RTÉ management has defended a circular sent to staff asking that they not attend Gerry Ryan's funeral last Thursday due to space restrictions.

An email sent to employees requested that instead of travelling to St John the Baptist Church in Clontarf, they instead attend a live video link at a Montrose studio.

"We understand that capacity within the church itself is very limited and would therefore ask all staff to consider attending Studio 1 rather than travelling to the church or its surrounds," it said.

"Representatives from the Gerry Ryan Show team past and present will be attending the church service."

RTé instead arranged a live video link to the service, which was beamed back to the station in Donnybrook and was open to any members of staff in radio and other departments to attend.

A spokeswoman for the broadcaster strongly denied any attempt to prevent staff from attending the service and said that a "significant" number of employees attended the televised version in Studio 1.

"With regard to the rationale for deciding which RTÉ staff attended the funeral and why, we followed the family's specific wishes with regard to all aspects of the service, including attendees," she said.

"The family specified that members of the Ryan Show team, past and present, were to attend, and these attendees made up the vast bulk of RTÉ's presence at the mass."

Listeners to the Gerry Ryan Show and other members of the public were unable to attend the funeral due to severely restricted space inside, although they were given communion at the gates.