Irish Government launches root and branch review of RTÉ

Ireland’s Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, Catherine Martin T.D has called for an independent, root and branch examination into Irish broadcaster RTÉ. It comes following the controversy over undisclosed payments to presenter Ryan Tubridy which led to the resignation of RTÉ director general Dee Forbes. 

Forbes was suspended and later stepped down as director, after it was revealed RTÉ presenter Tubridy had received a series of payments of €345,000 above his annual published salary between 2017 to 2022.

The review will explore the root causes of the failings in RTÉ and the recommendation of measures to prevent their recurrence in the future.

The investigation will be divided into a review of Governance and Culture and a review of contractor fees, human resources and other matters.

It will be led by two different three-person expert advisory committees who will oversee the work of a professional services firm that will be appointed to work on the reviews.

The expert advisory committees will work in parallel and coordinate where necessary, with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The Minister will invoke her powers of the Broadcasting Act 2009 to appoint a forensic accountant to examine the books or other records of account of RTÉ in respect of any financial year or other period.

The process is expected to take six months which with its findings the Minister will address the recommendations proposed.

Martin will also meet with the incoming director general of RTÉ, Kevin Bakhurst, and the chair of the RTÉ Board, Siún Ní Raghallaigh on Friday July 7

Martin said “Ever since the first broadcast of its predecessor Raidió Éireann, RTÉ has provided a public space for the people of Ireland to speak to and of one another. At its best, it has held up a mirror to Irish society, one that has demonstrated not only the best in our society but one that also revealed its injustices, both glaring and sometimes all too hidden. In doing so, RTÉ has been sustained not only by the tireless work of its staff over the years but also through the trust of the people.”

“That trust has been shattered. The independent, root and branch examination of RTÉ I am announcing today is the beginning of our efforts to restore that trust.’

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