Catherine Martin, Ireland’s minister for the media, has defended her handling of the RTE payments issue.
The minister has come under fire for refusing to speak with the media since July 22 as the controversy over the national broadcaster’s activities grew.
Since it was discovered in June that RTE had misreported the star presenter Ryan Tubridy’s wages and failed to properly declare payments totaling 345,000 euros (£296,000) made to him between 2017 and 2022, the matter has dominated news headlines.
This week, a very close family relative who I was attending to personally passed away.
As more information regarding RTE’s internal financial, accounting, and governance practises as well as its spending on corporate hospitality for advertising clients emerged, the crisis grew.
Speaking to the media on Friday after releasing an interim report by forensic accountants on RTE, Ms. Martin addressed the criticism.
She explained, “I was handling a personal family situation and that very close family relative passed away earlier this week.
“I had to be away from base to deal with that, but I don’t regret it because I got to say goodbye to someone I loved very dearly.”
Additionally, Ms. Martin stated: “I spent time with my family, which is very important to me.
By the way, working and spending time with your family are not incompatible.
Like any cabinet minister, I believe it can be challenging to take a break when the Dail adjourns and committee meetings aren’t in session, but as we all know, government and ministries continue their work at these times.
I won’t get into my personal life, but let’s just say that I’ve been working for the majority of the days in the past several weeks.
I did spend time with my family because being a mother is something that is very important to me.
Spending time with my children is vital for both me and them, but some of this time was also spent dealing with a personal family situation.
Ms. Martin hired Mazars, a forensic accounting firm, to look into how RTE used a barter account with a UK bank for some of its business dealings.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn