... but not Gareth O'Callaghan, you understand. The one time 2FM DJ of yore has been throwing statements about regarding drug abuse in RTE, which are now being investigated by the Gardai. Oh, and RTE aren't happy, particularly because Gareth claims he knows of "at least four more high-profile media stars using cocaine."
In a conversation with The Mirror, O'Callaghan (photographed sitting in a 4FM studio) said: "I have been shunned and told never to look for an interview in RTE again - that I will never be taken back. But I don't want to go back anyhow, I'm happy here in 4FM (and, judging by the massive photo of him sitting in 4FM, he does look happy)... Some people believe Gerry's suppliers were all fellow socialites, but that's not always the cast at all. From what I know, suppliers are not usually socialites. Don't think what I'm doing will stop people dying. I'm doing it because I have the information and I feel obliged to reveal it. I'm sick of the hypocrisy in the media and especially in RTE. Station bosses and big-name stars seem to think they are above the law and feel cocooned in Montrose from the world outside. While I haven't been actually threatened, I have upset a lot of people and made them worried. But I don't think I've made them worried enough to stop taking the drug... If people take drugs, they are funding the criminal underworld... The idea of drug-testing (RTE) presenters is good (imagine them all waiting in a line) but it's open to abuse. You can't randomly test people, especially as some are not directly employed by the station. Gerry wasn't on staff, he had a company that supplied RTE with presenters. A lot of big names would have all sorts of clauses in their contracts... I was never a member of the social scene there. I didn't go to the clubs and the fancy restaurants, mainly because I didn't have the cash for that lifestyle. If this had happened in the BBC, they would have set up a major investigation. They would probably have had an independent committee to investigate it and with police chiefs on it."
In addition to this, Gareth claims Gerry offered him a line in the RTE canteen. The Mirror adds: "When Gareth declined, Gerry is said to have replied: 'don't know it till you've tried it.' Gareth said a few of them had been talking about a big cocaine bust that had been on the news. He revealed he had never taken it, when Gerry offered him a line. 'Gerry thought I was pulling his leg and gave me this look with a glint in his eye'." Right so.
Gareth also took time out of his busy job working for 4FM to talk to The Indo about how he's been feeling since his revelations: "The Gardai say that they are very interested in talking to me, but I'm not going to say any more until I have spoken to them... There has been a fair bit of intimidation from people saying I've let Gerry down. I feel vulnerable but don't feel I have done anything wrong. I have had phone calls from people who have been very scathing with their comments, whose comments to me have been very hurtful. They claim I am doing this for my own publicity, which I am not. I don't need any publicity (to be fair, the Indo don't have a half pager of him sitting in front of a 4FM mic...). I think I have made a lot of people extremely uncomfortable."
Over to you, random RTE spokesperson: "RTE have been criticised over the past week for maintaining what has been described as a silence. RTE covered the format proceedings in the news programming, as is appropriate. The organisation, however, for the most part refrained from offering comment either on the proceedings or on other coverage or commentary which has flowed from it. This has been largely out of respect for our late colleague. Some have sought to interpret RTE's coverage as representing a concerted silence on RTE's part. This is not so. RTE has, however, not been slow or late in addressing the subject of levels of drug abuse in Ireland, including cocaine (cue paragraph plugging Prime Time special)... RTE rejects any suggestion of tolerance of drug abuse among its workforce or at its premises. RTE fully implements its standing on policy in respect of drug or alcohol abuse; any incidence of drug abuse by staff or at RTE's workplace is unacceptable to RTE and is not condoned or tolerated... A staff policy is also in place that allows employees to get assistance, advice and support." The statement added that "RTE's management has never received any reports or alerts about drug abuse by Gerry Ryan."
It's tricky. OK, we have the kids having their father's memory being publicly flogged, but it might turn them off drugs for life, which can only be a beneficial thing in the long run. On one hand, you could argue we have an alleged clutch of RTE personalities, or otherwise, who like horsing a load of gak up their honks during their down time (or, according to Gareth, before they present the Eurovision), but that's their prerogative, their business and ultimately their hangover - especially if they die in the process. On the other hand, we have likes of Gareth, never part of the social scene in RTE, "mainly because I didn't have the cash for that lifestyle", feeling obligated to bring us stories of drug abuse, motivated purely for the good of mankind, while poking the "is that what my license fee is going towards?!" bears along the way.
It's just all a bit grim, no matter what angle it's gawped at. Thing is, though, is anyone else interested in knowing who the other "alleged" four banger advocates are?