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28th Jun 2023

RTÉ chiefs compared to Vladimir Putin as payments scandal inquiry goes berserk

Simon Kelly

Mattie McGrath RTE

It’s all coming out today.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called for a Gardai investigation into the RTÉ payments scandal, claiming that the broadcaster is taking the public “for patsies and fools”.

“It’s unbelievable,” he told the Oireachtas Committee on Wednesday. “I mean, Putin wouldn’t get away with some of the tricks you got away with.”

Seven RTÉ representatives were questioned at the Oireachtas Media Committee in an exhaustive investigation into the ongoing scandal which has seen Director General Dee Forbes resign from her role and hundreds of employees stage protests.

RTÉ kickback

RTÉ board chairwoman Siún Ní Raghallaigh used her opening statement to express “profound regret” about the ongoing scandal involving Ryan Tubridy’s salary discrepancies, saying that the broadcaster “fell far short of the standards expected of us as an organisation”.

“I apologise for this egregious breach of trust with the public,” Ms Ní Raghallaigh said. “I am also mindful that this committee, and others, were in the past presented with information that was simply untrue. That was a breach of trust with you, the elected members of the Oireachtas, for which we sincerely apologise.

“The public, RTÉ staff, and public representatives are angry and hurt. We know that our bond of trust with the public is tarnished.”

Ryan Tubridy apology

Ryan Tubridy’s contract is ‘on pause’.

RTÉ also confirmed today that negotiations regarding Ryan Tubridy’s radio responsibilities have been paused and that his contract has “come to an end” amid controversy surrounding his wages.

“Negotiations had commenced regarding his radio responsibilities. Those negotiations have been paused as with all negotiations as per Board statement.”

However, a source told The Irish Times that the presenter “does not accept” the contract is terminated.

“There is precedent for contracts of this nature that they are amended to reflect the fact the TV element of the contract is coming to an end – and that a value is assigned to TV and to radio and that a new figure is agreed going forward.”

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