The Musicians Union of Ireland (MUI) fully supports the reform of RTÉ but has called on the value of public service broadcasting to be fully recognised during any reorganisation of the national broadcaster.
MUI Organiser, Michelle Quinn, said: “MUI members in the RTÉ Concert Orchestra took part in the staff protest at the station on 27th June. While deeply dismayed at the revelations of a failure to accurately and transparently report payments made to Ryan Tubridy, the musicians unfortunately know only too well the real consequences of a lack of funding in RTÉ.
“The last few years have seen the music department decimated, with the loss of the National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ string quartet and three choirs from the station’s remit.
“The RTÉ Concert Orchestra directly interacts with the public, performing sold out concerts regularly all over the country, as well as broadcasting on TV and radio. They do this with ‘charming camaraderie’, according to the Irish Examiner, and with an administration team that is considerably less than those of radio orchestras in the BBC or the ORF in Austria.”
She added: “This demonstrates how much the members of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra believe and demonstrate the value of public service broadcasting and the integral role music plays within it. The MUI fully supports the RTÉ Trade Union Group and hopes to see meaningful reform of RTÉ but hopes that the value of public service broadcasting is respected throughout this process.”