Eamon Dunphy at home in Dublin: 'They acted the bollocks'

Eamon Dunphy has accused RTé's Morning Ireland of trying to "stitch him up" and "acting the bollocks" after he gave an interview to the radio programme last Friday morning.

The broadcaster claims he was asked to appear on the programme to comment on the general principle of taking pay cuts but presenter Cathal Mac Coille wrongly announced that Dunphy had offered to take a second pay cut.

Interviewed over the phone in the show's closing minutes, Mac Coille said: "You've made another decision?"

"Another decision?" replied a mystified Dunphy.

"So I hear. On your pay?" answered Mac Coille

Dunphy replied: "I made a decision several weeks ago and I haven't made another decision."

Mac Coille then claimed he had been misinformed before moving on with the discussion.

This weekend Dunphy, who has already taken a 10% pay cut, called the Morning Ireland programme "unprofessional", "poorly researched" and "quite nasty".

The 63-year old said: "They were acting the bollocks. They had no reason whatsoever to believe that I was going to do anything more than what I had done and if there is more to be done, there is no better man to do it. They asked me to go on and make a comment about RTé salaries and I said I would. But he [Cathal Mac Coille] seemed to think I was offering a pay cut. Then he tried to be clever, which I didn't think was very clever. If you only have a minute, you have no chance to defend yourself."

A radio source claimed the Morning Ireland team had originally hoped to interview either Gerry Ryan or Ryan Tubridy – the only two of RTé's pool of talent to refuse to take a pay cut – and when neither was available to go on the show, researchers contacted Dunphy who agreed to take the call.

Dunphy has also defended himself from comments made by Mac Coille twice during the interview that he was paid "more than the Taoiseach".

"I'm not the only one who is earning more than the Taoiseach. I'm a freelance journalist with no pensions and no arrangements. If you were to compute what a backbencher gets, you would see that they get a lot more than I get.

"I'm a freelancer; nobody is obliged to pay me. I'm on a contract so I thought what I did was a reasonable thing to do but I think they were f**king stupid. Morning Ireland should get their act together. The mistake I made was taking their call. I won't go on Morning Ireland again in a hurry."

The former Irish international footballer has also rubbished claims he gets chauffeur-driven in a limo every time he visits RTé. He said: "That's a complete and utter load of bollocks. I pay for my own taxi to go in to RTé for the radio and the TV. I don't have a driver's licence. I pay for my own taxis. I have my own taxi account, so I go by taxi nearly all the time."