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Catherine Martin to meet the members of RTÉ Board today

The Media Minister, Catherine Martin, is to meet the members of the RTÉ Board today for the first time since the chair, Siún Ní Raghallaigh, resigned last week.

RTÉ ‘s Director General, Kevin Bakhurst, will also attend.

A source close to the Minister said that Catherine Martin’s focus would be “forward looking”, adding that she would hope to discuss “the importance of the future funding model” for public service broadcasting.

However, it seems highly likely that Ms Ní Raghallaigh’s departure will also be on the agenda, given the Board members said after an emergency meeting this week that the Minister’s appearance on Prime Time had placed the former chair in a position where she had “no option” but to resign.

Minister Martin defended her position at a hearing of the Oireachtas Media Committee earlier this week when she stated that she’d been provided with inaccurate information on two occasions in the same week by the former Chair of the RTE Board regarding exit packages for executives at the station.

Opposition politicians severely criticised Catherine Martin in the Dáil.

The Labour TD Alan Kelly, who is a member of the Public Accounts Committee, said it was not “credible” that Minister Martin’s officials did not know about sign-off requirements for RTÉ exit packages.

The Sinn Fein finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty claimed Minister Martin’s Prime Time appearance was “… tantamount to a public humiliation of a public servant who has served this state for many years”. He added: “What you did in effect was ensure that she Ms Ní Raghallaigh was pushed over the cliff.” nan

The Tánaiste Micheál Martin has backed Minister Martin, saying that the Cabinet hoped to approve a new chair of the RTÉ Board by next Tuesday.

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