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TDs to seek further explanation on RTÉ Chair resignation

TDs and senators are expected to seek further explanation this week on the circumstances surrounding the resignation of RTÉ chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh.

Ms Ní Raghallaigh resigned a few hours after Minister for Media Catherine Martin had on Thursday declined to express confidence in her in an interview on RTÉ’s Prime Time.

Ms Martin told a press briefing at Government Buildings on Friday that she was “deeply disappointed” that the Chair “had not given her accurate information” in relation to exit packages for RTÉ executives.

She added that the former secretary general of her department has “no recollection” of being told that an exit package for former RTÉ CFO Richard Collins was approved by the RTÉ Board.

It emerged yesterday that officials from the Department of Media were told last October that a subcommittee of the RTÉ Board was approving exit payments.

Ms Martin is due to appear before a special three-hour session of an Oireachtas committee tomorrow.

Yesterday, Sinn Féin Spokesman on Health David Cullinane said the party had written to Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl to request that the minister answer questions in the Dáil chamber on her handling of the RTÉ crisis.

Minister of State Jack Chambers said Ms Martin would be willing to give statements on the issue to the Dáil.

In a statement last week, the independent directors of the RTÉ Board said there was “great disappointment and regret” that Ms Ní Raghallaigh “was placed in a position whereby she felt that she had no option but to resign”.

The RTÉ Board also requested a meeting with the minister and it is understood that the meeting will take place this week.

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