herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

I was called a fool by an RTE colleague - Murphy

Michael Murphy with Constance Harris.
Michael Murphy with Constance Harris.

RTE is remaining silent after former news presenter Michael Murphy spoke of insults cast at him by colleagues at the broadcaster.

Mr Murphy said that he "experienced some quite serious personality clashes" while working at RTE.

One such incident took place at RTE studios and although he didn't mention any names, the incident took its toll on the veteran broadcaster.

"At a programme meeting once, somebody looked straight across the table at me and said, "I think you're a fool".

Despite Mr Murphy saying that he never felt bullied, he mentioned that not every moment of his 45-year stint at the broadcaster was happy.

"There was a rough period in RTE for me personally.

"I had been a producer/director for ten years and the cut and thrust of programme-making can be very rough," he said.

Asked for a reply to Mr Murphy, RTE said they will not be commenting on the issue.

Mr Murphy said he went on to write about it in his first book Five in the Afternoon, where he described the incident where he was called a fool as a "pivotal moment" in his career.

"I knew it wasn't true, but it does tend to undermine, it hits into all the doubts we have about ourselves," he explained.

He went on to say that a certain amount of self doubt is a necessary evil, but it doesn't help to have those same self deprecating feelings thrown back in your face.

"When somebody looks you in the eye and says 'I think you're a fool', it resonates with all those anxieties and doubts you have about yourself," he said.

Despite this harrowing time for the journalist, Mr Murphy told Newstalk that this wasn't the worst period of his broadcasting career.

Two hours before his final reading of a 'Nuacht' bulletin, he received a phone call telling him that his brother had died.

Mr Murphy kept the news to himself as he realised he had no choice but to read the news anyway. "I looked down the newsroom there was no one available to do it."

Mr Murphy retired from his job at the end of June when the national broadcaster decided not to renew his rolling contract.

hnews@herald.ie

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