This world will never be an easy spot for ‘the small man’ to survive

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Whatever we have, we always seem to want a bit more. It really is all a matter of scale and expectation. If you’re a child in Sudan feeling a bit hungry all you want is a bit more rice in the bowl to fill the belly. If you’re a worker in a factory in India, an increase in wages to bring you up to around 400 dollars a month, would be a source of happiness. Here in Ireland the expectation might be to have a salary that would enable you to buy a house, rear a family, and maybe change the car every four or five-years.

That’s probably why, we’ve all been just a bit shell-shocked at the scale of the payouts to RTE’s top presenters, who maybe could not be entirely blamed for getting as much as they could out of their employers. But even for relatively financially stable households here in Ireland, a top presenter like Ryan Tubridy pocketing a salary of €522,500 in 2020 (Source: Sinéad Crowley, RTE Arts and Media Correspondent), is just a wee bit mind boggling.

That same year, Joe Duffy – a radio presenter on Radio 1 – pocketed a cool €360,650 while one Ray D’Arcy topped the €300,000 mark. These are salaries nearly beyond comprehension for so-called ordinary workers in a country where the average industrial wage hovers somewhere around the €45,000 mark. To put into perspective, Ryan Tubridy’s 2020 salary was almost 12 times what a nurse earns each year to work in an Irish hospital. Even the Taoiseach’s annual salary of €230,000 is less than half the pay of the former Late Late presenter while TDs, by comparison, are on a ‘veritable pittance’ [joke] on €107k plus.

All of us are quite entitled to aspire to a decent working wage and on the few occasions (thankfully) that I’ve seen the inside walls of places like the Galway Clinic, Bon Secours or University Hospital Galway (still known as ‘The Regional’ to a lot of us old-timers), I’ve always been taken aback at the wonderful reassurance and professional care provided by nurses, most of whom earn under €50,000 per annum and start off as low as €33,000.

Pictured: Cristiano Ronaldo: ‘Surviving’ on nearly €200 million dollars a year.   


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