Irish Culture Minister Calls for Full Disclosure of Undisclosed Payments at RTE Amid Staff Protests

Irish Culture Minister Calls for Full Disclosure of Undisclosed Payments at RTE Amid Staff Protests

…By Henry George for TDPel Media.

Irish Culture Minister Catherine Martin has emphasized that RTE must not miss the opportunity to share all information regarding undisclosed payments made to star presenter Ryan Tubridy.

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Her comments came in response to mounting anger over the controversy surrounding the public service broadcaster.

Over 100 staff members staged a protest at RTE headquarters in Donnybrook, reflecting the growing discontent among employees.

Disclosure of Payments:

RTE has announced its intention to publish as much as possible of an external review into the undisclosed payments made to Tubridy later on Tuesday.

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The revelation of €345,000 worth of undeclared payments made to Tubridy between 2017 and 2022 has raised questions and intensified scrutiny of the broadcaster.

In light of these developments, the Irish government has ordered an external review into RTE’s governance and culture, with RTE executives scheduled to face questions from parliamentary committees.

Changes in Leadership and Presenter Schedule:

Dee Forbes, the former director general of RTE, resigned on Monday.

Due to health reasons, she will not attend a hearing with the Oireachtas Media Committee.

In the midst of the controversy, Ryan Tubridy is absent from his weekday morning radio show this week.

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Minister’s Call for Urgent Action:

Minister Catherine Martin has briefed her government colleagues on the external review she initiated.

She expressed her strong disapproval of the revelations and stressed the importance of transparency and rebuilding trust.

The minister has written to the RTE chairperson, Siun Ni Raghallaigh, outlining crucial questions that need to be answered.

These inquiries include the individuals responsible for approving the payments, others involved or aware of the transactions, and the completion date for the Grant Thornton report investigating the underreporting of RTE’s top paid presenter’s remuneration.

The Need for Prompt Disclosure:

Minister Martin highlights the significance of promptly sharing all relevant information with the public, particularly in times of crisis.

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She insists that RTE must not miss this opportunity to be forthcoming and transparent, particularly in anticipation of the upcoming Oireachtas hearings.

The minister plans to finalize the terms of reference for the external review of RTE’s governance and culture in the coming days.

RTE’s Commitment and Review Process:

The RTE Board acknowledges the demand for accountability from the public, staff, and politicians.

They aim to provide clarity and have committed to issuing a comprehensive statement about the circumstances surrounding the payments made to Tubridy in the 2020-2022 period.

They also plan to publish as much as possible of the Grant Thornton review related to these payments.

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However, the review of payments made between 2017 and 2019 is still under review by the advisory company.

Parliamentary Committees and Transparency:

RTE board members and executives are expected to attend the Media Committee and the Public Accounts Committee later this week to address inquiries.

It remains uncertain who will be present at these hearings, including former director general Dee Forbes.

Transparency is seen as a vital aspect in addressing the controversy and ensuring that public service broadcasting and the hardworking staff at RTE are not adversely affected by the actions of a few.

Concerns Over RTE’s Decision-Making:

Irish senator Marie Sherlock has raised concerns about the decisions made by RTE’s executive board.

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She emphasizes the challenges faced by RTE staff working under difficult circumstances, often feeling disrespected.

Sherlock warns of the danger of a severe crisis of confidence if unanswered questions persist.

She questions how RTE has elevated a small number of its workers to a god-like status.

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