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23rd Feb 2024

RTÉ Board Chair resigns after Minister says she is ‘deeply disappointed’ in her on Prime Time

Stephen Porzio


The Media Minister said she was given ‘incorrect information’ by the Chair of the RTÉ Board.

The Chair of the RTÉ Board Siún Ní Raghallaigh has resigned after Media Minister Catherine Martin told Prime Time on Thursday night (23 February) she was “deeply disappointed” in her.

The Minister’s comments come amid controversy surrounding an exit package for former RTÉ Chief Financial Officer Richard Collins.

Speaking to Prime Time, Martin was asked if she knew whether the RTÉ Board had any role in the most recent exit packages agreed for two former executives.

In response, she said: “Well, it was my understanding that the Board had no role whatsoever in the approval of these two exit packages.

“When I met the Chair on Monday, I queried this again – was my understanding correct? I was assured by the Chair that it was the case.

“I again met the chair yesterday… and I again queried… and was again reassured that that was the case.

“However this morning, in communication through my officials, it is being made known to me now that in fact, in the second exit package – that of Richard Collins – it went before the remuneration committee so it was approved. There was a process there where the Board had approval.”

Martin said she was “deeply disappointed” in the Chair for giving her “incorrect information”.

Following the interview, Ní Raghallaigh announced her resignation, stating:

“Since taking up the role of Chair of the RTÉ Board in December 2022, I have worked hard with my Board colleagues, and the Leadership Team. Our priority at all times has been on reforming the organisation, in order to secure its future.

“However, it is abundantly clear from statements today, and in particular last night’s Primetime broadcast, that I no longer have the confidence of the Minister in my role as Chair of the Board of RTÉ and that, as such, my position is no longer tenable.

“This evening, after consultation with the Board and Director General Kevin Bakhurst, I have decided to resign from my position.”


RTÉ Board chair Siún Ní Raghallaigh resigns after Minister says he is ‘deeply disappointed’ in her

Speaking about the Collins’ exit package, the former Chair also said in the statement:

“Kevin Bakhurst brought the exit of Rory Coveney from RTÉ (announced on Sunday 9th July) to my attention, while the exit of Richard Collins was brought to and approved by the Remuneration Committee of the Board of RTÉ on October 9th 2023.

“I informed the Department about the process which led to Richard’s departure from RTÉ, on October 10th, the day after it was approved at the Remuneration Committee.

“I met with the Minister and her officials, with the Director General, on two occasions for more than three hours this week, dealing with multiple questions across a wide range of issues. I was asked if the Board knew about the exit packages for Rory Coveney and Richard Collins. I said that I was aware of them, but they had not come before the full Board.

“However, I neglected to recollect that Richard Collins’ exit package did go before the Renumeration Committee. This was not an intentional misrepresentation, and I subsequently contacted the Department to clarify the details and remind them that I had previously appraised them of the matter in October.”

In a statement following the Chair’s resignation, Martin thanked her for her service.

Main image via Leah Farrell/Rolling News and RTÉ News

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