not been able to see his body in the city morgue.

- Friend Michael Colgan said Gerry had been to visit his bank manager who told the star his finances were “very tricky.”

- Pals described how Gerry was “very bad” with money.

- More friends have now described the stress he was under over the past few weeks.

- The post mortem into the cause of the star’s death took place today. It’s suspected that the broadcaster suffered a massive heart attack.

Reports claimed that Gerry was coming under a concerted campaign to bring him into line by Montrose bosses.

Ryan clashed with "the suits" last year after initially refusing to take a pay cut that most of his colleagues had volunteered for.

The 2FM broadcaster was also said to be left "reeling" after his producer Siobhan Hough was forced to move shows after more than two decades as his right-hand woman.



TARGETING

However, bosses today hit out at reports that they were targeting one of their top stars.

A spokesperson said: "It is highly inappropriate to be running stories like this in the context of someone who has tragically passed away.

"The last few days have been a very tough period for everyone."

Others at the station also expressed shock at the allegations and argued that Ryan was actually "very good friends" with management.

The Herald revealed in early March how Gerry's right-hand woman and close pal Siobhan Hough had been taken off his show and moved to an earlier slot.

Ms Hough had worked with the radio star for more than 20 years and he was said to be hugely upset by her forced move.

At the time, a show insider told the Herald: "Everyone, including Gerry himself, was absolutely stunned by the news that Siobhan would be leaving the show.

"She's been with him from day one and was considered by everyone to be his right-hand woman. They've been working together since the early eighties when Siobhan worked on his night-time show."

They are understood to have remained great friends in spite of the changed work routine.

Although there is nothing to suggest that Ms Hough's move was anything other than a strategic one by the broadcaster, Gerry was said to be "reeling".



TENSION

At the time, sources told the Herald that the unexpected move caused tension behind the scenes, with staff on both programmes struggling to adapt to the change.

Meanwhile, one of the tragic star's best friends has revealed that he was experiencing financial worries in the days before passing away.

The star had been told by his bank manager that his financial situation was "very tricky".

Gate Theatre director Michael Colgan said: "He was very bad with money.

"Gerry used money like Kleenex in the Hilton. He didn't have a sense of it. He didn't understand it. He didn't save."

A post mortem on the presenter's body is due to take place today and funeral arrangements will be finalised this evening.

hnews@ herald.ie

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