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Gay Byrne and Imelda May

Financial worries force long-time Irish broadcaster back to work

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Gay Byrne and Imelda May

Internationally acclaimed broadcaster Gay Byrne is back working again, he told the Sunday Independent, because he is suffering from the same financial woes as "hundreds of thousands of people all over Ireland."

Byrne says his pension has been wiped out and his investments in property syndicates organized by runaway financier Derek Quinlan are under severe "pressure."

"What has happened in this country is putting me under pressure -- I never had a pension in RTE so we invested in what we believed were blue chip stocks, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Anglo -- and all of that has been wiped out," he said last week. And his property investments with Derek Quinlan, which he expected would take care of his financial cares, are now "a millstone around our neck", he said.

"We are living through it to see what we can do about it and it's nasty and awful."

Unfortunately, financial trouble is not something new to the 77-year-old broadcaster. In 1996 it was revealed that his friend and financial advisor Russell Murphy had stolen his life savings.

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'Gaybo,' as he is known to Irish television viewers, is preparing for his latest prime time series. "For One Night Only" is a series of compelling interviews with internationally acclaimed Irish musicians, including Bob Geldof, Imelda May, Daniel O'Donnell, Paul Brady, and Mary Black.

The broadcaster refuses to complain or be bitter about his personal money woes.

"I am working because I have to, although I choose to do it anyway," he said.

Byrne said that this latest project, filmed before an audience of 200 people, has been an incredible experience.

"For One Night Only" begins on RTE 1 next July 15 at 9:30pm, with the first program featuring Dublin singer Imelda May.
 

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