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Wednesday 18 October 2017

What are you complaining about Michael?

Another week, another debate about whether RTE is ageist. With Gay Byrne and Jimmy Magee both criticising the national broadcaster recently for its perceived bias against elderly presenters, newsreader Michael Murphy (left) has joined the debate.

Having just had his contract ended after 43 years with RTE, 66-year-old Michael was gracious in his departure, but his feelings where clear.

"I was disappointed to the extent that I wasn't in charge of it," said Murphy, who criticised the "civil service mentality that people should retire at 65".

This is all very well, except for two inconvenient facts.

Firstly, if every public servant was free to retire when they wanted, how would new job-seekers be able to find employment if everyone felt entitled to cling onto their jobs long into their 70s or 80s?

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Secondly, Murphy himself chose to give up his full-time post in RTE 25 years ago, so that he could also practise psycho-analysis.

The advantage of being freelance is that you can do outside work if you choose and also look after your own taxes, thereby boosting your net salary. The downside of choosing to be self-employed, as many of RTE's presenters are, is that your contract can be cancelled at any stage - which is precisely what has happened to Michael. So what exactly is he complaining about?

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