Home Irish Showbiz Former Ireland AM host Sinéad Desmond ‘wins first round’ of legal battle...

Former Ireland AM host Sinéad Desmond ‘wins first round’ of legal battle over equal pay

The Irish presenter quit her role back in 2017


Sinéad Desmond has reportedly “won the first round of legal battle” over equal pay against her former employer Virgin Media.

The former Ireland AM presenter quit her role back in 2017, after an alleged row over the gender pay gap between herself and her male co-hosts Mark Cagney and Alan Hughes.

Sinéad, who worked on the popular morning show for 11 years, is believed to have been earning much less than her male co-workers.

According to The Irish Mail On Sunday, the Workplace Relations Commission made a decision in her favour, with “star power” and gender equality at the core of the case.


According to the publication, lawyers for Virgin Media, formerly TV3, argued that the pay gap was a case of “established national profile” and “star power”, not gender.

They reportedly argued that Mark Cagney was the show’s “star anchor”, which “put him in a position of considerable commercial advantage in his negotiations with the broadcaster”.

Sinéad said that her work with “numerous charities” and social engagements demonstrated her own “star power”, also claiming that she was “refused permission” to star in campaigns and advertisements.

Her legal team added that the “industry is a fickle business and if a media figure ceases to be appealing to the general public s/he cannot expect to remain in a particular business.”

Sinead with Alan Hughes and Ciara Doherty | VIPIRELAND.COM

Sinéad’s legal team argued that “a person’s history is of far less relevance than their current popularity / whilst track record is relevant …public tolerance and patience are at a premium”, adding Sinéad and Mark records and “were substantial enough to reduce any great differential between them.”

A spokesperson for Sinéad told the publication on Saturday: “As the case is still ongoing, Sinéad Desmond cannot give any comment.

“But she would like to thank Ireland AM viewers for their continued support in her case against Virgin Media. It means a great deal to her.”

Goss.ie has contacted Virgin Media Ireland for comment.