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Minister, RTÉ DG ‘committed’ to charting path forward

A spokesperson for the Minister for Media said Catherine Martin has spoken to RTÉ Director General Kevin Bakhurst and that both are absolutely committed to work together to chart a path forward for RTÉ.

The conversation took place yesterday evening.

It follows the resignation in the early hours of yesterday morning of Siún Ní Raghallaigh as chair of the RTÉ Board after Minister Martin failed to express confidence in her claiming she had been “misinformed” on two occasions this week regarding the board’s approval of recent exit packages.

In a statement, Ms Ní Raghallaigh said there was no intentional misrepresentation and the minister’s department had been contacted about the exit arrangements for RTÉ’s former chief financial officer Richard Collins last October.

The RTÉ Board has said it will continue to discharge its duties and has requested a meeting with Minister Martin at the earliest opportunity.

Ms Martin said yesterday that the former Secretary General of her department has “no recollection” of being told that an exit package for Mr Collins was approved by the RTÉ Board.

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Minister Martin said she was aware of suggestions that Ms Ní Raghallaigh had informed the department that the board had approved the package for Mr Collins.

However, Ms Martin said she discussed the matter with the former secretary general to check if this was the case.

She said: “She [former secretary general] has been clear that while she was informed by phone that the independent mediation process on an exit package for Mr Collins had finally reached a conclusion, she has no recollection of being told that it was approved by the board’s remuneration committee.”

The former secretary general remembers receiving a phone call from Ms Ní Raghallaigh that the independent mediation process had been completed into two exit packages.

”She was not informed that there was an official approval by the board,” Ms Martin added.

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