Full RTÉ board to be invited before media committee next month

Full Rté Board To Be Invited Before Media Committee Next Month
RTE pay revelations, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

The Oireachtas media committee is set to invite RTÉ director-general Kevin Bakhurst and the rest of the RTÉ board to appear before it next month.

It is also to ask that RTÉ submit any outstanding documentation requested in July to it by Friday, September 8th.


Media minister Catherine Martin will also be asked to appear before the committee at the first possible date she is available, most likely in October.

Members of the Oireachtas Media Committee met on Tuesday in a private session to discuss the second Grant Thornton report into how RTÉ declared Ryan Tubridy’s pay from 2017-2019.

The report, which was published last week, said it was “very plausible” that fees paid by RTÉ to its star presenter Tubridy were underdeclared by €120,000 from 2017-2019 to keep the payments under the €500,000 mark.

The chairwoman of the broadcaster’s board, Siún Ní Raghallaigh, said the report showed there was a “siloed management culture”, “poor internal communication and weak processes” in place at the broadcaster.


Despite the report concluding that Tubridy had “no involvement” in how his fees were declared by the broadcaster during these years, Mr Bakhurst concluded talks with Tubridy on the conditions for his return to the airwaves.

RTE pay revelations
Department of Culture and Media Minister Catherine Martin speaking at the Smock Alley Theatre in Temple Bar, Dublin (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Bakhurst said he did not believe Tubridy had “owned his mistakes” in relation to the controversies at RTÉ.


Financial matters at RTÉ are expected to dominate the political agenda as the Dáil returns on September 20th.

Questions around governance, and financial and accounting practices at the public service broadcaster were the subject of Dáil and committee debates at the end of the last term.

It emerged during several committee debates that RTÉ had spent €4,956 on 200 pairs of flip flops, and that an RTÉ staff member had secured a car on loan for five years, later revealed to be sports personality Marty Morrissey.

It also grilled Tubridy himself, alongside his agent Noel Kelly, in two back-to-back committee appearances that were shown on televisions in some Dublin pubs.


The crisis at RTÉ has led to a significant drop-off in people paying for TV licences over the summer, money which goes towards funding operations at the broadcaster.

Discussions are due to take place on how much interim funding to allocate to RTÉ as part of Budget 2024 until a new funding model for the organisation is decided upon.

Mr Bakhurst and Ms Ní Raghallaigh, along with the other 10 members of the RTÉ board, are to be asked to appear before the committee on Wednesday, September 13th to answer questions on governance.

The head of HR at the broadcaster, Eimear Cusack, is also to be invited.


Chairwoman of the media committee Niamh Smyth said she was “keen” to hear from the deputy chairman of the board Ian Kehoe, and said there were “strong calls” from committee members on Tuesday to hear from the minister Catherine Martin about the fall in TV licence revenues.

The Fianna Fáil TD also said it was a “golden opportunity for the board, who the public might not be familiar with, to argue that RTÉ is still worth investing in and buying their TV licence for”.

“I advise them to use it wisely,” she said.

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